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Philadelphia-area ophthalmologist and daughter charged with growing marijuana

Police seize marijuana plants and growing equipment at home shared by Philadelphia-area eye doctor and his daughter.

By Frances Burns
Philadelphia-area ophthalmologist and daughter charged with growing marijuana
Marijuana customers may peer through windows at the marijuana plants as they are cultivated at the 3D Cannabis Center in Denver on January 1, 2014. UPI/Gary C. Caskey | License Photo

NORRISTOWN, Pa., April 24 (UPI) -- An ophthalmologist in a Philadelphia suburb and his daughter have been charged with growing marijuana in their home.

Dr. Paul Carter Ezell, 58, and Victoria Ezell, 23, were arrested Wednesday after a raid on their house in Haverford. Police said an anonoymous tipster reported earlier in April that Ezell was both growing marijuana and selling it to his patients and to other customers.

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Ezell is an eye specialist and surgeon.

Earlier this week, investigators said they had broken up a drug ring that catered to high school and college students on the Philadelphia Main Line, a string of affluent suburbs west of the city. The two alleged ringleaders are recent alumni of the Haverford School, a prep school with ties to Haverford College.

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But there is some suggestion that Ezell's motives were at least partly altruistic. While the American Glaucoma Society said in 2009 there is no evidence that marijuana "alters the course of glaucoma," some advocates of medical marijuana claim it helps those with the condition by reducing pressure inside the eye.

A neighbor told WCAU-TV that Ezell's wife died last year from a "debilitating disease."

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Police said they seized 28 marijuana plants, equipment for indoor farming, and a copy of Maximum Yield -- a magazine for indoor gardeners -- along with $1,300 in cash. Bail was set at $50,000 each.

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"There was enough evidence at the scene to arrest both parties," Haverford Police Lt. Charlie Moore said.

Ezell had owned the house for 26 years. His daughter recently graduated from the University of Scranton.

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