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Man Claims Pot Needed for Eating Disorder

A South Florida man is using a medical necessity defense in a trial on charges of illegally growing dozens of marijuana plants on his property.

Opening statements are expected Tuesday in the case of 50-year-old Jesse Teplicki of Hollywood. Teplicki says the 46 plants seized by authorities two years ago were not for distribution but for his own use, to fight symptoms related to the eating disorder anorexia.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that this is the first time such a defense has been tried before a Florida jury, with previous cases decided only by judges.

Teplicki attorney Michael Minardi says the narrow failure last year of a medical marijuana constitutional amendment could mean more jurors are sympathetic to Teplicki's defense.

Teplicki faces a maximum five-year prison sentence if convicted.