Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was present during his partner James Ready's marijuana arrest in 2007, according to a police report.
Ready was arrested at his home in Ogunquite, Maine and was charged with marijuana possession, cultivation, and use of drug paraphernalia. Marijuana plants were found in Ready's backyard. Ready paid a fine for civil possession and the rest of the charges were dismissed in 2008.
The Boston Globe reports that Frank was on the front porch and told police that he never saw the plants and would not have recognized them. Frank repeated those remarks to Boston TV station FOX25, saying he would not recognize the plants because "he is not a great outdoorsman" and "would not recognize most plants."
Congressman Frank, who is openly gay and serves as the head of the House Financial Services Committee, supports legalizing marijuana for medical use. Last week, the state of Maine became the fifth in the nation to approve retail medical marijuana dispensaries.
UPDATE: Rep. Frank's office sends over this statement from the congressman about the incident.
I met Jim Ready in October of 2005 at a fundraiser in Maine. After his partner died in January of 2007, we began a relationship. That was the year I assumed the chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee, so I was spending more than the usual amount of time in Washington. But during the Congressional recess that year, I was able to spend some time in Maine at his home.
I was sitting on the porch reading one afternoon when the police arrived. They came up onto the porch and then told me that they had discovered small marijuana plants alongside a part of the house, away from where I had been sitting. I was not aware that Jim had these plants, and I was disappointed to learn that he did.
The police asked if I lived there and I told them I did not. Then Jim came to the door. They asked him if they could enter, to which he agreed. He was then charged and a few months thereafter pled guilty and paid a fine according to Maine law.
I told him that our relationship could not develop if he could not promise me that he would not repeat this. He apologized, with great sincerity I believe, and he made that promise and has lived up to it.