Pot plant stolen when rain drives grower inside to sleep

LEBANON, Ore.- Terry Skyles slept in a tent in his backyard for days to guard his legal medical marijuana plants.

The first big rainstorm of the fall drove him inside Sunday.

"I was getting splashed, the noise was so intense that there could have been a party out there and I wouldn't have heard them," Skyles said.

Terry went inside at about 1 a.m.

His wife woke him up just six hours later with bad news.

"My wife woke me up at 7 and told me to please tell her I had cut down my largest plant," he said, "because it was gone."

Skyles said he is not sure who took the plant since it is not visible from the street.

In 2008, he had someone break into his greenhouse and vandalize his plants.

He sleeps in the tent next to the plants as an extra precaution.

He said the plant was 9-feet tall and worth $1,000.

"I am either going to have to cut down on how much I use or be forced to buy," Skyles said. "I think the nearest dispensary is in Salem."

Skyles is a medical marijuana cardholder. He suffers from a degenerative spinal disc disease and osteoarthritis. He said narcotics like vicodin have negative side effects, but medical marijuana gives him a quality of life.

"My wife says it's kind of what keeps us together because without it the narcotics make me not only nauseous and sleepless but kind of grumpy," Skyles said.

He called the police, and they took a report of the theft within 30 minutes.

All that's left is a tree stump to remind him of the months of hard work that are now lost.

"They get watered regularly, I pluck their leaves when they start to turn," Skyles said. "It's kind of like raising chickens, knowing eventually they are going to end up on the dinner table."