SPOKANE, Wash. -

Police raided a marijuana grow operation at a North Spokane home Friday afternoon near the intersection of Sinto and Division and seized 99 mature plants.

Ernest Felch has a medical marijuana card and says marijuana is the only drug that allows him to be comfortable and get the nourishment he needs to stay alive.

"The reason I smoke is I don't have an appetite," he said.

Felch's body is racked with cancer, including tumors in his stomach, so he smokes marijuana to ease the pain and is the only drug that makes him hungry enough to eat.

"I've been searching for different strains, which gives you an appetite, what helps with pain relief, what helps with migraines what helps with stomach, obviously I have a lot of stomach issues," he said.

Felch is not suspected of dealing the marijuana he grows. The problem, according to the Spokane Police Department, is the number of plants they found growing at his home. Detectives smelled Felch's grow operation when they raided the house next door earlier in the week.

He was growing more than 15 plants because his doctor told him he could and was worried if some of his plants died or didn't bud out, he wouldn't have enough.

Felch says he's mystified why his attempt to stay alive as long as possible warrants the police department's attention.

"They don't have a problem with somebody having cancer and going to get chemo at the doctor," he said. "They don't fuss over it and what's the deal about smoking pot?"