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—– Original Message —–
From: "Lifevine" <Lifevine@Hemp.net>
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 11:58 PM
Subject: [mmjlist] CO couple sues city over dead plants
> Medical Marijuana Users Seek $200K For Lost Stash
> Suit May Encourage Colorado Police to Reexamine Drug Raids
> by Emil Steiner, Columnist, Washington Post
> January 17th, 2008
> Today in Fort Collins, Colo., a lawyer will walk into a court house
> and ask the city to pay his clients for destroying their marijuana. The
> motion for compensation asks Fort Collins to fork over $202,800, the most
> money ever sought for the destruction of a drug.
> In August 2006, police confiscated the plants from the home of James
> and Lisa Masters, both of whom (on their doctor’s advice) use marijuana to
> cope with a variety of debilitating illnesses. Their house also serves as
> the county chapter of the Colorado Compassion Club, a statewide network
> that provides pot for medical marijuana patients.
> Since 2000 Colorado, like 12 other states, has allowed registered
> users to grow pot. But police officers have scant training and less
> guidance for handling a legal marijuana growing operation. They are not
> instructed to ask for permits, for example, and many officers believe
> medical marijuana protection inhibits their ability to bust illicit users.
> In June 2007, Larimer County Chief Judge James Hiatt dismissed
> charges against the couple and ruled that the 2006 raid was illegal. With
> that decision he set into motion a test of Article XVIII, Section 14 of
> the Colorado Constitution, which calls for the immediate return of any
> marijuana "seized by state or local law enforcement officials from a
> patient or primary care-giver."
> In November Judge Hiatt ordered a return of the Masters’ property,
> including the medical marijuana plants. In December the Masters went to
> pick them up, but after more than 16 months, their medicine was unusable.
> "We are not equipped with hydroponic growing equipment," police
> spokesperson Rita Davis explained. Few evidence rooms are, but Colorado
> law states that "any property … used in connection with the medical use
> of marijuana… shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed
> while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials."
> According to their lawyer, the Masters want more than just monetary
> compensation. "We want police to stop destroying people’s medicine and
> start following the law," Brian Vicente says. "The goal is to get police
> to change their procedures."
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