Colorado cop pot-plant quandary: Does confiscating lead to cultivating?

What happens to valuable pot plants in a Colorado medical marijuana bust? Sheriffs no longer take plants away, Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr told the Colorado Independent. Police officials across the state agree that the unofficial policy has “evolved” in the decade since voters approved medical marijuana Amendment 20. Sheriffs want to make sure they tread lightly these days, Darr said. The plants may be legal business material.

Sheriff Doug Darr

Sheriff Doug Darr

Officers snap pictures, count plants and do “all of those things we need to do for a potential case filing,” said Darr, who also was the president of the County Sheriffs of Colorado until last week and sits on the medical marijuana task force of the state attorney general‘s office.

“The reason we don’t confiscate them is that we don’t have the ability or the means to keep them. It would be in violation of federal law, because we would be cultivating and maintaining a crop,” Darr said.

Darr declined to say whether the responsibility to maintain plants on the part of police would be spelled out in any of the proposed laws likely to hit lawmakers’ desks this session and supported by law enforcement officials.

Darr says he has seen a “substantial” uptick in the amount of weed being grown in Adams County. He declined to ballpark the size of the uptick.

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Beth Potter

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