Colorado may have legal marijuana, but the police no longer have to keep any weed they seize in a criminal investigation, according to a state Supreme Court decision, which essentially overturns years of so-called evidence requirements.
Monday’s ruling reverses a lower court decision that police officers could not simply destroy pot after they confiscate andor use it as evidence in a case.
While in their possession, the Colorado police were obliged to take care of the seized marijuana, either by keeping the plants alive or in dried usable form. The cops then had to return it to defendants who won their cases.
Colorado police have complained that they were running out of space to store the confiscated weed.
The cops cheered Monday’s decision, reported the Gazette. They had often complained that the evidence rule made it impossible for them to investigate black-market weed growers, because they would be responsible for keeping and caring for any weed or plants they seized.
“There are times when we cannot confirm who is entitled to what,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said in a statement on behalf of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.
According to the ruling written by Colorado Supreme Court Judge Allison Eid, a potential Trump Supreme Court nominee, returning marijuana to defendants after they win their case would cause law enforcement officials to break the federal Controlled Substances Act, which maintains the status of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the same as heroin.
“Thus compliance with the return provision necessarily requires law enforcement officers to violate federal law,” read the decision.
In the 4-3 decision, three dissenting justices argued that police are not violating federal drug law when they return marijuana property. They said the Controlled Substances Act “immunizes federal and state officers from civil and criminal liability in the circumstances at issue here.”
The ruling stems from a 2011 criminal case in which a Colorado Springs man was arrested for growing and possessing more than the legal number of marijuana plants (30).
The man was later acquitted on the basis that he was a registered medical marijuana patient and protected under state law. But he lost more than 60 pounds of marijuana that the police were holding during the case and then were returned to him full of mold after his case was won.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
Canada Estimates $1 Billion in Legal Cannabis Sales in First Three Months
New Zealand City Has 10 Synthetic Cannabis Overdoses in 48 Hours
Billboards Urge Utah to Vote for Medical Marijuana by Quoting Mormon Scripture
Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Legalizes Cannabis
Hawaii Will Allow Out-of-State Visitors to Buy Medical Marijuana by Next Year
Malaysian Court Sentences Man to Death for Distributing Free Cannabis Oil
High Five: Smoke-Free Ways to Use Medical Marijuana
Mormon Church Officially Voices Opposition to Medical Marijuana in Utah
Culture5 days ago
First Ever Trial to Study the Effects of Microdosing LSD Began This Month
CBD5 days ago
Coca-Cola in Talks to Make the Next CBD-Infused Beverage
Health5 days ago
Adderall and Weed: Learn More About the Combo
Health4 days ago
Tobacco vs. Weed: The Differences, Pros, and Cons
Guides3 days ago
What Do The Colors of Marijuana Mean?
Health5 days ago
Study Finds Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Youth More Likely to Use Multiple Substances
Health5 days ago
Recent Study Finds That Approximately 2 Million US Teens Vape
Medical Marijuana4 days ago
Canadian Cannabis Company Tilray to Export Products to United States