Colorado Court Orders Police to Return Couple’s Pot After Illegal Search

A court in Fort Collins has ordered the police to return the property taken in an unlawful search and seizure of James and Lisa Masters last summer, including their marijuana.  

At issue are  39 plants that the couple stated were being grown for medicinal use for themselves and other patients for whom they acted as caregivers.  The search warrant used for the Masters, however, was found to be improper, so Chief District Court Judge James Hiatt threw out the case. Hiatt  then agreed that the pot was being used as part of their caregiver function.  

Notably, the prosecutors argued that the Masters had failed to follow the provisions of the Colorado law below — specifically failing to acquire medical marijuana certificates and not being designated as caregivers on their patients’ certificates.  However, due to the type of proceeding, the court ruled that this was not a relevant objection.  There is now a possibility that the plants were destroyed.  If so, the Masters intend to sue for their value — over $100,000.  That would create a novel case: the police would have to supply funds for the growing of marijuana.  

Colorado is one of the states with an exception for medical marijuana:

“…Effective June 1, 2001, it shall be an exception from the state’s criminal laws for any patient or primary care-giver in lawful possession of a registry identification card to engage or assist in the medical use of marijuana…”

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