For the past four years, any time local police seized cannabis in a criminal investigation, they’ve been required to care for it, either by keeping the plants alive or by returning the marijuana in a usable form to the owner. That’s no longer the case.
On January 23, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that requiring police to store marijuana in evidence is in violation of federal law. The court issued its opinion in the case of the People v. Robert Crouse.
Crouse, a medical marijuana patient, was arrested on May 5, 2011, on charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana after police seized 55 marijuana plants and about 2.9 kilograms of marijuana product from his home. He was charged with a felony count of cultivating more than thirty marijuana plants. Crouse asserted that he was in lawful possession of the cannabis for medical purposes, and a jury acquitted him of marijuana-related drug crimes.