Police return 39 pot plants to couple

December 03, 2007

, KJCT Channel 8 (CO)

Police in Fort Follins have returned marijuana plants to a couple wrongly arrested.

Police found the growing operation after a search, but a judge ruled the search illegal.

Police gave back the drugs and the growing equipment, but the plants are dead.

James and Lisa Masters and their attorneys reclaimed their, now dead, marijuana plants from the police evidence room Monday.

They shot their own video as they picked up their possessions six-months after a judge threw out criminal charges.

The evidence tag says "live plants," but the Masters say they're not surprised to find 39 confiscated plants dead.

The couple's attorneys say Colorado's constitution requires police to take care of seized medical marijuana plants.

The Master's say they use pot legally to treat their own debilitating medical conditions, and grow the drug for other people who have a marijuana waiver.

Colorado is one of 13 states with laws protecting the medicinal use of marijuana.

However, it still violates federal law so growers and users are often forced into a legal battle. 

A police spokeswoman says the department had no responsibility to care for the plants because the couple did not have documentation to show the plants were legal.

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