Ill couple seek recourse after police killed marijuana plants

December 03, 2007

Howard Pankratz , Denver Post

More than three dozen marijuana plants seized by authorities from a Fort Collins couple were returned to them dead Monday by police.

The couple, James and Lisa Masters, along with their attorneys, said they will take legal action against the Fort Collins police and the Larimer County district attorney's office, who they said by law had to return the plants undamaged.

Rita Davis, spokesperson for the Fort Collins Police Department, said that police were under no obligation to preserve the marijuana.

"The normal process of confiscating contraband does not require jurisdictions to keep it alive," Davis said.

Larry Abrahamson, district attorney for the 8th Judicial District, said that if a lawsuit is filed, the question will be whether the Masterses have a valid medical marijuana claim. If they weren't on the medical marijuana registry, they don't have a claim, said the district attorney.

The couple claimed that when police came to their home in August 2006, they were medical marijuana patients using the plant to help their medical conditions and to assist other medical marijuana patients. They had a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana, but they were not state licensed at that time. They are now licensed.

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