Medical pot samples to be destroyed

A sampling of marijuana plants or leaves seized by law enforcement last week at a local medical grow operation will be destroyed, according to court filings.

An officer with the Western Colorado Drug Task Force wrote in a property inventory that “clippings” and other samples of marijuana plants that were taken by officers March 9 under a search warrant at 573 W. Crete Circle have all been earmarked as “contraband to destroy.” The instructions were written down on a Grand Junction Police Department inventory sheet, which was filed along with a return of service on the search warrant.

The court filing doesn’t say why officers needed samples of the plants, and it doesn’t quantify the size, shape or number of samples that were taken.

They were removed from nine separate areas inside a grow operation at the Crete Circle property owned by Sid Squirrell, a commercial Realtor with Bray and Co.

Police spokeswoman Kate Porras said no whole plants were seized.

Under Colorado’s Amendment 20, plants taken by local or state law enforcement in connection with the claimed use of medical marijuana cannot be destroyed, injured or neglected.

File cabinets holding an estimated 308 medical marijuana registry cards were taken from the building. The cards were photocopied. The original documents were returned Friday, according to the filing.

The Task Force officers, who are also deputized federal agents, showed up with a search warrant at Squirrell’s building around 11:30 p.m. on March 9, and left within 45 minutes. Officers earlier in the day had been allowed inside the building for a consensual search, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Once inside, they counted some 1,080 plants at various stages of maturity. Officers told the judge they were seeking to confirm whether the volume of valid registry cards justified the size of the grow operation.

Attempts to reach Squirrell for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.


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