US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Question of life's beginning key to medical marijuana case

Chad Abraham
Aspen Times

After a judge's ruling Monday, a jury may have to decide when life begins.

No, it's not about abortion, it's about pot - the medical kind.

The arrest of a Rifle woman last summer for growing medical marijuana has spawned a complicated legal case in which the viability of her marijuana plants is at issue.

Officers with TRIDENT, a downvalley drug task force, searched the home of Jennifer Ryan on July 30, 2004, allegedly seizing more than 100 plants, both full-grown and fledgling plants known as "cuttings."

TRIDENT's subsequent mishandling of the evidence may have hampered their case against the 23-year-old, who is licensed by the state to grow 24 marijuana plants for six of her patients, because the prosecution may have trouble proving which plants were full-grown and which were simply cuttings.

What is now impossible to discern is whether those cuttings constitute bona fide plants. That could be crucial for a jury in deciding whether Ryan violated the number of plants she was allowed by law to possess.

While regulation may be the only politically feasible alternative to prohibition, let's not forget it's inherent absurdities.


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