this story from washingtonpost.com
Policing pot in Colorado is about to get a lot more complicated. The kick-in-the-door raids SWAT teams have long employed could now cost cities hundreds of thousands of dollars following two landmark court decisions upholding the state's constitutional protection of medical marijuana. Under the rulings, police departments are required to return any marijuana and paraphernalia taken from state-sanctioned growers, and can be sued by those growers if the crops aren't preserved.
The largest case thus far involves Kevin Dickes, who intends to sue the Denver suburb of Aurora for over $360,000 in pot damages. It comes less than a month after a judge ordered the return of an estimated $200,000 of medical marijuana to a couple in Fort Collins.
Dickes, a 38-year-old Desert Shield Marine who suffers from debilitating pain after catching grenade shrapnel in the Gulf, says he was treated worse by Colorado police than by anyone in Iraq. In April, 2007 officers raided his home after receiving a tip from a neighbor and, according to his lawyer Robert J. Corry Jr., threw the disabled veteran to the ground, held him at gunpoint and ransacked his home. They found 71 marijuana plants, at least 65 of which they confiscated illegally, and they charged Dickes with felony cultivation. After eight months of legal wrangling, the Arapahoe County district attorney dismissed the charges, determining that Dickes was in fact a certified grower. But, by then, his plants were long dead.
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