It's not that often that I write articles about raids and busts. I have always felt that doing so breaks my soul a bit, because I don't like highlighting the work of the opposition. But the raids in Denver, Colorado yesterday were so large, and could potentially become a public policy issue, that I felt it was worth covering. Apparently, the raids were a coordinated effort between the federal government, and the local police in Denver. It is alleged that the gardens that were raided were potentially part of a larger investigation outside of Colorado. Per the Denver Post:
Denver police officers, some in hazmat suits, raided multiple marijuana-growing operations Tuesday, part of an investigation into illegal marijuana sales in Minnesota, a federal law enforcement official said.
Federal agents assisted in the raids, which saw investigators haul dozens of high-intensity grow lights and thousands of plants out of the operations. The federal official said as much as $1 million was found in large bags during the searches.
The official, who was not authorized to disclose information about the case and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, said investigators believe the people involved came to Colorado from Minnesota, where marijuana is illegal outside of a restrictive medical-marijuana program.
Officially, authorities released little information about the case.
On Twitter, Denver police wrote that the investigation involved "illegal drug activity." But a spokesman for the department later said he did not know if the operations raided were licensed marijuana businesses or if detectives believe they were exclusively illegal.
There are a handful of things that stand out to me about these raids. Number one, no one was arrested. Number two, no one really wants to comment about it. Number three, the article referenced above ends with a statement that law enforcement plans to seize just about everything involved with this investigation. So I pose the question - was this really about an investigation in Minnesota, or was this really about asset forfeiture? It's sad how the cops can just swoop in, take everything, and ask questions later. It's beyond time that the laws involving asset forfeiture were reformed. This case highlights that just because marijuana is legal in Colorado, and just because the Obama Administration has thrown around a lot of rhetoric, doesn't mean things have changed all the way.