I read a great article today that highlights the process behind confiscated marijuana (see link). Although it is a sad story to read about, it also answered a lot of questions that people have. I vividly remember when I was a teenager, watching a news broadcast of the cops burning huge piles of confiscated weed, and thinking ‘I wish I was the guy standing next to that pile.’
Law enforcement in Lincoln, Nebraska recently busted a large scale network of 11 grow houses that resulted in more than ‘two dozen yard waste bags…at least as many black garbage sacks…and more than 7,400 plants’ of marijuana. It’s like they said on Super Troopers, ‘That’s a lot of hooch!’ So what happens to all of that stuff? All of it is stored in the Lincoln Police Warehouse, pending trial. None of it can be touched until after the case is over.
Since Nebraska is a non-medical state, even if they are found ‘not guilty’ the marijuana will still be destroyed. However, the massive amounts of equipment (buckets, lights, etc) WILL be returned. Of course, if they are found guilty, the equipment is sold at state run auctions, and the marijuana is still destroyed. This is the case in any criminal trial where the defendant is found guilty of a marijuana charge. This begs the question ‘What if it was a medical marijuana state and the defendants were found not guilty? What happens to the marijuana then?’ As with any case where the defendant is found not guilty, and the evidence is found to be legally possessed by the defendant, the evidence is returned to the defendant.
But this poses a problem; anyone who has grown marijuana knows that when you take live plants and drying marijuana out of its loving environment, and haphazardly throw it into a poorly ventilated/dark warehouse, it will decay rapidly. So even if the defendants win their case, their situation will not be returned to its original state before the faulty seizure by law enforcement. I can’t think of any other area of evidence where this happens.
The judicial system has no remedy under law for medical patients who are wrongly accused, and see their medicine get destroyed by time. Isn’t that f’d up?! If someone was denied medical assistance by law enforcement in any other area, they would be held liable in a civil lawsuit, if not criminal charges depending on the injury caused. Yet when a medical marijuana patient has their medicine unlawfully confiscated, is banned from using it throughout the litigation process, and then have it returned in a moldy/unusable condition, they have no recourse.
P.S. - Everyone knows that they just smoke it up for themselves, selfish bastards!