cannabisnews.com: Suspicious-Plant Probe of Owens is Up in Smoke





Suspicious-Plant Probe of Owens is Up in Smoke
Posted by FoM on August 20, 2001 at 07:42:20 PT
By Trent Seibert, Denver Post Capitol Bureau
Source: Denver Post
If police find a marijuana plant in your yard, you might find yourself subject to a police search and jail time. Unless, perhaps, you happen to be the governor of Colorado. Gov. Bill Owens may have been treated differently from other Coloradans when a plant that looked suspiciously like marijuana was found growing in the lush garden in the back of his 8th Avenue mansion. "It is illegal to cultivate marijuana," said Denver Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Lombard. Those who cultivate even a single plant could face a sentence that could range from probation to a jail term of two to six years in jail, under state law. 
No one is accusing the governor of grooming his own grass, of course. Plus, the Governor's Mansion is used mainly for official functions. Since his inauguration in 1999, Owens and his family have continued to live in Aurora. But typically, if police spot even a single marijuana plant in a garden it would give them probable cause to at least search the garden, law enforcement experts said. Despite that, law enforcement officials didn't question Owens about the plant the way they might have questioned someone who didn't have the governor's clout. They also didn't conduct further tests on the plant after an initial field test determined it tested negative as a narcotic. Indeed, the test, done by a Colorado State Patrol technician, didn't determine that it wasn't marijuana. The test found that the plant had no TCH, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. "That basically made us believe it's hemp weed," said State Patrol technician Tim McClinchy. But neither the State Patrol nor officials from the governor's office could say exactly what the plant is, unlike experts at the Denver Botanic Gardens, who determined it was a smokable marijuana called cannabis sativa. Young marijuana plants have far less TCH than mature plants, and the plant in question may have tested negative because of that, experts said. Investigators could have done more tests, such as the comparison test conducted by the Denver Botanic Gardens. Or they could have sent a sample of the plant to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which has state-of-the-art equipment to test it. Neither was done in this case, although in past cases where an alleged drug is questioned, it is done, State Patrol officials said. Even if Owens wasn't given special treatment, it would have been very difficult to bring a case against him, said Denver's chief deputy district attorney, Helen Morgan. "I think it would be almost impossible," Morgan said. "Especially since it may have been a prank. Some people would find it amusing to plant marijuana on the governor's property. We'd have to show he knew it was there." Morgan would also have to dig up some evidence that Owens was planning to profit from the plant, by selling the drugs after the plant matured. That's highly unlikely given the governor's strong stance against drug use.Source: Denver Post (CO)Author: Trent Seibert, Denver Post Capitol BureauPublished: Monday, August 20, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Denver PostContact: letters denverpost.com Website: http://www.denverpost.com/Related Article:At Governor's Mansion, Yard has Gone to Pothttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread10633.shtmlCannabisNews Articles - Coloradohttp://cannabisnews.com/thcgi/search.pl?K=colorado
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Comment #9 posted by Rambler on August 21, 2001 at 08:06:38 PT
I'd love to see it
The governors mansion is now the new DARE/SWAT headquarters,and the cops are drivin' around in the governors Mercedes,which has a new DARE-mobile,paint job.The governors wife and kids are staying at Motel 6,cause their home is on the forfeiture auction block.
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Comment #8 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on August 21, 2001 at 07:55:43 PT
Throw your seeds on a politicians front lawn TODAY
>>But typically, if police spot even a single marijuana plant in a garden it would give them probable cause to at least search the garden, law enforcement experts said.  At LEAST! Imagine what they could get for the governor's mansion at a seizure auction!!
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Comment #7 posted by firedog on August 20, 2001 at 21:47:10 PT
What's good for the goose is good for the gander?
...It would have been very difficult to bring a case against him, said Denver's chief deputy district attorney, Helen Morgan. "I think it would be almost impossible," Morgan said. "...we'd have to show he knew it was there." Morgan would also have to dig up some evidence that ... was planning to profit from the plant, by selling the drugs after the plant matured. That's highly unlikely given ...'s strong stance against drug use.Iíve taken the liberty of removing a few words from these quotes and substituting ellipses, as per standard journalistic practice.After doing so, it looks like the DA is actually saying that standard criteria for guilt and innocence actually apply in this case.If this article was referring to Joe Citizen instead of Joe Politician, do you think Ms. Morgan would be saying the same things? 
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Comment #6 posted by Sam Adams on August 20, 2001 at 10:14:16 PT
sad statement on media
The current state of affairs of the media saddens me. The written newspaper is supposed to be the last bastion of intellectual news. This is a major US newspaper, and it took them three days to question why the king, er, sorry, governor, was totally let off the hook for something that would have resulted in a normal person being beaten-down, house searched, and arrested by several cops (prank or no prank). Not only that, they couldn't even quote "THC" correctly, something any moronic fact-checker could find out in seconds. But, ho-ho! they were sharp enough to crudely work "up in smoke" into the headline. Those clever funsters......gee, any 2nd grader could've thought that up.The midwest/rockies area really is a different land than the Northeast/West coast. The ignorance level is astounding. I remember standing behind a trucker in a gas station in Nebraska, and the guy had to sign a credit card slip with an "X" - poor bastard couldn't even write his own name......
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Comment #5 posted by reality on August 20, 2001 at 09:40:29 PT:
outlaw peanuts
The most dangerous food is peanuts. While it does not affect most people, for those people that are allergic to it, even the most minute traces of peanuts can cause severe reactions. I do not know how many people die of peanuts every year but it has to be more than from MJ. Outlaw peanuts and save the country.
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Comment #4 posted by natural_mystic on August 20, 2001 at 09:28:18 PT
Freedom
"The test found that the plant had no TCH, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high."TCH, eh? Biotech trying its hand in a new market? Whatever happened to the good old days when marijuana contained THC? Damn monsanto!(Joking)But seriously, it really is sad that in this supposed "land of the free" a harmless plant cannot be grown without government intrusion. We the people sure are free... free from freedom!
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Comment #3 posted by Patrick on August 20, 2001 at 09:24:45 PT
Outrageous
"It is illegal to cultivate marijuana," said Denver Police spokesman Sgt. Tony Lombard. Those who cultivate even a single plant could face a sentence that could range from probation to a jail term of two to six years in jail, under state law."This is law so ludicrous and irrational that I cannot even comment rationally about it.
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Comment #2 posted by Ed Carpenter on August 20, 2001 at 08:47:18 PT:
 Suspicious-Plant Probe of Owens is Up in Smoke
Because pot was found growing in the yard of the Governor of Colorado should affect nobody. All Americans, after all, are protected equally by the Constitution and Bill of Rights against intrusive government policies.Oops, wrong country. We used to have the freedom to grow plants in this country, but that was before the politicians were bought up by the big boys, and some plants were declared undesirable.I can't even find anyone who can give me a good reason why cannabis is illegal. They ignore the obvious big money issues, and say "We don't want kids using it."Well educate the kids instead of lying to them. Restore the Constitution to its rightful position as the supreme law of the land, and the drug war will end. It's about time.
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on August 20, 2001 at 08:10:22 PT:
Justice Impaired, Justice Denied
This story proves that Lady Justice is not only blind, but deaf, dumb, anosmic, unthinking, and unfeeling, as well.The mere concept of rendering a plant illegal is obscene. Cannabis dangers?: Hopelessly exaggerated. Cannabis toxicity?: I'm making myself laugh. You don't see the Feds trying to outlaw yeast that makes alcohol, or oleanders that poison innumerable children. Then, there is the old concept of equal protection under the law. Now you are all laughing scornfully. Give us justice that is reasonable and equally applied, PLEASE!
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