Reader: Cultivation for Personal Use Should Not Be a Crime
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Reader: Cultivation for Personal Use Should Not Be a Crime

Dan and Ashley thought they were following the rules when they started growing four marijuana plants in their back yard in Washington Park. But after a neighbor reported them to the cops, the couple was thrown into a legal quagmire that led to Ashley's arrest, a temporary restraining order giving the DPD the power to change the locks on their home, and challenges they'll have to deal with over the next two and a half years that include a lien against their home and the threat of random police searches.

Most readers were appalled to learn of the city's actions.

John says:

Good to know the city attorney is on this case, it being so vital to the health and safety of Denver. Well spent tax dollars all around! These folks should sue their neighbor: He is the cause of all this idiocy, and could easily be tied up in expensive legal BS as a payback of sorts. Keep electing such great district attorneys and council members, Denver voters!

Eron adds:

Mayor needs to spearhead change of this stupid law. Couple should sue neighbors for harassment.

Richard explains:

Cultivation for personal use should not be a crime, anywhere.

 Andrew notes:

This is a travesty. Thank you for giving folks like this a voice. Now, how about a public vote on this?

 Angelo says:

Legalized theft! A judge ruled recently that civil asset forfeiture is unconstitutional. That law needs to be abolished!! The police are now taking more from people than actual thieves!

 Joe argues:

Don't break the law and you won't go to jail. Am I suppose to have some other feelings about this ?

Josh responds:

The people of this state made it perfectly clear that they didn't want the criminal justice system grinding people up for marijuana. They said they wanted cannabis regulated like alcohol. You know what they say about giving someone an inch...although in this case, it looks like they'll take your house and try to ruin your life.

Dan and Ashley thought they were following state guidelines and information on the Denver Police Department's website, which at the time called for marijuana to be "grown in a fully enclosed and locked space, whether indoors or outdoors." After all, their back yard was surrounded by a high privacy fence.

But in addition to racking up a hefty legal tab, the couple's dilemma has also resulted in a change to the language on the DPD  website: "Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly. This means that plants can only be grown in a structure with a permanent roof and solid exterior walls. Marijuana cannot be grown outdoors."

What do you think about Dan and Ashley's predicament? Let us know in a comment or at editorial@westword.com.

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