For Second Time Marijuana Charges Dropped, GARCO Sheriff Critical

Glenwood Springs (AP) Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario is criticizing the state's medical marijuana law, saying it virtually makes police grow the illegal plant to prove a case.

Vallario made the comments after District Attorney Colleen
Truden's office dropped charges against Gene Brownlee because police had destroyed the plants involved in his case.

Investigators had submitted photos and cuttings of the plant,but a judge ruled the actual living plants had to be presented as evidence. A different judge made the same ruling in the case involving Brownlee's ex–wife, Jennifer Ryan. A third person also is charged.

Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team agents say they confiscated 130 marijuana plants from Ryan and Brownlee's apartment.

They both said the marijuana was being grown for medical purposes.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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