Colorado Cops Team With DEA to Raid 3 Pot Grows; More to Come

The precedent for cooperation has been set.

Colorado’s El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents played nice with one another last week. The joint forces staged a sort of freaky Friday house party in El Paso County on March 3, raiding three residences and seizing at least 120 marijuana plants and 20 pounds of weed.

The besieged homes were located on Reed Grass Way, River Falls Road, and Greenough Road. News crews observed DEA agents removing what the news crews termed “giant” bags presumably filled with pot from the home at Greenough Road, and residents along Reed Grass Way professed ignorance and shock regarding the clandestine cultivation taking place so close to home.

From local news KTTV:

"I've never really seen it up close and personal, but it's also crazy to know that was right across the street from me,” said neighbor Tiffany Aich.

Ms. Aich’s realization that crazy pot activity was taking place right across the street may become a common epiphany among housing tracts throughout the Mile High State.

A bill currently under consideration in a House committee of the Colorado State legislature would make it a felony to house more than 12 marijuana plants at any residential property throughout the state.

Currently, with a doctor recommendation, Colorado’s registered medical marijuana patients are permitted to cultivate up to 99 plants to supply their medical needs. Some state officials feel that the 99-plant limit facilitates and encourages the diversion of crops meant for personal medical consumption into the legal recreational or illegal black market.

From Denver’s local CBS station:

Colorado currently also allows recreational users to group their allotted six plants into massive co-ops, entire greenhouses of pot that aren’t tracked or taxed.
The large-scale grows are inviting federal scrutiny because it’s too hard to tell if those plants are being legally sold, not sold on the black market, said Rep. KC Becker, a Boulder Democrat who is sponsor of the bill.

Activists believe the proposal to limit personal grow quantities for medical patients is motivated more by concern for tax revenues than a desire to shut down black market cannabis sales. In Colorado, medical marijuana is taxed at a 2.9 percent rate, while the tax on recreational pot starts at 37 percent.

No matter what the motivation, if the proposed limits and felony designation pass, expect that the federal scrutiny mentioned by Rep. KC Becker will play out in joint raids executed by county sheriff’s deputies in conjunction with DEA agents.

The precedent for cooperation has been set.