It could be argued that the Drug Enforcement Administration has it tough these days. Not only is marijuana, a Schedule I illegal drug being sold openly in Colorado, but 21 other states have recognized the medical properties of the plant. It is no surprise, then, that stories of the DEA cracking down on marijuana growers and retailers are beginning to take a on an air of futility. A slight majority of Americans now actually believe that marijuana should be legal. It is with this national situation as the backdrop, that the DEA recently raided a woman’s home on seemingly thin evidence that she was involved in the marijuana business.
Last October Drug Enforcement Administration agents conducted a raid on Angela Kirking’s home after having seen the woman make a purchase at a hydroponic’s shop frequented by suspected marijuana growers. According to the woman’s lawyer, the DEA investigated her as a result of her having visited Midwest Hydroganics and purchasing a 16 ounce bottle of organic fertilizer. In the search warrant application, which was filed by a DEA agent seeking permission to raid the woman’s home, he said that he had observed her exiting a garden store with a green bag which contained unknown items. The application also indicated that the DEA had conducted previous investigations on clients of Midwest Hydroganics, some of which lead to arrests.
In order to help boost their warrant application DEA agents sifted through Kirking’s trash, where they found green plant material which field tested as being positive for marijuana. This combined evidence was all that was needed for the DEA agents to obtain the search warrant they sought. Upon searching Kirking’s house – a search that included multiple agents entering the home forcefully with guns raised – DEA agents did not find a marijuana grow operation, but they did find 9.3 grams of the plant, which is less than 1/3 ounce. The DEA did not refer Kirking’s case to federal prosecutors. It will be up to county prosecutors to decide whether or not she will face charges.
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