The Larimer County Sheriff's Office in Colorado is not a bud of pot grower Kaleb Young, who says officers killed his medical marijuana plants. Young now wants to make them pay.
Acquitted of felony marijuana charges in December 2011,Young is suing the department for $210,000, his lawyer, Robert Corry, of Denver, confirmed to The Huffington Post on Tuesday. The sum includes damages for some growing equipment and the weed confiscated in a raid that led to Young's arrest.
Young claims in the suit that when police converged on his warehouse in September 2010, deputies cut and bagged the plants, eventually destroying their worth. He asserts that the crop should have been preserved, pending the trial's outcome.
The Larimer County Attorney submitted papers recently to have the case thrown out, asserting that Young filed too late, and that the county is protected from civil actions by state law, according to local news outlet The Coloradoan.
Corry responded in court papers April 3 that Young didn't violate the statute of limitations because he didn't learn of the damages until the deadline passed. He also said no Colorado government body was immune from the state's constitution, which mandates that the government provide remuneration for seized property that is legal.
"We think Mr. Young puts on a pretty strong case," Corry said to HuffPost. "Under any legal principle, if the government takes something from you, then it should compensate you if you did nothing wrong, which was the case of Mr. Young."
Young retrieved the marijuana and equipment after the trial, but he says it was already too late for the majority of the cannabis, according to Denver-based blog Westword.
Young's paperwork to receive his state medical marijuana registry card was in limbo at the time of the arrest, but Corry argued during Young's trial for felony cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana that Young had enough documentation to conduct a small-scale farming operation, including a doctor's recommendation. A 14-month legal battle came to an end when Young was cleared of all charges.
Now he wants the county to cough up what he believes is coming to him.