An underage drinking party in an Old Town home Saturday night led police to a suspected marijuana-growing operation, law enforcement officials said Monday.
Garrett Wiggins, task force commander for the All Crimes Enforcement Team, said he got a call from Steamboat Springs police about 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers had contacted people who directed them to a party in the 300 block of Ninth Street, police Detective Jerry Stabile said. At the house, officers found marijuana plants and youths drinking alcohol, Wiggins said.
He and Stabile worked on the case, requesting a search warrant and acting on it about 3 a.m. Sunday. ACET found about 13 pounds of marijuana, at least 48 marijuana plants and psilocybin, or hallucinogenic, mushrooms, Wiggins said. However, there was no sign that mushrooms were being grown at the house, Stabile said.
The marijuana operation was extensive, Wiggins said.
"It's about anything you could imagine," he said. "There was already processed marijuana ready to be smoked. There were live plants in every stage."
ACET has two possible adult suspects but hasn't arrested anyone, Wiggins said. He would not identify them. One suspect said she had a medical marijuana license, he said.
Authorities found more marijuana at the house than is legal under medical marijuana rules, Stabile said. Colorado's Amendment 20 allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
"We left at the scene what she was legally allowed to have," Wiggins said. "But that has not been proven to be true at this point in time."
According to the state Department of Public Health and Environment's Web site, "a patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card (can) possess no more than 2 ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana."
Even if the suspect or suspects are allowed to have marijuana, the mushrooms are illegal, Wiggins said.
The U.S. Controlled Substances Act classifies psilocybin mushrooms as a Schedule 1 substance. That means they have a high potential for abuse and serve no medical purpose in the United States, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Web site.
Charges are pending, police and ACET officials said.
"If everything comes together in the next month like I expect it to, there should be a lot of arrests coming down the pike," Wiggins said.
Steamboat Springs police also cited about 15 juveniles at the house for possessing alcohol, Stabile said. The relationship between the juveniles and the suspects is being investigated, he said.