Charges dropped in marijuana case against woman

Judge determines evidence from Deborah Eck’s home too old

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Deborah Kay Eck

— A judge deemed the evidence collected from Deborah Kay Eck’s Phippsburg-area home inadmissible during a hearing Monday morning, prompting prosecutors to drop the charges of marijuana cultivation.

Judge Michael O’Hara III ordered that the items gathered in the search of Eck’s Phippsburg-area home — a reported 58 marijuana plants — were not admissible as evidence because the search warrant used to collect them used “stale” information. As a result, Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle moved to have the case dismissed, and the judge granted the order.

According to the order to suppress the evidence, the warrant that granted deputies entry into Eck’s home was based on information gathered by investigators Nov. 17, when a confidential informant said he had seen marijuana plants in Eck’s home Oct. 30 last year. The informant again was interviewed in December before the house was searched.

On Dec. 17, a SWAT team, led by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, searched the homes of Eck and her son. They did not find anything in her son’s house.

Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mike Curzon, who was in charge of the investigation, said the warrant was delayed by negations regarding the confidential informant. Curzon said the Routt County Public Defender’s office and the district attorney’s office were involved in discussions during the time between when the testimony from the informant was first provided and when the warrant was served.

“That’s the way it goes,” Curzon said. “It was a concern we had, we raised it, and the DA was happy to go ahead with it, but it was obviously a bigger issue than they thought.”

By the time the houses were searched, the evidence from the informant was 46 days old.

O’Hara, in his ruling, noted that precedent from other cases in the state shows that 30 days can create “stale” evidence, though there is no definite time period that makes evidence too old to use.

There also was some evidence of increased use of electricity at the home in the period Eck was thought to be growing marijuana, but O’Hara said that was not always inconsistent with her neighbors’ use.

Eck, who was represented by Steamboat Springs attorney Drew Johnroe, said she was very happy with the outcome and had been confident she would win. Johnroe could not be reached for comment Monday.

District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham said she was not involved in the discussions in the case. Prindle was not available Monday afternoon.

Comments

Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

And now the Sheriff's dept should do an internal review and find out how they so completely messed this case up. A major part of the internal review should be examining the apparently inept electrical usage analysis. That sort of electrical usage evidence is supposed to be like DNA, irrefutable scientific proof. It is just wrong that the Sheriff's dept got it completely wrong for one house and severely miscalculated the scope of the growing operation at the other house.

This is important because seemingly the Sheriff's dept could smash into any residence in the county with a SWAT team at any time based upon some tip and apparently incorrectly analyzed electricity usage data.

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1999 3 years, 12 months ago

and how much money was wasted o the fiasco?????

heads should roll

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

Scott,

Did it ever occur to you that, maybe, her neighbors were ALSO growing pot under lights at the same time? Maybe they were ALL in on the operation.

According to some of the people who post in these forums, everybody is using pot, so why not suppose that everybody with room to do so is also growing it?

Maybe a better approach is to benchmark the power usage of legitimate growing operations and use that data to identify unlawful growers.

I have friends who live here in the summer, leave for warmer climes in October, but return for the holidays. Their electrical usage probably jumps way up in November and December too. The difference is that if you walk up and knock on their door, they will be happy to show you that they're not growing pot.

This lady has paid a big price in legal fees depite the failure of the criminal prosecution. If she's smart, that will be enough to deter future infractions, especially since she's got to know that now she's on a watch list, and so is everyone who visits her home.

I say this because a former brother in law of mine was busted for free lance pharmacology and running charter trips for Haitian sports fishermen a few years ago. My former father in law put up his house to guarantee the boy's bond. Everyone else in the family had their phones tapped, mail delayed, and taxes audited. That was a federal operation, however, so maybe it doesn't apply around here.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Aic, For the subpoena the Sheriff's dept also presented electrical usage evidence that the empty house also was a grow house. In a actual grow house the electrical usage is through the roof. The excess heat from the lights does not just warm up the house, but requires ventilation so that it does not cook the plants. In British Columbia where this was started as a tool of law enforcement, they are talking about electricity many times more than average.

This dual SWAT team operation was not to catch someone growing some plants. Their raid was to find something closer to 1,000 plants, not 58. It was to catch major growing operations protected with guns. That did not exist. Their informant did not tell the truth. The Sheriff's dept got electrical usage data and instead of realizing that it showed that their informant was lying, convinced themselves that it showed a growing operation. But the judge at trial had no problems seeing through that.

If the Sheriff's dept doesn't feel like doing an internal review to protect citizens of the county from SWAT raids due to bad information then at the very least they might want to stop losing cases due to judges suppressing their evidence.

The local DA office apparently has an unfortunate policy of refusing to recognize deeply flawed police work and continuing on with a case until the judge tosses it. Remember they pursued Cargo's case even after the DMV hearing officer tossed the evidence and wasted resources until the judge in her criminal case reached the same (obvious) conclusion.

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Duke_bets 3 years, 12 months ago

It does seem that the entire investigation was botched. 2 swat teams for a 50+ year lady in P-burg. That's close to one guy per plant seized.

The only good to come of this is that all the small time drug peddlers have been warned.

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

Scott,

LED grow lights are now available which quickly pay off in electricity savings, and use only 10% to 15% as much power as regular bulbs, meaning less heat is generated. I'd estimate the energy requirement for 58 plants for a month is around $200. Not enough to draw anyone's attention using the electric meter analysis method.

The cost of LED bulbs is quickly repaid by the lower electricity costs, plus there are fewer of them, they are more reliable and robust, and easier to move.

Considering that the cost of running incandescent grow lights for 58 plants would be around $1000 per month, it should have been obvious in usage data if the older lamps were being used, but probably wouldn't show up at all with LED lamps.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 12 months ago

Aich-

For the love of god, stop pretending like you know what you're talking about. Googling various topics and clicking the first handful of links does not make you an expert on the subject. And you say that I make you look stupid.....right.

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trump_suit 3 years, 12 months ago

Aich, didn't you say you were heating with Electricity instead of propane due to the cost savings? Better watch out, it might be your house they raid next. Compared to your wood burning neighbors, your monthly costs are much higher. Hmmmmmm

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Glenn Little II 3 years, 12 months ago

Aich is getting ready for a stealth operation with some leds..

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14th_to_OAR 3 years, 12 months ago

Apparently my prior comment got removed without even making that apparent on the blog, though I said nothing in violation of comment rules. It's just been "disappeared." Hmm.

Maybe blogging wouldn't be necessary if the local media simply covered their politicians comprehensively.

The quotes in the story speak for themselves. Liz Oldham claims she wasn't involved in discussions about the case. She is a liar and common sense is all that's necessary to conclude that

Read all about Oldham here: http://wp.me/pzqev-d2

I thought criticism of politicians is at the heart of the First Amendment. Nothing I wrote has been disputed. She admitted her unethical conduct in a lengthy interview. I know some of you saw my earlier post. Most of it was quotes from the article.

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JJ Southard 3 years, 12 months ago

I think I might just collect some research to send to the Governor of Colorado & maybe even the president... How much $$$ have the LEO's of NW Colorado wasted on botched drug raids? How many people's lives have been overturned, only to be told, "oops, we messed up, AGAIN. Sorry about that, you can go home now. We won't mess with you again. We're idiots."

I bet it calculates to enough $ to put in a few parks, maybe a couple new schools, and we might not have even had to have laid off as many government workers in our local communities in the last year & half. Come on cops...wtf?

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14th_to_OAR 3 years, 12 months ago

DrGeenGenes and everyone else. Your DA doesn't even bother to put up a website. I was told she was not available by email. So call up their offices. All of them, several times a day asking how much this cost. And ask about how she could possibly not have been involved in this case. If all of us do this, not just those posting, but all the others that are reading and agree with us, we can accomplish something.

You pay her $110,00 per year salary, plus her 13% PERA pension. By the way, when you elected her in 2008, she only made $80k.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Aic, If the grower is not using high amounts of electricity then the Sheriff's dept cannot use electrical usage to show that a suspected house is, in fact, a grow operation.

The point of the electrical usage analysis is to provide EVIDENCE of a grow operation. The authorities are making an argument to a judge in order to get a subpoena that the electrical usage is strong evidence of a grow operation. It is strong evidence when the electrical usage is so high that any normal occupant would be extremely upset at such a big bill and yet the electricity bill is that high month after month.

It appears that the Sheriff's dept in this case fundamentally misunderstood this concept and created electrical usage evidence that was simply FALSE. It was completely wrong for one house and tossed by the judge for the house were 58 plants were found.

The DA should have been able to figure that out. The Sheriff's dept should figure out how it got this wrong so it can get it right next time.

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14th_to_OAR 3 years, 12 months ago

Scott: Make sure you call DA Elizabeth Oldham by her full name. That way it gets Google placement. These comments come up on Google searches.

Great, consistent and funny postings, by the way.

I'm not some outsider, either. I saw Oldham's performance in Summit. Those of you in Grand, Summit, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Boulder or Jeffco can do something before 2013. Oppose her other former boss, Mark Hurlbert. Heck, even if you're not in those counties you can always help out his opponent, Tim Leonard. He's conservative but libertarian. Way more progressive on pot than Mark Hurlbert. www.timleonardforstatesenate.com.>

My little blog, www.abusivediscretion.wordpress.com, has already brought into the daylight some of the bunk that goes on. I've seen how change can really happen at the grassroots level (no pun intended). Call and call and call the DA's office until Elizabeth Oldham answers the legitmate questions raised by the electorate that pays her. No website? What's up with that. Senate and House candidates in Colo. are using free and easy wordpress blog/websites. Sounds to me that she is not into being open with the public.

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tcb 3 years, 12 months ago

Sure, the DA's Office takes some responsibility for this mess. However, let's not forget that some knucklehead at the Sheriff's Office put together the search warrant.....and a judge ultimately signed the search warrant. You telling me that NOBODY along the way was bright enough to figure out the information was stale? Isn't that something that's taught in law school and police academies? Maybe Wall and his staff should pay more attention to case law than to teaching concealed carry classes on County time.

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14th_to_OAR 3 years, 12 months ago

Correct, Tcb. But no one ever can be charged with a crime without the DA bringing the charge. The District Attorney is the most powerful player in the criminal justice system.

Even once the illegal search occurred, it didn't need to go further than that. The DA is the one who took it further and filed criminal charges. Judges these days are so dumb that they'd probably sign a confession to being the "real killer" instead of Ted Bundy if some cop shoved it in front of them. Which moronic judge signed this warrant?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

tcb, Judges rarely turn down search warrants. It would be pretty rare for a judge to review detailed analysis of electrical usage and then decide it was not convincing. The informant's info might have been a bit stale, but the judge also had the electrical usage analysis.

The flaws in the analysis became obvious when the expected grow operations were found not to exist. Then we learn from Ms Eck's daughter posting that the analysis included fundamental errors such as comparing houses with propane with electricity only.

After the search she had a lawyer to challenge the search warrant and had a great argument - what was expected was not found. So the lawyer could then figure out why their analysis was wrong. And what was not found also gave the stale information argument credibility. Either the info was stale or it was a flat out lie.

I note that Ms Eck's daughter posted that the informant was accused of domestic violence. This paper should follow this story and find out what sort of deal the informant received.

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oldskoolstmbt 3 years, 12 months ago

yampavalleyboy~ hahaha! LMAO!....yeah, so we have wiggins on one end and wall on the other, neither one got it right....hmmm...there's gonna be a new sheriff in town and hopefully his name will be BOSICK!

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

MMJ,

Shout at the wind. You'll make more progress.

Trumpet,

I'm not worried about the SWAT team busting into my house because my electric bill goes up during the heating season. For one thing, I have nothing to hide from the police. Anyone observing my home for violations of this sort would be able to see that nothing unlawful is going on.

14th_

Our judges are far from stupid. They know exactly how to work the system, and that's what happened here.

Who do you think protects the traffickers? Duh . . . Haven't you kept up with the pro pot history of our local courts? The cops have to arrest a caucasian for something once in a while when it's unavoidable, but the non-violent non-Mexican non-gang suppliers get a pass whenever possible. They provide an essential service to the legal community. Holding the case until the evidence went "stale" was a perfect way to dispose of this one. Only the potentially violent traffickers who cut into the white-collar cocaine highway (I mean runway) profits get sent to the pokey around here. Would it surprise you to know that there are ties to the Republican party? Yeah, really. It goes back years and years.

The only two white folk busts for trafficking that have stuck around here were the lady whose kid was having a party and the cops stumbled into it, and the guy in Stagecoach whose landlord turned him in.

It's not stupidity. There's nobody to supervise them except the voters who can remove the judges and DAs from office at the ballot box. Ms. Oldham and her office cannot enforce the laws when the judges and the police combine forces to #### up the paperwork so the defendant walks on a technicality. It happens all the time, and has happened for many years. If you have a friend who gets in a jam and gets summoned to court, you just "lose" the paperwork so they show up in court and the DA doesn't know anything about the cse. Case Dismissed! The judge has "no choice."

Oh, by the way, there is no indication that the RCSO has been a part of this situation under Sheriff Wall. Just wanted to clear that up. It was different in the past. Sheriff Wall cleaned house and it smells much better over there now.

So, the problem here was that the local police tried to do their jobs. If they had not interfered with a peaceful growing operation, nobody would have been in trouble in the first place. I'm just hoping that they can eventually get enough evidence of collusion to go to the CBI or FBI and DOJ for a state or federal investigation.

The judges in our district have a long history of ignoring federal law when certain attorneys and their clients get in a jam. There are a number of us around here who know that only too well, and can't wait until someone on the federal side turns off the porn long enough to investigate. Like THAT's going to happen . . . .

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Clearsky 3 years, 12 months ago

The punishment should be that she has to smoke all the marijuana she grew just like our parents did with their kids when they caught us smoking tobacco. Really, we are destroying the Earth and we are worried about this petty subject.

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oldskoolstmbt 3 years, 12 months ago

aich~On Dec. 17, a SWAT team, led by the Routt County Sheriff’s Office, searched the homes of Eck and her son.

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oldskoolstmbt 3 years, 12 months ago

aich~"the warrant that granted deputies entry into Eck’s home was based on information gathered by investigators Nov. 17" ........"Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mike Curzon, who was in charge of the investigation, said the warrant was delayed by negations regarding the confidential informant." smells like the sheriff's office to me....

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

skool,

You may be right. I didn't say RCSO was not to blame. I said they probably didn't intentionally delay anything to get the charges dropped. Big difference.

Judge O'Hara decided the evidence was too old. That matter is within his discretion. He could just as easily have ruled that it was still valid, and given the defendant the choice of a plea bargain or to appeal on the grounds of "stale" evidence if she opted for a trial and lost. I can show you other papers where Judge O'Hara acted against a defendant well after a statutory deadline had passed. The judges can make it easy or hard for a defendant, depending on what they want to do. In this case, he made it easy, and that's okay with me in this case because she still has the legal fees to pay and this whole matter of record to contend with the next time she is arrested. The cost of a trial was saved, a person who is not dangerous doesn't end up in jail, and justice of a sort was served. She is probaby deterred from growing pot in the future, but if not, getting off on another technicality may be much harder.

In the legal system, there are not two choices. There are four.

Innocent-innocent guilty but found innocent innocent but found guilty guilty and found guilty

Judges have a certain amount of latitude, which can be good. It can also be bad. Negotiating with the informer in this case over his own plea bargain deal may be the cause of the delay, but given the season (Nov 17 - Dec 17) with Thanksgiving rolled in there and people out of town, etc., a matter which might usually take one or two weeks could have stretched to four. In a case where there are 30 days to act, under the rules of the court, Dec 17 would have been the 30th day.

Honestly, given Judge O'Hara's formerly stated policy of avoidng trials because of the cost in the face of State budget cuts, and the fact that this lady is now a known grower who will be watched, I think he used the possibility of a successful appeal on the stale evidence issue to save the court some money.

Nobody is saying she didn't grow the pot. It was confiscated. She lost a bundle. She didn't "win" a thing. She just avoided some of the consequences of her actions.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 12 months ago

Aich- Like I said, I can't tell you how to accept reality.

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

valley boy,

Nice point. Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

There's a big difference between what time it is and what your watch says.

The technicalities are important.

Occam's Razor is a scientific principle which states that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation is the correct one. If an informant went to the police on October 30th and the search was not conducted until December 17th, it's most likely that either someone with knowledge of the case tipped off the defendants in time for them to move or process the evidence in the 48 days that elapsed, or that they just had time to move the stuff and lucked out.

Our local folks don't know how to follow money in these cases. The Colorado Department of Revenue takes no action against tax evaders unless the IRS acts first. As long as people with documented income are paying an appropriate amount of tax on what the feds know about, nobody is ever going to bother them.

Our local agencies are not interested in busting pot growers. That's the lesson to be learned from this affair.

Last week I visited a place where every car going through the gate was getting a sniff from a drug dog. I've never seen a drug dog in Routt County. There's a reason why. One of them might find something.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

AIC, Wow That is all I can say. I have never heard someone so sure of themselves. Did you dream up all of this up or do you really believe what you are saying. The reason the case got dropped is because the information was 40+ days stale, Oct 31st- Dec 16th. It is not considered stale because Judge O'Hara just decided it was stale or because he is trying to protect white non-violent growers. It is ruled stale because it was decided 6 years ago in Colorado Supreme Court that if an informant gives information to the police and a warrant is not executed within 30 days then the investigating officers have to provide substantial evidence that the crime is still ongoing. People vs. Miller This is to protect people from other people who have grudges and will tell the police anything to get their charges reduced, and to protect from unlawful search and seizures.
Implying that the legal community purposefully waited till the information was stale so that the charges could be later dropped is also completely ridiculous. The DA fought tooth and nail to try and get a conviction of any kind. The only problem was that the information was stale which made the warrant invalid and any form of prosecution impossible. The fact that they either didn't know about the Supreme Court ruling regarding staleness of information or that they chose to ignore it in hopes that they could stick Ms. Eck with a conviction without her knowing about this prior ruling shows that the RCSO and the DA are either inept or malicious.
I also like your comment defending Sheriff Wall. Oh, by the way, there is no indication that the RCSO has been a part of this situation under Sheriff Wall. Just wanted to clear that up. It was different in the past. Sheriff Wall cleaned house and it smells much better over there now.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

I wonder where you work or who you are related too. Who do you think collected the information, investigated, (if that is what you want to call it) presented the evidence to the DA, convinced him to take it to the judge, executed the warrant, interrogated innocent loved ones of Ms. Eck then conveniently lost the tapes of the conversations later due to the fact that there was nothing but threats from the interrogating officer (Ken Klinger Alpha Team leader ). There is more to that story but I don't feel like getting into it because it would only make my life miserable. As far as it smelling much better over there I have two examples of how it smells worse. The officer who was relived of duty in Oak Creek for turning off his camera, not calling for backup, and tazzing Cargo prompting an ongoing lawsuit which will cost the city of Oak Creek thousands. Where do you think he works now, he is a full time dispatcher for the RCSO. What about the former Steamboat Springs Police Officer who got drunk one night, drove around in a Police Durango with a loaded weapon after allegedly assaulting his wife. Where do you think he works now? He is one of the RCSO outstanding deputies. And how about Sheriff Wall himself, has he accomplished anything during his term besides screaming at the County Commissioners, hiring two officers who were fired from other agencies for drunkenness and violence, and proclaiming how useless ACET and Wiggins are? Why I believe he has made the papers for something else. Didn't he get charged of DUI while carrying a loaded weapon? But like you said, It smells much better over there now . You made another remark that I liked.
Trumpet,

I'm not worried about the SWAT team busting into my house because my electric bill goes up during the heating season. For one thing, I have nothing to hide from the police. Anyone observing my home for violations of this sort would be able to see that nothing unlawful is going on.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

I had nothing to hide either and anyone (RCSO investigator Curzon) should have seen that nothing illegal was going on inside. What happened instead was two explosives were placed on my front door, detonated, and a Swat Team ransacked my house dumping the contents of drawers on the floor and probbing every corner of my home only to recover $19 dollars and a phone bill. Thankfully no one was home, and I say that only because the way the Alpha Team leader Ken Klinger a.k.a. the legend in his own mind conducted himself while interrogating and threatening my girlfriend. I'm pretty sure I would have been face down with rifles pointed at my head while they counted the $19 dollars two or three time to make sure they counted it right. Another classic quote of yours “I have friends who live here in the summer, leave for warmer climes in October, but return for the holidays. Their electrical usage probably jumps way up in November and December too. The difference is that if you walk up and knock on their door, they will be happy to show you that they're not growing pot.” So I guess this means that you are advocating a new law that allows law enforcement to knock door-to-door asking the residence to let them in and check for anything illegal, if they don’t find anything they can check them off a list, and if the owner doesn’t let them in then they can be suspicious and watch the residence more closely? Maybe you should try and collect some signatures and see if you can’t get that one put on the ballot. I know of that working in a European country back in the 1930's and 40's but I don’t think they were looking for pot. I leave you with a quote from Judge Michael O’Hara III in his letter to the DA after he motioned for a dismissal. “A reasonably well/trained Police Officer is held to know that an affidavit without any relatively current information of illegal activity or the presence of contraband does not create probable cause to search a residence”. “The Good Faith exception cannot save this Warrant”. It sure helps to have the facts doesn't it.

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trump_suit 3 years, 12 months ago

Alpha, My comment was directed completely and totally at the hypocrisy that Aich shows on this issue. It was in no way intended for the situation that you have encountered.

You make some valid points about how the process was abused. I hope that you can find a way give voice to your complaints and to make your displeasure known.

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justice4all 3 years, 12 months ago

Any wonder why we do not trust the courts? This was a terrible miscarriage of justice. How about the people that are accused, can not afford an attorney and are basically forced to accept a plea, even though they are innocent. This is a Joseph DeAngelo ( the investigator with the DA, s office ) tactic. He and the DA threaten to spend a lot of tax payers money to inconvenience you an bankrupt you so you will have no economic choice but to accept the plea. Do a search of " JOSEPH DEANGELO, FORT WAYNE POLICE OFFICER " and see what we now have in the 14th Judicial District. I think myou will find him to be a disgusting person and a sorry excuse for an officer. The DA should be required to reimburse these people for ALL their expenses and pain and suffering! How about the woman that stole the money from the homeowners association and the DA would not file charges until pressured to do so. Save your old moving boxes for Oldamn. She will go the same way that Rostink went---

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Justice4All, I did that search and it seems to me that you should do that search because I did not find what you claimed. I found an appellate court decision that said even what she said was true (and listed those claims) then she loses the case. It did not say that her claims were true.and in fact points out that several of her claims seem rather incredible (40 years in jail for a small amount of cocaine? That despite being free for 3 days that she couldn't talk to a lawyer).

I don't know DeAngelo, but I don't see anything that shows he is a bad officer.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

Trump, I wasn't refering to you it was just the beginning of Aich's quote.

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

Alpha,

Okay, professor. You've got all the answers. Would you like to hear some of the questions now?

Why do we have a "Bill of Rights?"

Because we were formed from people who fled a brutal monarchy. The people and the land were owned by the King. He could do as he pleased. The Magna Carta gave the people some rights, but old ideas and attitudes died hard. The so-called "nobility" got away with plenty, while the common folks paid the price. Back in them days, a pot head wandering down Lincoln Ave could easily have found himself waking up in a hammock aboard a ship of the Royal Navy, "pressed" into service for a 2-year voyage without so much as a Visa card or American Airlines to help get him back home.

The search warrant is designed to protect polictical dissidents from having soldiers break in and gather evidence to convict them of treason and allow them to be stood up against a wall and shot on the whim of the local authorities. The guarantee to a trial by jury goes along with that idea. The right against self-incrimination protects us from authorities using torture to force a confession. All that stuff still happens sometimes, but at least it's illegal, and we don't have a so-called "nobility" to claim sovreign immunity.

Nowhere, my friend, did any of the founding fathers anticipate a situation where the Bill of Rights would become a cash cow for criminal defense attorneys protecting career criminals and criminal enterprises from prosecution. Unfortunately, the portions of the Constitution enacted to protect political dissidents also protect those who victimize innocent or stupid common citizens.

Large scale marijuana cultivation for profit, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, is not a protected activity. You get involved in that, and you are taking your chances. The common people who see their kids killed and maimed after using pot and alcohol and whatever else you unlawful profiteers care to sell to them are sick and ####ing tired of it. Raising a decent kid who can support himself and be an asset to the family is hard enough without some yo-yo in Colorado raising 1000 marijuana plants. Get it?

You are not doing anything noble or admirable. You are making a profit off human weakness and misery. Then you turn around and complain when the cops don't do their jobs with 100% efficiency. If a few people involved in the drug trade are inconvenienced by a SWAT raid . . . wait for it . . . WE DON'T CARE!

Engaging in a criminal enterprise (growing pot) made you vulnerable to blackmail. Welcome to the 21st century. You were doing something illegal, and you took a chance, and it literally blew up in your face. You're lucky you didn't get caught in the crossfire by accident. Maybe there really WERE guns and violent criminals involved in the operation and they were simply gone by the time the warrant was executed.

(cont)

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 12 months ago

Aic, Bill of Rights was written because it was recognized at the time that individuals have rights that need to be protected because any form of gov't could become tyrannical. It was not to protect us from a monarchy because the US Constitution was clearly not a monarchy.

The search warrant was not to just protect political dissidents. It was to protect everyone by requiring due process of law.

I see no reason to believe our Founding Fathers would be upset that defendants hired lawyers to defend themselves and that those lawyers would protest when the police failed to follow due process when searching someone's house. They might be surprised that our law evolved to include the "exclusionary" principle (that evidence from a bad search warrant cannot be used), but then looking at the history suggests that the exclusionary rule is (unfortunately) the only way to stop police from routinely abusing people's constitutional rights.

I, and hopefully others, do care when the police fail to follow the law. Someone suspected of a crime does not lose their constitutional rights and justify a bad search warrant and so on.

Law enforcement is not an easy job and officers should not be fired for every mistake and need to be recognized as people. Their mistakes should be analyzed so at least the same mistakes are not made again.

It is absolutely bizarre that you go off ranting about yo-yos raising 1,000 mj plants when the SWAT raids found ZERO at one house and 58 at the other. Seems like you are arguing that if the police had good information and had properly done the electricity usage analysis and had found the expected large scale grow operations at both houses that it would have been a good bust. Well duh, but that is not what happened.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

Calm down officer. All I did was give you the facts of the case and poke some fun at your foundness for fascist policing tactics of the past. Apparently you still don't get it. There was never 1000 plus plants as a matter of a fact there was never any at my residence. Good luck raising your decent kid with you red pot flag flying high. Now what were your questions? Or were you just giving a little more of your priceless insight.

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TWill 3 years, 12 months ago

I'm glad aich's around to liven these forums up a little bit. Otherwise, it would basically be just a bunch of dopers agreeing with each other about the magical wonders of Mother Weed.

Don't let 'em gang up on you, aich. There's plenty of people out there that are picking up what you're laying down.

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TWill 3 years, 12 months ago

p.s.- alpha, it's not a red pot flag, look closer db.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 12 months ago

Great...just what we need...another ego-stroker for aich. But you're right, aich is the marijuana douche bag.

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

(cont)

Police officers don't have to be all that smart, friend. Most of them are great guys doing a dangerous job, but a whole bunch of them don't know much more than rote procedures which they follow for guidance. They're not lawyers, and if you expect them to have that kind of knowledge and analytical ability, you're dreaming.

The truly "wrong" thing that happened here is that the warrant was not executed more quickly, and the people invovled in the growing operation are not going to jail for a real long time.

Bootleggers, traffickers, smugglers, pirates and jewel thieves -- oh and art thieves -- have been romanticized in our society by films and TV shows, but some innocent person loses whenever anything is stolen, produced illegally or sold on the black market.

When you sell drugs, you expose yourself to the criminal element in our society and you risk contact with law enforcement. That's the risk you take. It came back and bit you, and now you blame the cops. Give me a break.

A reasonable and honest person threatened with blackmail does what? They go to the police. A person being blackmailed because they are engaged in criminal activity has nowhere to turn. Why do you think the Mafia kills people who cross them? Your blackmailer would be sealed in concrete somewhere if he pulled that stuff back east. What do you think the U S Marshal witness protection program is all about?

The day may come when your exploits are romanticized in song and story and you're sitting back on your yacht, rolling in dough from selling legalized marijuana. In the meantime, the stars and planets lined up to take you off the hook.

If you were not engaged in anything illegal, you should have gone to the police the instant you were threatened by the informant.

Why didn't you do that? What did you have to fear from the police?

Where do you work? How do you make your money? Can you provide tax records to support your income, expenses and lifestyle?

Ms Eck had a record involving marijuana. 58 plants were found and confiscated. Can you prove that you had no knowledge? If not, someone could argue that failing to turn her in makes you part of a conspiracy to traffic.

Just because the charges were dropped on a technicality, that doesn't make anybody innocent. There was reasonable cause to suspect a crime was being committed, because some judge signed a search warrant.

The drug trade has not turned violent around here yet. I've got family living in places where murders occur every day. If legalization doesn't arrive quickly, violence in our streets is going to be next, and then where will the poor pacifistic pot growers be?

Fascist. LOL. Your problem is named "cartel," but you just don't know it yet. You'll be paying protection money to them or being kidnapped awaiting delivery of the cash from your latest crop. Violent criminals do violent things, and Colorado is about to find out how bad it can be.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

Twill, Your right, I should have looked closer, by golley if it isn't an ashtray with some bud in it. You saw right through me and my bad eyes, my douchbaggery is evident to everyone now, i'm so embarassed!!!

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

Aic, Your right police officers don't have to be all that smart. Apparently all they need is a drivers license and the ability to make a split second judgment that could involve someones life while they wield a high powered semi-automatic weapon. Investigators, the DA, and perhaps the Judge who signed the warrant that contained no probable cause do to stale information should probably know better on the other hand. It wasn't that the warrant wasn't executed quickly enough, it was executed one day after it was signed. It was the fact that the info regarding me personally was BS and the info regarding my mom was stale.
You ask why I didn't go to the police when I was blackmaled? First of all who said anything about being blackmaled? The informant was a former business partner of mine (electrical and low voltage company cause I know you are already making assumptions) who thought that I owed him money that I legally didn't do to the fact that I had loaned him some money in the past. When he threatened me physically and wouldn't stop knocking on my door at all hours of the night, I went to my attorney and had a restraining order pulled against him. This led to his confession about my mom and while he was at it he threw me into the mix.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

As far as where I work, I have many jobs including remodeling homes, roofing, ranching, and working a night shift driving railroaders around so that I can pay my bills and survive. And yes I do pay taxes!!!
Your comment about my mom having an existing record involving marijuana is also false. How would you know about her past record anyway, do you know her Social Security number cause you would need that to have acess to such records. She has never been arrested untill now. I love how all of your facts are made up in your head or derived from false info in the first newspaper article that came out. Another false fact is the 58 plants, try 30 immature plants, once again more false info put out by your local Sheriffs department. On top of all of this, I never said that she was innocent, I simply stated that the poorly done investigation sent a SWAT team to my residence where they proceeded to rip my house apart in search of something that was never there.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

As far as me refering to your ideas as facist. Your statement about having the cops knock on you or your friends doors to see if someone has anything illegal, without probable cause, wheather they are willing to let them in or not is a definition of facism!!! Another thing that I love about all of your judgmental postings is that you are annonymous!!! We all know who I am and I have made that abundantly clear ever since my old posts when I first tried to explain what was going on. WHO ARE YOU??? You have no problem telling me how it is or what the facts are even though you have no more facts in your arsenal than rumor, hearsay or what happend to your brother-in-law in some unrelated case in some other state. Who said anything about her trafficing drugs, that was never a charge in the first place. So onece again WHO ARE YOU and why should I care what you have to say. Anonymity is the veil of you cowardly accusations. As far as wheather I knew or not regarding my mom, I told the investigator that I knew she had a couple of plants but I also told him "What am I suppose to do turn in my mom!" I assume that you would have no problem doing that considering your high moral standing and quest for what you consider a perfect world.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 12 months ago

Aich would handcuff his own mother if he even so much as thought he smelled the faintest whiff of that devils lettuce on her person. She'd probably get a good pepper spraying just for saying anything. I bet he'd go all "Rodney King" on her too.

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bandmama 3 years, 12 months ago

SHHHH!!!!! Aich cant tell us who he is, remember? He worked in "intelligence" if he told us he would have to arrest us or kill us. SHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! But, I can vouch that Alpha works very hard and has since the day I met him. And Alpha, if you ever get that yacht and are rolling in all that dough (HAHAHAHAAAA!!!) can I go for a ride???

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aichempty 3 years, 12 months ago

Alpha,

Okay, here's how it goes. I sincerely apologize for spreading any false information about you or your family. Take it up with the Pilot. They have not printed a retraction.

I am anonymous because I've already had my life threatened by a felon drug abuser who I did my best to get locked up in the real jail where he belongs. Belongs. He's still free if he's still alive. I just don't find it convenient to advertise my location (I'm in "the book," get it?).

You have been handed a dirty bag to deal with, and that's a shame. You illustrate perfectly what it's like for an honest man to try to make a living around here, depending on low lifes for help.

Just gotta point out that you admitted right up there above that there were 30 plants. I think that's plenty to support a felony conviction for cultivation and intent to traffic. Your mom got off easy. Now take care of her so she stays out of trouble, or cut her loose to fend for herself. Your choice.

The tragedy in all this is that people around here think it's somehow okay to traffic in controlled substances for fun and profit. It's not. Got any questions about that one?

You have courage for coming out in defense of your mother. Would I turn in my own family? In a ####### heartbeat. I've been dragged through that mess before and they all know how I feel about the possibility of doing it again. If a person has so little regard for me that they put my life, property, assets and loved ones in a conflict with drug traffickers and/or police, they don't deserve my protection.

People don't change. Only by chance will you escape some further problem related to the same behavior. You owe it to yourself to protect yourself. Next time you find pot in your mother's house, you should dial 911 and wait for the police to arrive, and open the door to let them in. Otherwise, stay away from her. Somebody may get shot next time. You never know what's going to happen if a cop sees or hears the wrong thing at the right time. Either cooperate with them 100%, or avoid them and anything that may get their attenion 100%. Otherwise, you're likely to end up just like you are now; caught in the middle and wishing you had stayed out of it.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 12 months ago

You're a piece of work aich. Really, I mean that.

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AlphaTeam 3 years, 12 months ago

Thanks for the advice.:) Im afraid that my love and loyalty to my family will take more than a few plants to break. Once again there was no trafficking or traffickers for that matter just a discruntled ex business partner. I am not worried about what is going to happen in the future but i'm pretty sure that if someone I love did something this minor I would not shun their existance. I have lost alot of respect for the sheriffs dept and how they spread rumors among themselves and treat information on cases like this as their own little joke to be used against those involved or as they see fit. I have the unfortunate circumstance of having to deal with a few of the members of the RCSO in a round about way through the relationships that I have with other loved ones and I am tired of their accusations and judgmental comments. And belive me, I have it easy compared to some of my loved ones who have to hear the latest rumor coming from the RCSO. It's unfortuante that they think case info is good banter to be shared amongst themselves and their friends and it is not just my moms case. Eventually the hatefull and malicious comments of certain RCSO employees get back to some of those that I love through the grape vine and it becomes worse than ever being convicted of a crime in the first place. A few of the employees are extremely unprofessional in how they conduct themselves and vocalize their oppinions of me and for that matter their distain for the residents of South Routt. It has also been very interesting to watch the prosecution in action over the past few months, even when they know they can't get the conviction they want they will delay and delay in hopes of depleating the defendents resources. Offering better deals and plea bargains in the hope that the defendant has had enough and will just take one in order to get it over with and stop having to come to court where the DA proclaims that he hasn't made a decision and we will just have to come back in a few weeks. It took about 8 different court dates in the lower court with no decision, but only 10min in district court where the judge motioned for dismissal and the end of this sherade. The only justice in the hall of justice lies on the second floor of the building the first floor is just there to move people through like an assembly line, lecturing people on how they should live their lives and collecting fines for the court.

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kathy foos 3 years, 11 months ago

I dont know who you are Aich,dont care ,you are just anonymous,its nice.Just say what you want ,its very interesting and you care alot about everyone to post like you do,cant say I agree with you all of the time,but you are passionate and caring,I wish more people cared about something that matters as much as you do.I know that you take alot of guff for speaking up,without you it would be boring .

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bandmama 3 years, 11 months ago

Good Morning. I happened to run into a very good friend this morning and this incident came up. She have lived in the valley 36 years and is now saving up for a computer. She has asked me to write this for her, her on line name would be Lovely Linda when she is able to post for herself. Please note these are her words ver batum. "I agree with Aich. That old womas should be in maximum security prison, even if there were 30 plants she broke the law. Deputies dont need to be educated. They are soldiers in the field. We should all support them. They are doing the best they can. I hope Gary Walls gets re elected he is a lot cuter than the other two. Wall was framed on the DUI! That was a conspiricy involving the state patrol, city police ACET and the judicial system. The one officer is still with his wife so she couldn't have been hurt that badly. That woman in Oak Creek deserved to be electrocuted!!! It is the officers discression. he is the one that knows what needs to be done. If you really are an officer I would love to meet you aich. We think alike. I hope you live in the area. Vote for Wall so he can keep up the good work. He will have alot more experience in his next term. Alpha Leader, you are a legend in my mind. The way you control your woman, all men should be like you, you are so fit for your age."

Again, please note that this was written for Lovely Linda, (L.L) The opinions stated are not bandmama's. Although comiing from a vererable member of the community, I somehow sense a lot of dripping sarcasm from her words. If any of you would like torespond to this post to LL, you may, I will be sure that she gets the message, on the otheer hand if anyone wants to help this poor old lady with her computor fund, she appreciates prayers.

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aichempty 3 years, 11 months ago

Bandmama,

Hey, I don't need anymore fans. My house is full of them (ba-dump-bump).

Sun,

You are right. I do care about people, and the ones who are already dead or refuse to help themselves are beyond hope. I discovered many years ago that most people who get into trouble and then are "saved" do it themselves. Usually, the rescuers only show up in time to give them a ride home.

I guess, mostly, I post because I like to bust the chops of people who either take advantage of others, claim a special privilege for themselves that others don't get, or expect the rest of us to support their unrealistic wants.

My number one targets are the people who use power granted to them by the State to rob, steal, extort, or otherwise unlawfully take money and property from people who are defenseless because their guardians should be the very people who are committing the wrongs. These are the law enforcement officers, court employees and licensed attorneys who are sworn to uphold the laws, but instead, use their power granted by law to unfairly and unlawfully invoke the power of the State of Colorado. That's not everybody who works in these systems by a long shot; just the ones who are corrupt. They know who they are, and they know I can't do anything about it, but you never know when something may change. Crooked Wall Street executives who were bullet proof two years ago are now in jail. It can happen to corrupt cops and members of the Colorado Bar Association too. They are a minority, but just one bad one can do enough harm to offset any good the rest of them do. Just as a doctor who saves 1000 lives cannot wilfully take one life, one injustice committed by the system which goes uncorrected because the good cops and attorneys don't act shames all of them.

Beyond that, there may be other people around who feel as I do about many of these issues, but cannot risk speaking their minds because they either work for the ones causing the problems, or sell something to them. I do neither. My income arrives electronically from outside the state, and that makes me immune from local pressure to conform. I don't even have a bank account in this state; you wouldn't blame me if you knew the whole story.

If your friend Lovely Linda really agrees with me, then I assume there are others who do also.

However, I do not care. If people agree with me, the place to make it heard is at the ballot box. You can all make the changes that would help this County be a better place to live.

Don't hire illegals, don't launder money, don't cheat on your taxes, and don't tolerate anyone else who does. They are not your "friends" if they are leaving you holding the bag.

I empathize with Alpha and suggest we all leave him alone and drop the subject. He's been through enough. Hashing it over is not going to stop anyone else from ending up in the same situation, so there's no point in continuing.

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Clearsky 3 years, 11 months ago

The punishment should fit the crime. If she grew too many plants then take them away or make her smoke them all. Really what a waste of time and people's lives. What causes more harm? The marijuana or the extremely harsh treatment by the law enforcement and government?

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 11 months ago

My guess is, Alpha is doing just fine without your "empathy." I think you're just upset that he's exposing the truths of the case. The quality/caliber of people that are enforcing the laws does nothing to validate or justify the premise or existence of certain laws. The illegality of cannabis is a shame and a sham. I defy any of you to provide sufficient evidence/fact/documentation that cannabis is correctly classified as a schedule 1 narcotic. The simple fact of the matter is that you can't. It's not within the realm of possibility. Why, you ask? Because cannabis was the unfortunate target of some very powerful(paper industry), greedy(big pharma), and racist(government) SOB's. They needed something to demonize and then associate with a certain race or group of people. They needed a way to limit the consumers' choice to products in which they were already heavily invested. Cannabis proved to be the mightiest of foes to their intentions, so they tried to eliminate the competition by making it illegal. It wasn't done to keep the women and children safe, and it sure as hell wasn't done to preserve the American way of truth, justice and liberty for all.
But you can go ahead and spit in the faces of the millions of people, many founding forefathers and foreign royalty included, that have/had found relief from their pain in a naturally occurring plant. Go ahead and side with your government and your pharmaceutical companies. I'm sure they not only know what's best for you, but they have to care about your personal well-being, right? I mean, they are looking out for our best interests, aren't they?

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Clearsky 3 years, 11 months ago

mmj, It should be legal and treated as an adult subject. People just need to follow the anti smoking laws and keep the essence away from children. Just like we should do with drinking. We should not do adult things around children. It is so simple yet there are people who just don't get it. They feel it is OK to destroy the Earth by burning fossil fuels as long as they remain ignorant (Don't understand or believe it is happening). The punishment for using marijuana causes more harm than the use. I agree with you! Thomas Jefferson grew "hemp" down by the river.

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Glenn Little II 3 years, 11 months ago

HEMP WILL FIX EVERYTHING!!! Thomas Jefferson was a smart man..

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Glenn Little II 3 years, 11 months ago

Hemp and History Until 1883, 75-90% of all paper in the U.S. was made with hemp. Hemp seed was the # 1-selling bird feed; 4 million pounds were sold in the U.S. in 1937. In the mid-to-late 1800's the 2nd & 3rd most commonly used medications were concentrated cannabis extracts and resins (a.k.a. hashish). A bridge in the south of France dated at 500-700 A.D. was built with a mixture of hemp. In 1941 Henry Ford built a car with a plastic made from hemp and wheat straw. Until 1937 70-90% of all rope and twine was made with hemp. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp on their plantations.In 1850 the U.S. Census reported 8,327 hemp plantation of at least 2000 acres in size. Not counted were thousands of smaller crops. The original Levi Strauss jeans were made from hemp. In 1942 the U.S. government strongly encouraged hemp cultivation to help with the war effort, going so far as to produce a film entitled "Hemp For Victory". The version of the Declaration of Independence released on July 4, 1776 was written on hemp. Hemp and Industry There are over 25,000 known uses for hemp. The heating and compressing of hemp fibers can create building materials superior to wood in strength, quality and cost. Hemp is heat, mildew, pest, light, and rot resistant. Hemp fabric is softer, warmer, more water resistant and more durable than cotton. Hemp fabric also uses less chemicals to produce. Industrial uses of hemp in China date as far back as 10,000 years. Hemp as a Fuel Source A bio-diesel fuel is one made from hemp oil, vegetable oil, or other animal fat. The original idea wax developed in 1895 by Dr. Rudolph Diesel, who developed the first engine than ran on vegetable oil. He demonstrated the engine at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris, France, running the engine on peanut oil.Hemp can be blended with diesel fuel in any ratio or used alone. Biodiesel fuel is the only alternative fuel that can be used as-is, in any un-modified diesel engine. The increased use of biodiesel fuels would reduce dependence on foreign sources while increasing national agricultural jobs and revenues. The flashpoint of petroleum fuel is 125 degrees Fahrenheit while the flashpoint of biodiesel fuels is 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Biodiesel fuels have been used successfully in Europe for over 20 years.

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Glenn Little II 3 years, 11 months ago

Hemp as a Profitable Crop Hemp is cold hardy, able to withstand even NH winters. Hemp is pest resistant ( except from the 2-legged kind)Hemp is draught resistant.It is estimated that if 6% of the continental U.S. planted with hemp would provide for all national energy needs.Hemp has a production rate of up to 10 tons per acre, every 4 months.1 acre of usable hemp fiber is equal to the usable fiber of 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.Trees mature in 50-100 years; hemp matures in as little as 100 days.The University of Missouri estimates that an average-size metropolitan area production of 100 million gallons of biodiesel fuel could generate $8.34million in personal income and 6000 temporary and permanent jobs. (Ref: National Biodiesel Board)In 1776 a hemp shirt cost .50 cents to $1.00; a cotton shirt cost $100-$200 Hemp and the Environment Biodiesel fuels emit 80% less carbon dioxide & nearly 100% less sulfur dioxide. Hemp paper can be recycled up to seven (7) times; wood pulp paper can be recycled four (4) times. Hemp fuels do not destroy the ozone layer or contribute to global warming.Hemp fuels burn clean; they do not cause acid rain.Hemp fuel is 10 times less toxic than salt, and as biodegradable as sugar. Hemp and Health Hemp oil is the highest source of essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which, among other things, help control cholesterol, arterial blockage and the immune system. Commonly-known medicinal uses of hemp include: nausea & vomiting; multiple sclerosis/muscle spasm disorders; spinal cord injuries; Chron's disease; Alzheimer's disease; Tourette's syndrome; digestive disorders; glaucoma; asthma; neurodegenerative disorders;At one time American companies Eli Lily, Squibb and Park Davis produced cannabis extract medicines. Hemp and the Law In 1619 Jamestown Colony, Virginia enacted laws ordering farmers to grow hemp. Similar laws were enacted in Massachusetts in 1631, Connecticut in 1632 and the Chesapeake Colonies in the mid-1700's. In England, foreigners were awarded with citizenship if they grew cannabis; those who refused were fined. From 1631 until the early 1800's, hemp was used as legal money, with which one could buy goods and pay bills.Hawaii is the first state sine the 1950's to legally plant a hemp crop. Hemp and the Arts Alice in Wonderland" was originally printed on hemp paper. It's author, Lewis Carroll, was a frequent marijuana smoker. The paintings of Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt were regularly painted on hemp canvases. In 1935 116 million pounds (58,000 tons) of hemp seed was used to make paints and varnishes.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 11 months ago

Yeah...but doesn't it induce..."REEFER MADNESS!!!!!"???

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