Drug War

You Can Grow It, but Not in Front of the Kids


On Monday a Denver County judge declined to jail a state-licensed medical marijuana grower for running his operation out of the house he shared with his wife and their three children. Prosecutors initially charged Joseph Lightfoot with felony child abuse under a law aimed at meth cooks but let him plead guilty to misdemeanors instead. Saying "this was overcharged," Judge Andre Rudolph sentenced Lightfoot to 60 days of home detention and one year of probation, plus a "responsible-parenting class." The Denver Post summarizes the rationale for the felony charges:

They charged Lightfoot and his wife, Amber Wildenstein, with felony child abuse, citing a number of potential hazards to the three children, ages 8 to 12: There wasn't a lock on the basement door. There were small amounts of cut marijuana elsewhere in the home. The growing operation —with its chemicals, ventilation problems and allure to would-be robbers—brought up "numerous concerns regarding the children," according to arrest affidavits.

A law professor questions the legal reasoning:

University of Denver law professor and former New York prosecutor Kris Miccio said the concerns raised by the pot-growing operation also could be raised in homes where there's a liquor cabinet, cleaning supplies under the sink or valuables that could entice criminals to break in.

"If a police officer brought that into my office, I would have thrown him out and called his supervisor," Miccio said. "It's crazy. It opens the door to anything."

[Thanks to CK for the tip.]

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  1. So, what did he get charged with? Sounds like he was in his rights to do what he did. Why did he get incarcerated, have his guns and freedom taken away and forced into a state-sponsored propoganda program if he was licensed to grow?

    1. the fucking insane WOD’s of course


  3. “If a police officer brought that into my office, I would have thrown him out and called his supervisor,” Miccio said.

    No, you wouldn’t have.

    1. The state vs. Damon/Affleck/DiCaprio/A-Rod…

      May root for the state for once.

    2. I just watched Ocean’s Eleven the other night. I thought that was Brad Pitt.

    3. That guy may be retarded, and the others unlikeable, but I didn’t see anything that should be illegal in that story. Abandoning principles to attack your enemies is a very Team Red/Blue thing to do.

      1. yup. i support the right of people to play poker. fuck the federal govt. and fuck the leftwing WA legislature and their stupid C felony poker law

        1. Oh yeah. Fuckers are seriously cutting into my cash flow. My account has been frozen for months.

          1. i closed out my account as soon as they made it a C felony (before the law went into effect.). it’s a fuckign ridiculous state law especially in a state where casinos are EVERYWHERE

            1. One, I’m sure he was just doing research for Ocean’s 14 or whatever. Two, I agree that the law is stupid, but maybe getting implicated will give Damon some affinity for libertarian ideas.

  4. “It’s crazy. It opens the door to anything.”

    But…but the Commerce Clause!

  5. “If a police officer brought that into my office, I would have thrown him out and called his supervisor,” Miccio said.

    “Unfortunately, public perception of officer’s trying to control a combative, resistive suspect rarely conforms to those officers’ training, experience, what those officers were experiencing at the time or reality,” he said. “This seems to be a case in point.”

    Yes, I have crossed the streams. SugarFree don’t give a shit.

  6. the concerns raised by the pot-growing operation also could be raised in homes where there’s a liquor cabinet, cleaning supplies under the sink or valuables that could entice criminals to break in.

    Why yes, yes they could…

    1. Please help me! My mom has a liquor cabinet, Comet and 409, and real diamonds.

  7. “If a police officer brought that into my office, I would have thrown him out and called his supervisor,” Miccio said. “It’s crazy. It opens the door to anything.”

    That’s why he’s not a prosecutor. Prosecutors like having doors open to anything.

    1. it’s the Jack McCoy ™ theory…

  8. So, engaging in a perfectly legal, state-licensed activity in your home is child abuse?

    And what “chemicals” is he talking about. The fecking fertilizer? They make it sound like they’re growing the pot in sulfuric acid, not the kind of fertilizer every suburban home will have in the garage.

    1. Help me! My dad poured sulfuric acid in the pool yesterday.

      1. Help MEEEE. My mom was cutting onions and sulfuric acid got in my eyes! ABUSE!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. No. I get the impression that the misdemeanor charges are more along the lines of having an uncovered swimming pool, or some such shit.

      A grow-op could attract feds, guns ablaze, at any time. I’d say its quite a bit more dangerous to the childruns than an open pool. Denver and Colorado won’t fuck with your shit, but they have no say in what rogue fed agents do – who have declared that state law is irrelevant in their WOD infitada.

      1. In actuality, the swimming pool is a statistical death trap and far more dangerous than a slim possibility of being raiding by SWAT.

        1. absolutely true. statistically speaking, for kids, drowning deaths rank near the top of the list.

          dihydrogen monoxide trumps SWAT raids by several orders of magnitude

          does the previous poster really want to compare kids killed by SWAT to kids who drowned? reallllllly?

          anybody who thinks reasonable pool safety rules (like those regulating locked gates around pools and high fences, etc.) is a fucking idiot,btw. not accusin, just sayin.

          1. But the dihydrogen monoxide has no malicious intent. Just sayin’……..

            1. so says you.

              not to mention that many bad shoots also have no malicious INTENT either. nor is same required to prosecute under the law, generally speaking

              1. You kick down my door with weapons drawn, I’m assuming malicious intent. Which I will charitably separate from murderous intent.

                1. you can assume a ham sandwich, to borrow a legal concept. doesn’t make it exist

                  1. Let’s just say my first thought won’t be “surprise BD party”.

                    1. telegram?

          2. absolutely true. statistically speaking, for kids, drowning deaths rank near the top of the list.

            O RLY?. Yeah, no shit dunphy. On the other hand what percentage of kids find their way in to a pool and then manage to get back out of it? 99%? 99.9%? 99.9999%? Compared to people who survive a guns-ablaze-raid?

            As for your nanny statism about the “reasonable” necessity of requiring gates and fences (actually your sentence makes no sense at all but I’m gonna assume you think only fucking idiots object to such shit), guess what, stay out of other peoples yards. If you have a dispicable child yourself, make sure IT stays out of other peoples yards.

            I wonder, do you think ponds/lakes/rivers should also be required to have locked gates and fences surrounding them?

            1. actually, the vast majority of kids survive cop raids (swat or otherwise).

              i’ve been on at least 3 dozen raids. never shot a kid yet.

              i don’t think it’s unreasonable for the state to set reasonable laws about making your pool less accessible to neighborhood kids.

              i guess we are going to disagree on that. i can live on that

              and you can call me a statist for believing so

    3. It’s not legal according to federal law.

      1. But it is according to state law, and these cops were enforcing state law. They didn’t arrest for DEA violations.

        Its an obvious and transparent pretext. This is local PDs throwing a temper tantrum because they don’t like medical marijuana. Nothing more or less.

        1. yup. we absolutely should NOT enforce federal drug laws that specifically refute the will of the people of our state.

          we are peace officers of the state of (whatever). we are not federal agents, and when the feds try to usurp our sovereignty -fuck them

          1. B-but, commerce clause. (hat tip to “shared sacrifice”)

            1. MATT DAMON!!!

              COMMERCE CLAUSE


  9. The activity is enticing to criminals to break in because pot is illegal and therefore difficult to obtain and expensive. If you legalized it, it would not entice criminals to break in.

  10. It’s pretty interesting to see the progression towards legalization of pot. Considering the amount of tax that can be raised by taxing it (although short sited in my opinion because of the health care costs) it’s only a matter of time. Barry

    1. The health care costs will only increase if you assume that magically many people will start smoking/smoking more pot. There is no reason to believe that this will be the case. There is also the point that no one here believes that we should be paying the health care costs of pot smokers (or anyone else for that matter).

      1. Isn’t the bar exam over now? Shouldn’t you update your handle to Indebted & Unemployed?

        (Just kidding… I hope.)

      2. Maybe they would be reduced if increased pot use results in reduced alcohol use.

        1. I have a friend who comes from a long line of alcoholics. He swear it would have happened to him, too, had he not started smoking pot.

          1. suuuuuuuuurrrreee. you have a “friend” :l

  11. FW: Colorado is worldwide leader of both beer and pot.

    1. They may have the MOST breweries per capita (or at least used to), but in terms of quality I would easily put California and Michigan ahead of them.

      1. Oregon for quantity. Oregon and Cali for quality

    2. I had some medical from Colorado over the Fourth of July: it knocked me offa my ass.

    3. Most beer brewed in Belgium or Germany is superior to any American beer. Also, Kentucky grows some pretty denk shit. Not that I would know, Mr Fed.

      1. Whoa dude, are you from 1975?

  12. Texas is sadly backward when it comes to beer.

    An indoor grow doesn’t care what state its in, so at least there’s that. Umm, so I’ve heard.

    1. Dear Heloise: I have a “friend” who has a zucchini lodged in his rectum….

  13. breast milk sprayer received probation! awesome!


  14. “…allure to would-be robbers?brought up ‘numerous concerns regarding the children,’…”

    But enough about the cops…

  15. Some have commented that an increase in marijuana use will lead to an increase in health care costs. It’s notable that this has yet to be proved scientifically, although it would seem logical as it is a carcinogen.

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