DENVER (AP) — Police in some medical marijuana states say they are thinking twice about seizing and destroying illegal pot plants because they could be sued for damages if the marijuana dies on their watch.
Departments from Colorado and Washington state to California and Hawaii are sometimes improvising to avoid liability. Police say they either forgo taking plants altogether or collect samples and take photographs to use as evidence.
Most local departments are seizing less weed since legalization but still investigate if a person is growing too much.
Departments have been sued over pot that has wilted, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace dead plants.
Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver, says the changes are a sign that police procedure is evolving with marijuana law.