MARIJUANA NOT RETURNED
GRAMNET Gives Back Man's Growing Equipment but Not Drugs
Medicinal marijuana user Don Nord, 57, has his growing equipment
But he's still waiting for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to
give him 2 ounces of the drug and smoking pipes that a county judge
ordered be returned earlier this month.
That likely won't happen, officials from the administration said last
The growing equipment was returned by Matthew Harmon, a Grand, Routt
and Moffat Narcotics Enforcement Team officer. GRAMNET is a federal
task force made up of officers who searched Nord's Hayden home in
"I'm glad I got this stuff back," Nord said. He said the 1,000 watt
light bulb and grow light ballast that were returned were borrowed
from a friend and were worth about $1,000, a cost he would not have
been able to pay.
Along with the bulb and ballast, Nord's license to grow marijuana in
Colorado, packages of rolling papers, electric timers, light cords,
fluorescent bulbs and a scale were returned.
Conspicuously absent from the list of items returned: three marijuana
plants, usable marijuana and smoking pipes, all of which also were
"I'm also disappointed that they didn't give me what I need back,"
Nord said. "I'm having a real tough time here."
Nord, who has battled kidney cancer, diabetes, a lung disease and
other illnesses, is registered with the state's Medical Marijuana
Registry program. He said that he does not use Marinol, a legal
pill-form of marijuana, because it is not strong enough and doesn't
According to state law, marijuana can be grown and used by people with
certain medical conditions. But under federal law, the drug is illegal.
At a hearing earlier this month, Routt County Judge James Garrecht
ordered that the drugs and equipment be returned by Dec. 29.
Attorney Kristopher Hammond, who represents Nord, said if Nord's
"medicine" is not returned in the allotted time, the officers would be
disobeying the court order.
"This is like a bank robber returning the bag but keeping the money,"
Hammond said that if the officers do not return the marijuana, "we'll
have to take them to court."
Dan Reuter, a field agent and spokesperson for the Denver field office
of the DEA, said last Friday that the marijuana would be destroyed.
Nord was issued a citation for the possession of between 1 and 8
ounces of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after the
search. Those charges were dismissed, Garrecht said, because the
citation was filed late.
Nord had more than 2 ounces of usable drug, officers said, so also was
out of compliance with the state rule.
The case could be appealed or sent to a federal court if the
administration and other federal agencies decide to take it further.