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    MARIJUANA NOT RETURNED

    GRAMNET Gives Back Man's Growing Equipment but Not Drugs

    Medicinal marijuana user Don Nord, 57, has his growing equipment
    back.

    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
    week.

    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
    mid-October.

    "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
    seized.

    "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
    work.

    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.

    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.

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