DENVER - Two parents are facing charges of child abuse after investigators discovered a medical marijuana grow operation in their home where they lived with three children, ages 7, 9 and 11.
The Denver District Attorney's Office says 29-year-old Joseph Daniel Lightfoot and 29-year-old Amber Brooke Wildenstein are each charged with one count of child abuse.
Investigators say Lightfoot and Wildenstein have been growing large amounts of marijuana in their home on South Williams Street near East Vassar Avenue. According to the Denver District Attorney's office, there were at least 60 plants in the home.
Denver Police went to their home in early June on a report of domestic violence.
Both Lightfoot and Wildenstein are each free on a $50,000 bond. Both are set to appear in court in July to be advised of the charges against them.
They were charged under a state statue that says a person commits child abuse if they knowingly engage in the manufacture or attempted manufacture of a controlled substance in a place where a child is living.
The District Attorney's Office says this could be the first case of its kind.
"I think there's a lot of new ground that we're breaking in regard to medical marijuana. If this comes as a surprise to people, perhaps it is a good thing that we have an opportunity to talk about it. Because I think our community needs to know that even if there is a legal marijuana growing operation there is still an expectation about child safety," Lynn Kimbrough with the DA's office said.
The children are staying with a relative. The couple will appear in court in July.
Jeffrey Wolf and Kevin Torres,
30th June 2010
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