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Does Growing Marijuana Equal Child Abuse?


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Couple in court today for allegedly growing MMJ with kids around

Two caregivers charged with felony child abuse for supposedly growing medical marijuana in the house where their kids lived are having their preliminary court hearing today.

Joseph Lightfoot and Amber Wildenstein were each charged with one count of child abuse for operating a marijuana grow operation in their home in which three children Ń aged 7, 9 and 11 Ń also lived. Although Lightfoot and Wildenstein are both medical marijuana cardholders and are permitted by law to grow a select amount of marijuana, it is a felony to grow the plant if kids are around. A Colorado Revised Statute says that a person commits child abuse if they manufacture a controlled substance Ń which marijuana is still considered Ń on the premise of where a child is found, resides or lives.

Lightfoot and Wildenstein are having their preliminary court hearings today at 8:30 a.m. in Denver County Court. The cases are being tried separately.

MMJ activists vs. law enforcement

The case has once again pitted members of the medical marijuana community against law enforcement. Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI), a medical marijuana lobbying group, said in a press release that the case is "yet another attack on cannabis patients by the government."

"The Denver Police are trying to send the message that you will have your children seized even if your medical cannabis is legal under state constitution," said Riah McBee of Medical Marijuana Family Advocates Cultivating Truth in a press release issued by CTI. "Parents should be very concerned about these perversions of the laws and infiltration into their families' lives."

But Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Colorado District Attorney's office, said the state must carry out the laws on the books. She said that no charges were filed in connection with the growing operation, just the alleged child abuse.

"It was pretty clear that the circumstances in that home had put the children at risk," she said.

The charges are a result of a Denver Police Department investigation that began in early June when officers were called to Lightfoot's and Wildenstein's home on a report of domestic violence. When the police officers arrived, they reported that no crime was being committed but discovered a medical marijuana garden in the basement, according to CTI. Police a few days later came back to the home and served Lightfoot and Wildenstein with arrest warrants for felony child abuse.

Lightfoot and Wildenstein were released from custody after each posted a $50,000 bond. CTI is trying to raise awareness for a defense fund set up for Lightfoot by his brother to help pay for the arrest and court expenses.

Lightfoot's attorney Ń Daniel Murphy Ń believes his client will be cleared of all wrongdoing.

"My client is a good parent and the facts of the case will show he absolutely did not commit child abuse," he said in a statement. The child abuse charge carries a maximum charge of 12 years in prison. The children are currently in the custody of Wildenstein. Lightfoot is only allowed phone contact with his biological daughter, according to CTI.

NewsHawk: MedicalNeed: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Denver Daily - Welcome!
Author: Gene Davis, DDN Staff Writer
Contact: Denver Daily - Contact Us
Copyright: 2008 Denver Daily News.
Website:Denver Daily - Does growing marijuana equal child abuse?


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How can it be child abuse to grow your medicine? If it's seen by the state as medicine then your condition should determine if you can grow and medicate, not your living situation. I believe there was a book called 1984 that call this kind of thing "double speak".


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Just wait until prop 19 comes in effect and your neighbor turns you in. Once you give the power to prohibitionists to regulate, control and ban as they see fit... they will not stop at that. They are starting this already and is a new weapon in their arsenal to get smokers.

Watch what you wish for people, because you just might get it... prohibitionist in control.


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So how is 19 worse that what we have now? I don't get it Prop 19 does some good and moves us forward I don't think there is anyone saying we stop at that everyone knows we should have more freedoms not less but I guess I don't get it why is 19 worse then what we have now?
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