Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

City Repays Woman After Cops Ruined Her Medical Marijuana Plants

Taxpayers in Albuquerque, N.M. just bought themselves $3,100 worth of marijuana -- and not one of them gets a share.

Medical marijuana patient Toni Armijo is the sole recipient of the funds. She's being reimbursed for an August 2010 law enforcement incident that left her pot plants dead.

Who knew marijuana couldn't withstand a few hours in a paper bag?

Not Albuquerque police, that's for sure. But again, officers weren't looking for drugs.

A concerned neighbor asked police to check on Toni Armijo, who was believed to be suicidal, reports the New York Daily News. When no one answered the door, officers let themselves in.

Instead of Armijo, they found pot plants under a grow light.

When officers couldn't verify Armijo's medical marijuana status (it's legal in New Mexico), they uprooted the plants and put them in paper bags. The plants were returned a few hours later, reports KOAT-TV.

They never recovered.

Despite the property reimbursement, Toni Armijo is still peeved, according to the station. She doesn't think police had a right to enter her home and is considering a lawsuit.

That lawsuit will probably fail. Police were called to her home in an emergency situation -- a neighbor thought she was suicidal. When she didn't answer, officers had a legal right, and perhaps a legal obligation, to enter her home.

And once inside, they were legally able to confiscate all contraband left in plain sight -- without a warrant, too.

Toni Armijo should probably just be thankful she has a license to grow. And that it wasn't the federal government that busted down her door. Otherwise, she would have never been reimbursed for her dead plants.

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