Man, 87, Busted for 400 Pot Plants in Backyard
An 87-year-old Denver man busted for growing more than 400 pot plants in his backyard insists he did so legally. But so far, prosecutors aren't buying it.
Edward Bogunovich faces felony charges of marijuana cultivation, possession, and possession with intent to distribute, Denver's KUSA-TV reports.
Though police allegedly counted 414 marijuana plants in Bogunovich's backyard, they only seized 183 plants. So why leave him with 231 pot plants of his own?
Because even though Edward Bogunovich had more than 400 pot plants, he carried doctor's prescriptions and permission to grow marijuana for himself and three adult children, an arrest affidavit states.
Bogunovich's medical marijuana documents "were questionable," police wrote in the affidavit, "but allowed for 231 marijuana plants. Edward Bogunovich was 183 marijuana plants over his allowance."
Colorado's Amendment 20, which legalized medical marijuana in the state constitution, technically allows for "no more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature."
But in a recent court case, a Colorado marijuana patient was acquitted of violating the law because a doctor stated he needed 75 plants to produce a specific type of cannabis-oil treatment, Denver's Westword newsweekly reports.
The outcome of that case is likely why Denver police allowed Bogunovich to keep his 231 allegedly doctor-prescribed plants, Westword suggests.
At Bogunovich's home, police also found scales, a vacuum sealer, and "crop projections of up to $500,000," which suggest Bogunovich's operation went beyond personal use, Westword reports. That's where the distribution charges come in.
Edward Bogunovich's 400 pot plants were intended to be legally used by as many as 24 patients, the elderly grower told KUSA. You can watch his interview here:
- Denver DA: Octogenarian busted for growing 400 pot plants in backyard (The Denver Post)
- Legally Speaking, What is Intent to Distribute? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- CO Pot Legalization Will Be on Nov. Ballot (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Which States Have Medical Marijuana Laws? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)