In a ruling that centered on the definition of “plant,” the Kansas Court of Appeals determined Friday that a Kansas City man shouldn’t have been convicted of cultivating marijuana after police found 29 marijuana clippings in his attic.
On March 1, 2013, Kansas City, Kan., officers knocked on Steven Holsted’s front door after receiving complaints of marijuana odors. He invited the officers inside.
There they found an apparent marijuana-growing operation. Along with the 29 small plants, referred to as “cuttings,” they found grow lights and one large marijuana plant with a complete root system.
Holsted was convicted of cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Since the cultivation charge requires proof of five or more marijuana plants, Holsted challenged the charge by claiming his 29 cuttings weren’t plants because they didn’t have roots.
On Friday, Judges Kathryn Gardner, Stephen Hill and Anthony Powell agreed and, in a unanimous ruling, reversed the conviction.
“The clippings found by the police here were just that — clippings,” [Judge] Hill wrote. “They may have been on the way to becoming plants, but with no roots they could not sustain life by absorbing water and inorganic substances through their roots.”
(Read more: News)