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Sterile Marijuana Seeds Returned One Year After Fruitless Bust


February 1993

Hollister, California narcotics agents returned 1200 pounds of sterile marijuana seeds to their rightful owner more than a year after they were seized (Steve Perez, "Seeds of Doubt Get Returned: Drug Agents Hand Over Sterile Marijuana Seeds," Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1/6/93, A1).

The seeds were seized from hemp activist Alan Brady in September 1991 after he had taken them to a Hollister, California feed store for bulk cleaning. Federal and state laws exempt sterile seed from the anti-marijuana statutes, but the feed store owner contacted San Benito County narcotic agents who tailed Brady and the seeds back to his apartment, obtained a warrant, and searched the apartment, seizing the sterile seeds and small amounts of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms.

Evidence from the entire seizure was later ruled inadmissible by two Santa Cruz County Superior Court judges because the seeds that triggered the search were not illegal contraband and hence not grounds for probable cause to execute a search warrant.