MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- Federal authorities are increasingly using asset-forfeiture laws to seize money and property from people involved in Oregon's medical marijuana program.
A review of U.S. District Court records by the Medford Mail Tribune newspaper shows that in 2010, prosecutors filed just one forfeiture case to seize money related to marijuana that was grown under the program. Last year, there were a dozen such cases, and there were 11 in the first 11 months of this year.
Civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize the proceeds of illegal activity without necessarily filing criminal charges against those involved.
In one 2011 case, police seized more than $120,000 in cash and nearly $34,000 worth of precious metals from a registered Grants Pass medical-marijuana grower accused of shipping pot to the East Coast.
In another case, investigators took $6,600 in cash after it was mailed in March 2012 from Oklahoma to a medical-marijuana grower in Eugene. The grower was seemingly in compliance with state grow rules, but he furnished what police considered to be conflicting and hazy reasons for the shipment of cash.