A former Marine is asking Colorado police to return 71 marijuana plants seized at his home, saying the pot helps him deal with war injuries.

On Dec. 14, criminal charges were dismissed against Kevin Dickes, 38, of Aurora, Colo., who argued that marijuana helps him deal with injuries suffered during Operation Desert Storm, after he showed he is a state-certified medical marijuana patient.

Dickes had pleaded not guilty in Arapahoe County District Court to marijuana cultivation after police seized 71 plants from his home on April 27.

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Officers had seized the plants after a neighbor of Dickes reported he was growing marijuana in his home.

Robert Corry Jr., Dickes' attorney, said the plants ought to be returned to his client.

Police are required by state law to maintain the quality of anything they confiscate, he said, adding he planned to filed a motion Monday seeking the plants' return.

Dickes said marijuana helps ease the pain in his right leg caused by a grenade explosion in 1991 while he was serving in Kuwait.

Under Colorado's medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 2000, patients under a doctor's care who get a medical marijuana card may legally possess up to 2 ounces of pot or six plants. However, a provision in the law could allow for more plants.

Corry had argued there is no limit to the number of plants a person may cultivate for use as long as they are "medically necessary."

Dickes had faced up to six years in prison if convicted.

"We commend the district attorney for doing the right thing and dismissing criminal charges," Corry said.

Dickes is one of about 1,300 holders of medical marijuana cards in Colorado, according to the state.