Jack Duke accused of teaching daughters, age 6 and 7, to smoke marijuana: Could face 36+ years
Advocates of cannabis legalization like Eva Enns of the Women's Marijuana Movement emphasize that the substance should be kept away from children. But apparently Jack Duke, a 27-year-old Grand Junction resident, didn't get the memo.
Duke's been arrested on suspicion of teaching two of his daughters, ages six and seven, how to smoke pot -- and because of previous convictions and a new get-tough law, this alleged act of very bad parenting could earn him a minimum of 36 years behind bars.
The arrest warrant for Duke that's on view below features redactions in regard to the children's names, addresses and phone numbers -- but it still manages to tell a startling tale.
On September 24, the document says a detective was contacted by staffers at Nisley Elementary in Grand Junction after a six-year-old girl "was caught in the bathroom of the school attempting to start a fire with a Bic lighter and a wad of toilet paper." Afterward, the girl told administrators "that when she doesn't feel good, she smokes 'weed' with her dad, and her dad blows the smoke in her face." She then went on to demonstrate the proper breathing and hand-waving technique to get the maximum jolt, adding that she "doesn't like to smoke the seeds."
The girl also drew pictures, including one of a figure identified as her dad holding a pipe and a bag.
In a subsequent interview, Duke's wife, Laura, admitted that she and her husband smoked marijuana, but denied supplying it to their kids; they have four, ranging from nineteen months to seven years. She then consented to a search of the home, which is described in the warrant as slovenly in the extreme: dirty clothing piled on the couch, soiled diapers on the floor near a toilet and "a large, approximately five to six foot long snake" -- identified as a boa constrictor -- in a cage next to the bed in the children's room."
Also located: a small bag of marijuana, a couple of bongs and more paraphernalia, all accessible to the children, who have been placed in the custody of their grandparents. Hair and urine samples were obtained from the six- and seven-year old under a search warrant signed by a local judge, and while toxicology reports aren't back yet, Duke allegedly told investigators he expects they'll come back "hot."
But he didn't say this right away.