Authorities raid 247 Denver homes growing black market pot

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DENVER (AP) -- Authorities say they broke up hundreds of black market marijuana growing operations in Colorado that flouted the state's cannabis law by raising tens of thousands of plants in Denver-area homes.

State and federal prosecutors said Friday that investigators seized more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds (2,040 kilograms) of harvested marijuana from 247 homes and eight businesses in Denver and seven nearby counties. Officers arrested 42 people.

State law allows up to 12 marijuana plants per residence for personal use, but authorities say some of the homes had more than 1,000.

Colorado and nine other states have broadly legalized marijuana use but it remains illegal under federal law.

U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said the investigation shows Colorado has become the "epicenter" of the national black market for the drug.