Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Denver man suing CSPD over MMJ cash

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 5:43 PM

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Denver-based Doctor's Orders budtender Robert Pooler says he plans to sue the Colorado Springs Police Department over the seizure of $14,000 during a traffic stop.

Pooler says he's seeking $120,000 in damages, and that the situation has created a hardship for Doctor's Orders, while the money has not been returned by the police.

"It’s messed up our business quite a bit," Pooler says.

Pooler's attorney, Sean McAllister, says that his client was originally contacted by police when he swerved to avoid an accident. CSPD then allegedly used Pooler's comment that his insurance card was in the glove box as a reason to further inspect the vehicle, finding the bag of cash, which was in transit from a closed TCF Bank account to a new bank. (See our story on TCF Bank account closures here.)

"This cop decides it's money laundering, and seized the money and told us that they’re opening an investigation, and talking to the DEA about this issue," McAllister says.

“It’s not money laundering if it's legal under Colorado state law. This is basically theft.”

Springs police were reticent to give more information.

"My understanding is that it may be part of a civil litigation, or he filed a claim, or an intent to sue the city, so I wouldn't be able to comment on anything relevant to Mr. Pooler," says spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt. "That's our policy with respect to cases that are, or could be, tried civilly."

Regardless, McAllister remains optimistic on the outcome, with strong words for local police.

"No one has taken a case all the way to a jury, and had a jury award them money for loss damages, or money from a medical marijuana provider, so it would certainly be a first of its kind case," the attorney says. "And our hope is that they will see the light and resolve this short of a lawsuit, but if they don’t, I think my clients are willing to teach them a lesson and show them how to comply with state law."

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