Last year, we wrote about a seeming trend within District Attorney Dan May's office. Those charged with marijuana-related crimes were only offered plea bargains that involved pleading guilty to a felony, or taking their chances at trial (see "Take it or leave it," News, Oct. 20). There were no offers of a deferred sentence or a reduced charge, as is common in a variety of other felony cases.
Well, word reached us that there may have been a policy thaw. A center owner told the Indy a partner of his recently charged with a felony received the option to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.
For more, we spoke with popular defense attorney Cliff Black: "I have got [a] few deferreds recently," he confirms in an e-mail. He adds that, although a deferred sentence — where one has the option of fulfilling the terms and having the charges expunged — can be better, one client of his "wants the misdemeanor because he thinks he will fail on a deferred."
Another, separate, rumor we encountered was that MMJ-center inspectors from the local Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division offices (1030 S. Academy Drive, #200, 574-8120) were all temporary, rotating out in six-month intervals due to the state's long process for hiring permanent employees. The concern from center owners was that they would constantly be dealing with less experienced inspectors.
"No," writes Department of Revenue spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait. "We have hired temporary employees [to] help with the large number of applications and the associated backgrounds. The regional offices are permanent and staffed by permanent employees."
• Don't forget the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council's mixer at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 15, at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery (25 W. Cimarron St., thewarehouserestaurant.com). Ten bucks gets you in the door, where federal-raid preparedness, political news and banking options will all be discussed.
• Local advocacy group iComply seeks local artists for a community art auction called The Cannabis Canvas.
"This event will be in the summer and aims to use local community artists to raise awareness around the controversy of cannabis," says organizer Mark Slaugh in a release. "Although this plant has interacted with humans for thousands of years, its prohibition is a recent phenomenon spanning less than a century."
Thirty percent of the proceeds from art sales will benefit the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council. If interested, hit Lofty's (287 E. Fountain Blvd., #100, complywithme.com) at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 21.
Send MMJ news to firstname.lastname@example.org.