May under microscope
A bluesy little number by local musician Joe Uveges does more than lament the lost; it laments what he sees as a loss of leadership, targeting recent failed prosecutions by the district attorney's office of local medical-marijuana patients.
"Well, Dan May, we gotta educate / He's on the wrong side of the law, today / Oh, Dan May, we gonna educate / He's on the wrong side of the law, today," Uveges sings on the steps of the El Paso County Combined Courts in one video (vimeo.com/44992317). "You never know what goes down, you never know what I will say / But Dan May, you're on the wrong side of the law, today."
The recording is just one of several about the DA that have been making the rounds in recent days. Frustration with May's office from those in the MMJ community has been a near-constant in the past few years, but it seems to have reached its highest point in the wake of a series of acquittals by sympathetic juries (the most high-profile of which was the case of leukemia sufferer Bob Crouse). Protesters are now planning to target May himself at a 10 a.m. rally July 30 outside the DA's office at 105 E. Vermijo Ave.
"Dan May is wasting city and county resources prosecuting patients and business owners that ARE following the law (not to mention ruining lives!)," reads the event page on Facebook.
Even the district attorney's otherwise blank page has seen action.
"Got one word for you Danny Boy.... KARMA," writes Elisa Kappelmann, a former co-owner of Southern Colorado Medical Marijuana who was acquitted a few weeks ago in the only trial to result from the so-called Beacon Street raids.
"How do you sleep at night trying to jail people who are severely ill?" asks another post, written by Jillian Johnson. "Have you no remorse for what you do to innocent people?"
No smoke in the forest
A recent experience by a friend brought to light something all camping Coloradans should know: Marijuana — medical and state-allowed, or otherwise — is illegal on all federal lands (an example would be national forest campgrounds).
"The state of Colorado is rich with federal land," says Jeff Dorschner, spokesman with the U.S. Attorney's office. "We have a substantial amount of Forest Service property; we have Bureau of Land Management property; national parks. In Colorado we have a lot of federal land. ... We enforce the law on federal land — that includes drug law. So, you can't have cocaine, or heroin, or marijuana, or any other illegal substance. This also applies to civilians on military installations."
Generally, penalties are six months in prison and a $5,000 fine, though Dorschner emphasizes that prosecution of individual MMJ patients is not a priority.