In light of recent developments, we've been seeking feedback from different city departments on how they'll handle marijuana. Of course, we don't just mean because of the passage of Amendment 64, but also because of situations like Bob Crouse's, where the Colorado Springs Police Department felt the facts were substantial and the case was good. Of course, a jury disagreed.
Eventually, this put the department in the awkward position of having to return his marijuana that was seized as evidence and decidedly not maintained, as the medical-marijuana-creating Amendment 20 mandates evidence must be, creating possible civil-suit liabilities. It's not something the police have an answer to yet, Chief Pete Carey tells the Independent.
"In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to worry about maintaining plants," he says in a phone interview. "It's a health issue, and it's an issue with the value of the item you pulled out [of the ground]. So we're trying to strike a balance there. There's plenty of times we're still gonna need to safely store marijuana, so I gotta get that figured out."
This is on top of the ambivalent approach city leaders are adopting in response to recent legalization permitting 1 ounce of marijuana for adults. Here's a statement provided to the Indy from city attorney Chris Melcher:
"As the State Attorney General's office has said, there are complicated issues that will have to be sorted out in the coming months — including what constitutes a public space or a private space for personal use; what constitutes impairment for purposes of motor vehicle laws; [and] whether retail locations or retail shops should be permitted in the city limits." It adds: "Regardless of when Amendment 64 becomes effective in our state, there still remains a conflict with federal law. The City, the County and the State are waiting to hear from the Federal Government as to their position on this issue."
• Westword reported last Wednesday that the Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division has finally begun registering the locations of private caregivers, as required in House Bill 1284.
• On Nov. 26, the Denver Post reported that a case before the Colorado Court of Appeals may answer whether or not employers can enforce drug-free policies that have always included marijuana.
"Colorado's Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute prevents employers from firing workers because of the legal things those employees do outside the office ... as long as those activities do not conflict with the employees' work," wrote John Ingold. "[MMJ patient Brandon] Coats' case is the first to challenge whether that protection extends to marijuana use that is legal under Colorado law but illegal under federal law."
The court has not said when it will rule.