Victory in court, again
Last Thursday, judges John Webb and Stephanie Dunn of the Colorado Court of Appeals handed noted Colorado Springs medical-marijuana patient Bob Crouse a huge victory. The body ruled 2-to-1 that the Colorado Springs Police Department was right to return Crouse's marijuana in November of last year, after Crouse was acquitted of felony cultivation and distribution at trial, and that a District Court judge was right to order the department to do so. Police had initially balked, fearing they would be violating the federal Controlled Substances Act.
"We reject this contention ..." wrote Webb. "Therefore, we affirm the trial court's order requiring police officers to return marijuana and marijuana plants to defendant, Robert Clyde Crouse."
As the appellant, the Fourth Judicial District Attorney's office said, through a spokeswoman, that it would ask the Colorado Supreme Court to review the decision.
"After consulting with the city attorney, we will seek certiorari review of the Court of Appeals' decision," says senior deputy district attorney Doyle Baker. "There are a number of reasons for that decision, including but not limited to the following: the decision was not unanimous; there was a strong dissent; the majority opinion is written in a way that anticipates further review; the law remains in a state of flux notwithstanding the Court of Appeals' opinion; [and] the U.S. attorney for Colorado has stated that law enforcement officers in Colorado violate the prohibitions of the federal Controlled Substances Act by returning marijuana in circumstances like those present in this case."
Representing Crouse were attorneys Clifton Black, Laura Haynes and Charles Houghton, the latter of whom also is helping the leukemia sufferer sue the city of Colorado Springs for damages incurred to his plants while in police custody.
"It's never a slam dunk, but it certainly bolsters the position that we took," says Houghton of the court's decision, "and that is that he has a right to [police] returning the medicine, or to compensation if they didn't return it to him."
• The Colorado Department of Revenue will headquarter its first satellite marijuana enforcement office in Colorado Springs, the Gazette reports, locating it at 1030 S. Academy Blvd. The department will focus on rules compliance and unauthorized sales.
• A CNBC report on weedmaps.com reveals the company did $30 million in sales this year, with an additional $6 million expected next year from Groupon-style offerings.
• On Dec. 10, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the growing, consuming and distributing of marijuana. "This is a change so obviously sensible, squeezing out the crooks and allowing the authorities to concentrate on graver crimes, that no other country has made it," wrote The Economist.