Nov 9, 2012 6:15 PM by Andy Koen

Higher court halts marijuana return

The Colorado Court of Appeals has halted a court order requiring the return of seized medical marijuana to a local cancer patient. According to attorney Clifton Black, the higher court issued the eleventh hour stay after District Court Judge Timothy Schutz rejected an earlier request during an emergency hearing Friday afternoon.

Black represents Bob Crouse, a leukemia patient who was found not guilty in June on charges of drug trafficking. Mr. Crouse sought the court order in September after the Colorado Springs Police Department refused to give him the 6 pounds of marijuana and 55 plants that it was holding in evidence from his trial.

The police department and the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office argued in the initial hearing before Judge Schutz the officers would be violating the federal Controlled Substances Act by surrendering the drug to Mr. Crouse.

Black contended that language of Amendment 20, the state's medical marijuana law, specifically requires law enforcement to turn over any seized marijuana or related paraphernalia in the case of an acquittal.

Judge Schutz agreed with Black, and issued his order on October 30. The CSPD had 10 days to comply with the court order. When Black and Crouse went to the police department last Friday to present the court order, they were told the District Attorney was considering an appeal and that the drugs would not be surrendered until the appeal was resolved.


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