Courts

Nov 2, 2012 8:23 PM by Andy Koen

Marijuana patient again denied seized pot

COLORADO SPRINGS - Local cancer patient Bob Crouse was hoping to get his medical marijuana back today, as was his lawyer Clifton Black. A judge signed a court order three days ago directing the police to turn over the drug, but when they came to the police department today to pick it up they were again turned away.

"We've been informed that the DA's office is reviewing the case to see if they want to appeal the judge's decision," explained Black.

It's a lot of marijuana, at least 6 pounds and more than 50 plants. State law says he can only have two ounces and six plants, which explains why Bob was arrested in the first place.

But then in June, a jury acquitted him on all the drug trafficking charges against him. Crouse was visibly upset after being denied again.

"Why is the top cop in El Paso County violating the Constitution of the State of Colorado when he's been scolded by a district judge," Crouse said. "I think our citizens need to have an answer to that question."

He has a point. Amendment 20 specifically requires any seized marijuana be given back when someone is acquitted. The police and the District Attorney felt that they would be committing a crime since marijuana is still prohibited under federal law.

In his order, Schutz District Court Judge Timothy Schutz points out police would be granted immunity under federal law.

We asked representatives from the district attorney's office and the police department for a comment. Lee Richards with the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office said over the phone that Bob's case was, "a novel area of law."

She also said the police had asked them to review the order with an eye toward an appeal.

"Apparently our DA's office wants to spend additional tax dollars fighting a cancer patient from being able to get his medicine back," Black said.

The judge's order gives the police 10 days to return the seized marijuana. If the district attorney files an appeal, The police said they will continue to hold the drug until a higher a court rules. If not, they will comply with the order.

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