Marijuana: Activist Corey Donahue wanted for allegedly stealing public documents from MMED

Thumbnail image for corey donahue.jpg
Corey Donahue.
Marijuana activist Corey Donahue is the target of a theft and disturbing the peace warrant.

The reason: Last month, he allegedly took documents from the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division without paying for them.


In June, Donahue, who calls his marijuana advocacy organization Crazy For Justice, made thirty different open records requests to the Department of Revenue, which oversees the MMED. The requests asked the department for documents ranging from budget breakdowns to internal e-mails.

According to the Department of Revenue, personnel responded to Donahue within three days, as required by law, and informed him that they would need to extend the response time by an additional seven days -- which is also legal.

The MMED sent Donahue a follow-up letter on June 24, asking him to be more specific about his requests. For instance, the department wanted him to provide specific timelines for correspondence. If he chose not to impose such a limit, the letter said, Donahue must "agree to pay for the services of a temporary employee to research and collect these records" to be collected in total. The letter also informed Donahue that the MMED wouldn't have the records ready until July 20, due to limited staffing.

These documents weren't immediately sent to Donahue because, according to the DOR, he failed to leave a physical address at which he could be contracted. So the letters were left at the department's front desk for him to pick up.

Donahue denies this assertion, insisting that he provided an e-mail contact and accusing the MMED of purposefully withholding information from him. In contrast, he says, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment responded to similar requests in a timely manner.

In mid-July, after not hearing from the MMED, Donahue filed a complaint with the Denver District attorney's office against the division. According to sources, the DA's office forwarded a copy of the complaint to the MMED as a courtesy -- and because the document included Donahue's mailing address, staffers were finally able to send him the aforementioned response. MMED spokeswoman Julie Posthlethwait informed Donahue about this development in a July 14 e-mail.

The DA's office subsequently concluded that the MMED didn't violate Donahue's right to access open records and declined to open a criminal investigation.

Donahue acknowledges receiving the letters asking for clarification. However, he says he didn't respond to them because he felt his initial requests were clear. He says he shouldn't "have to beg for public documents."

The MMED subsequently informed Donahue that some of the documents he'd requested had been assembled, and he scheduled time on July 22 to view them. Upon his arrival, at around 4 p.m., he says he was told he'd have to pay for them if he wanted to take them home -- or he could examine them in the MMED office. But Donahue refused to pay and simply walked away with the documents.

Upon learning this morning that a warrant had been written out for his arrest, Donahue laughed. He argues that MMED violated his rights by not responding to his initial request within the extended seven-day period, and accuses the division of lying about trying to contact him.

As for stealing the documents, he says the fee should have been waived in the first place because the information was for "research." He asks: "Why should I have to accommodate them when they have already not already accommodated me and violated the law?"

Donahue doesn't plan to turn himself in yet. Instead, he's dedicated to "dragging it out so the people can see what is going on."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana legalization: Crazy For Justice's draft initiative proposes making 4/20 a state holiday."



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
Scott Green
Scott Green

There is no indication the state is smoking weed, in this article.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Easy question do you think the MMED, is a open and honest government entity in the State of Colorado? And if you think they are why do you think that? If you do not think they are what have you done to expose the MMED's lack of transparency?

Jerry Rubino
Jerry Rubino

Anyone care to take bets on what Corey Donahue's next criminal charge will be?

I've got $50 on it being Solicitation of a Underage Male Prostitute.

Who wants to get in on this?

Niles Aronson
Niles Aronson

Drag it out...code for waste a bunch of tax payer money.  This dude is a loon.  The dirty hippie movement is going to f**k the rest of the state over.  

RadicalRuss
RadicalRuss

I would like to thank Corey for naming his group appropriately.  Bonus points for no clever T-H-C acronym.

Guest
Guest

Why would any sane human being ever give any organization with which you folks are associated money, time or energy? Why would anyone ever listen to a word you have to say when you scream at people through a bullhorn, steal documents, trespass and disrupt meetings and even fail to pay the nominal fee requested by the State to cover their expenses for your extensive records requests?

Behavior of this type is ugly and lacks honor. You weren't striking a blow for justice or CO MMJ patients, you just apparently believe you are entitled to steal from the taxpayers.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Reality is that in response to a request for copies of correspondence of the MMED, that agency provided Corey Donahue with a stack of over 300 pieces of waste paper -- none of which, other than a one-page summary of the State budget, had anything to do with the DOR, much less the MMED.  It may be true that employees of the MMED told Corey that he would have to pay for the trash that they supplied in answer to his lawful request, and I am not going to second-guess whether Corey should have left with the documents, but they do constitute evidence of a crime; that of mafeasance in office.

Colorado is so rinky-dink; its government officials so out-of-control, so much a law unto themselves, that they have the temerity to follow up on the deliberate supplying of irrelevant garbage to an appropriate, lawful request for public information with these outrageous criminal charges.  Warrants are entirely appropriate -- for officials of the MMED!  I do not know which kangaroo court issued a warrant for Donahue (and you should identify the DA who failed to hold the MMED to the Law), but the fact that such a warrant was issued is just more evidence of the utter impunity with which officials in Colorado act.  I am reminded of the case of Kurt Riggin, accused of two felonies and investigated for contempt of the Supreme Court for nothing more than exercising his civil rights in the most respectful and appropriate context imaginable -- he was exonerated, but the outrageous conduct of the State Office of Attorney Regulation and officials in Park County goes completely unchecked (and barely remarked).

Every single citizen of Colorado has a vital interest in being able to obtain copies of open records, and it is the Law.  Every single patient, caregiver, and MMC owner has a vital interest in knowing what the MMED is up to, what representations they have made to other agencies, and what representations have been made to the MMED; it is a public agency, and most of its doings are public business!  So, if Corey Donahue is about to be tried on false charges of stealing garbage deliberately misrepresented as copies of official documents, who should be concerned, who should pack the courtroom, and who should support Corey?

Get a clue.

everBoulder
everBoulder

"As for stealing the documents, he says the fee should have been waived in the first place because the information was for 'research.'"

Um, isn't the information in ALL open records requests "for research?"  Should all fees be waived for every request?  Can we just all make requests of vast amounts of information and completely bankrupt state agencies and take up all their staff time? 

A Coloradan should and does have the right to request records from the state.  But they also need to respect the rules for doing so, not to mention the rights of all other tax-paying Coloradans who don't want to see their tax dollars wasted on one person's "research."

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

what a fucking circus. hey Colorado - most of us are normal, everyday people who know how to act and get along with others.

TimothyTipton
TimothyTipton

I believe another Important part of the story is The fact that of the Information requested, the majority of the documentation provided was copies of Governor Hickenlooper's Press Releases, also providea limited insight into the quality of the Department of Revenue's temporary workers ability to comply with an important documentation request.

One would hope, the DOR via appropriate filing of CORA request, provide copies of historically important communicatons. This should be beyond supplying over 300 pages of nonsense with a one page document budget summary having MMED listed.

Scott Greene
Scott Greene

Remember folks... Marijuana doesnt make you stupid it just happens stupid people smoke marijuana

Mark P.
Mark P.

 Russ Belville = known internet troll = just hold your nose and try to ignore.

Ditto, Rush! - NOT
Ditto, Rush! - NOT

Oh, look, it's Rush Belville. Hi Rush! Where are your ditto-heads? Have you done anything useful for the mj movement today, or are you just out making personal attacks on the internets like always.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

NORML's propaganda officer can snark here, but he censors opposing views on his website.  His organization is a social club for the stoned.  Here's to forty more years of NORML's opposition to Prohibition -- nits!

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

I don't expect support, save for a few people, but thank you Robert. This is just one instance of what's wrong. But I am the bad guy in this I am the one that has a warrant out for my arrest, I'm the one that's wrong. Not them, I didn't follow the rules I didn't beg and pay for my right to access public documents, I am wrong. If I just shut my mouth and let them give me some bullshit documents then none of this would have happened and everyone could continue to pretend everything is going ok, I am wrong.  I should let them do what they want and maybe just maybe if I file the right piece of paper with the right person at the right time maybe then just maybe that will end the drug war on us.  I am wrong, I should have known nothing get accomplished unless you follow the rules.  Just keep quiet and the government will allow you what they wish.

Guest
Guest

Who do you think you are, Voldemort? "Begone"? You're a pathetic fucking clown.

Raleigh Sakers
Raleigh Sakers

"Why would anyone ever listen to a word you have to say when you scream at people through a bullhorn, steal documents, trespass and disrupt meetings and even fail to pay the nominal fee requested by the State to cover their expenses for your extensive records requests?"

there's not a lie in that. it pretty  much defines you and corey to a "t".

Pick Your Battles Wisely
Pick Your Battles Wisely

There is something in the law called "exhausting your administrative remedies". You are required to exhaust your administrative remedies before you file a lawsuit. That is the way that normal political discourse  happens. In this case, Donahue made a request in writing --> the government agency asked for clarification of that request in writing --> the govt. agency provided you with some of the documents it thought you had requested.

Normally, at this point, you would have filed your updated request, being more specific about what you wanted. Instead, Donahue felt he had been "wronged" and therefore felt it was OK to do whatever he wanted after that. I'm glad everybody doesn't think they can break the law as soon as their "rights are violated."

There is a process in politics, Mr. Donahue. If you chose to go outside that process and commit an act of civil disobedience, why did you chose to do it to obtain "300 pieces of waste paper" that contains no useful information on it????

Now, you are unlikely to ever have anyone take you seriously again. Naming your group "Crazy for Justice" pretty much says it all. Anyone crazy enough to associate the word "crazy" with himself must be, well ....

The War on Drugs has driven us all a little crazy. But if you're gonna be crazy on purpose, at least have a good *reason* for it. To steal 300 pages of worthless paper??? Makes no sense. What cause is it that you are fighting for? The right to have 300 pages of worthless paper for free? What does that have to do with cannabis, civil rights or freedom?

Wise up, Mr. Donahue.  You are making a fool of yourself and your reputation has been severely damaged. Pick your battles more wisely. If you want to be an activist, do something that helps the cause instead of making all mmj supporters look "crazy" to the outside world.

MMJ supporters have enough problems without this "help".

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

there comes a time, when misbehaving is not what takes a movement to the next level. we've passed that time. the people that passed 1284 and got listened to weren't using bullhorns. If you look and act like a whackjob, that's what they'll think you are. When you are a whackjob, everyone hears the noise you make, but not words you scream.

Boulder Med Cannabis
Boulder Med Cannabis

why didn't you go through the pack of papers, and then ask them for copies of what was useful to you. and pay the fee on those? Did you learn anything from this experience, about being clear in this kind of request? Did you ask for all emails from particular employees? If you aren't clear, they are not going to be compelled by a court to provide you with papers. You ask something like: 

this request is for all related documents and electronic or otherwise between 1/1/2010 and 7/9/2011please provide all emails Dan Hartman sent and received please provide all emails between the DOR and the mmj industry group used to discuss forming regulations please provide all inter-office memo's in the MM division between these dates 

if you aren't specific, they can't fail to provide you what you are asking for.

Joe Antansio
Joe Antansio

"See above -- if you are using your real name, you are accruing stupid remarks to your discredit rapidly."  - Robert Chase.

Your quote made me think of you. Thanks

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

See above -- if you are using your real name, you are accruing stupid remarks to your discredit rapidly.

P.S.  All of the losers who think that asking insinuating questions furthers any argument must have acquired their education from TV -- real argument doesn't work that way, you boobs!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

He requested correspondence of the MMED -- none of the papers supplied related to such correspondence, nor is it at all reasonable to suggest that they constituted official records.  You have no idea what you are talking about and your bias in favor of the MMED is patent.  Stupidity is pretty well exemplified by all the many posters here who instantly discount what those with direct knowledge recount -- blat on!

Raleigh Sakers
Raleigh Sakers

there is no gross misconduct. You and Corey clearly just have no clue how open records requests work. he got 300 pages of junk because HE wasn't specific. that's what happens. I assure you the MMED would have provided him with everything he asked for if a) he clarified what he wanted or b) agreed to pay the thousands of dollars for the mountain of information he asked for. He did neither and expected them to read his mind. the ball was left in Corey's court, and he fucked it up. Blaming the MMED for Donahue's ignorance of the system makes you look stupid.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You are missing the point -- Corey's actions (whether appropriate or not) have revealed gross misconduct -- by proponents of Initiative #30, by the BPD, and now, by the MMED.  If your response to willful violation of the Law by police and the State bureaucracy overseeing MMCs is to point the finger of blame at Corey Donahue, there is something terribly askew in your thinking.  The imbeciles pressing these charges will be shown for what they are at the point that they are required to explain how they came to swear that 300 pages of waste constitute "official records".

Ben Buryank-me
Ben Buryank-me

My typo above made me think of this funny one:instead of legislators, we have LEGI-SLUT-WHORES

Ben Buryankee
Ben Buryankee

Now, now. Only one person ever used a bullhorn on the General Assembly last year. You can't blame 1284's passage on one person with a bullhorn! It's easy to try to point blame at activists, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

The General Assembly failed to listen to ANYONE who was against 1284, bullhorn or not. It wasn't that they think we are all whackjobs that they passed HB1284, it was because the POLICE and ATTORNEY GENERAL and the DEA have the legislators in their back pocket. The legislatores didn't listen to anybody who was against 1284. The cops got everything they wanted.

The people that wrote 1284 spent many thousands of dollars on paid lobbyists to buy off the legislature. THAT'S how the law got passed. $$$$$$$ is what rules down at the Colorado Statehouse.

The old saying is, "He who has the gold makes the rules." If the bullhorner would have had $50,000 to spread around, I'm sure he would have gotten what he wanted too and they would be more than happy to forget about the bullhorn.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ = political influencebullhorn = annoying

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...