Hash ruling in Montana unlikely to fly in Colorado, attorney says

Categories: Marijuana

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Icewater hash.
Last week, a Montana court ruled that hash and concentrates are not legally defined in that state's medical marijuana laws and are therefore illegal for MMJ patients there to possess. According to Denver marijuana attorney Warren Edson, a similar situation isn't likely to occur in Colorado -- but the way our laws are crafted, it's not out of the question.

In 2010, Washington resident Buddy Wade Pirello was pulled over while driving through rural Montana with 52 grams of marijuana, a few joints, two grams of hash oil and some paraphernalia to smoke it with. A medical marijuana patient in his home state, Pirello could legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Montana, which allows for reciprocation: MMJ patients from outside of the state can possess cannabis in Big Sky Country as long as they follow Montana laws.

But according to local police, Pirello wasn't following those laws, and he was charged with misdemeanors for having more than an ounce of marijuana, plus driving under the influence and -- surprisingly -- a felony for the hash. His case made it to the state's Supreme Court, where his lawyer argued that Montana laws allow for all parts of the plant to be used, and that covered the hash.

The judges threw out that argument, noting that hash is explicitly defined in Montana's criminal code and uses different language than that in the medical marijuana laws. Essentially, they are using the laws meant to put people in jail for marijuana possession to regulate state-legal medical marijuana.

As one of the judges states in the ruling: "Once that plant material was 'mechanically processed or extracted' ... [it] ceased to fall within the definition of 'marijuana' and therefore could not be contained within the definition of 'useable marijuana.'"

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Warren Edson.
Colorado's Amendment 20 doesn't make any explicit mention of concentrates, either. Instead, it defines the usable form of medical marijuana as "seeds, leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant (genus) cannabis, and any mixture or preparation thereof."

Like Montana's statutes, other parts of Colorado law define hash separately from cannabis. But Edson points out that the Colorado Legislature has also defined hash with regard to medical marijuana and codified laws around it through House Bill 1284.

Subsequent rules passed by the Colorado Department of Revenue are probably a good indication that what happened in Montana probably won't take place here.

"It's not like they went through it in the last five minutes and threw it in," he says. "They went through six to nine months of back-and-forth on that. We have a great argument in this state. And it is a great argument as to why they should be clarified in future states to avoid what happened in Montana."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Pat Robertson asks for Amendment 64 billboard featuring him to come down" and "Marijuana regulation won't lead to dropping prices, increased use nationwide, advocate says,"

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i hate the new comment system -- it sucks!!!!


HB1284 outlawed non-dispensaries from producing concentrates. Thanks greedy dispensary pigs.

michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @jack It's glitchy, but we're working on it, Jack. Thanks for the feedback.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



Robert Chase continuously begged for them to change from DISQUS.


 @CRANIUM No, it didn't. In fact, you've got to be a MIP to produce any sort of concentrate using a chemical extraction (BHO). Also, caregivers and homegrowers are also still safe to produce hash for themselves and for their patients. It's okay to hate on 1284, but at least be informed.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Seriously  @CRANIUM 


HipTip: H2O is a "chemical".


HB1284 did in fact strip the RIGHTS of PATIENTS and CAREGIVERS to make their own Hash Oil and other Concentrates.


As Cranium stated, the avaricious dispensary cartels lobbied for this exclusivity out our PURE GREED and HATRED of the rights and freedoms of Private Patients and their Caregivers to self-medicate as they see fit.


Fuck the Greedy Dispensary Pigs !!

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @betweenthelines  Typical erroneous BULLSHIT from the idiots and liars at NORML.


NO MISDEMEANOR cases have been dropped in Colorado. 


A64's pathetic limit of only 1 (one) ounce limited to those over 21 years old does NOT include ANY misdemeanor possession cases.


You = Fail Again!


 @DonkeyHotay Unless you are a patient in which case you say "Thank god for people willing to stand up against the federal government at great risk to their personal freedom.  Without dispensary owners marijuana would still be sold for black market prices.  Thank god these dispensary owners are taking on the drug cartel and driving the price down!"

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



As part of the passage of HB1284, the legislature increased the penalties for individuals -- non-dispensaries -- who manufacture "marijuana concentrates".


The allowable limit for possessing of unprocessed marijuana is 2 (two) ounces, whether that be under MMJ of A20 or under CO Statute for recreational use which declares it to be a non-criminal offense.


The allowable limits for private manufacture, or possession of marijuana concentrates is ZERO!


As you can see below, marijuana and marijuana concentrate are in fact separate drugs in the eyes of the law, and since the authors of A20 were abject idiots, they did not separately define and include concentrates in the protections of the provisions of A20.



CRS 12-22-303


(17) "Marihuana" or "marijuana" means all parts of the plant cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin. It does not include fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, or sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination, if these items exist apart from any other item defined as "marihuana" in this subsection (17). "Marihuana" does not include marihuana concentrate as defined in subsection (18) of this section.


(18) "Marijuana concentrate" means hashish, tetrahydrocannabinols, or any alkaloid, salt, derivative, preparation, compound, or mixture, whether natural or synthesized, of tetrahydrocannabinols.



Marijuana and hashish are separate drugs. The general assembly has utilized language which sufficiently distinguishes "marijuana" and "hashish" as being separate dangerous drugs. People v. Magoon, 645 P.2d 286 



CRS 18-18-102


(5) "Controlled substance" means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in schedules I through V of part 2 of this article, including cocaine, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, any synthetic cannabinoid, and salvia divinorum.


(17) "Manufacture" means to produce, prepare, propagate, compound, convert, or process a controlled substance, directly or indirectly, by extraction from substances of natural origin, chemical synthesis, or a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, and includes any packaging or repackaging of the substance or labeling or relabeling of its container.



 @DonkeyHotay Can you please refer us to the language in HB 1284 where it states that patients aren't allowed to do what you say?

So if I scrape the crystals from the bottom of my medicine container, that's illegal because I'm producing my own concentrates? What about using bubble bags or dry ice extraction from flowers and trim, are you saying those are illegal for patients to do as well?


I'd sure like to know if I'm breaking the law or not.



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