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Medical marijuana at state level found illegal in potential blockbuster court ruling

marijuana photo cropped.JPG
The tension between state medical marijuana laws, which allow patient use, and federal regulations that criminalize all pot has existed for years, with occasional court rulings -- like the 2011 conviction of Highlands Ranch MMJ grower Chris Bartkowicz -- touching on the contradiction. But a just-issued decision in Arapahoe County District Court may be the most sweeping to date in Colorado. The conclusion: The medical marijuana industry here and in other states is illegal. Period.

At first blush, the case hardly seems like a landmark. It involves a medical marijuana grower whose name is being withheld at his request and Blue Sky Care Connection, a dispensary in Littleton. The plaintiff maintains that he delivered approximately $40,000 worth of MMJ between June and October of 2010, but he never received compensation in the form of either cash or what's referred to in the document as "a potential business partnership."

charles m pratt.jpg
Charles M. Pratt.
As such, the grower took Blue Sky to court, with a trial taking place this past April. But in May, rather than weighing in on the basic dispute, Judge Charles M. Pratt ordered the combatants to "file briefs explaining why this Court should not declare the purported contract void as against public policy."

As Pratt acknowledges, neither the plaintiff nor Blue Sky "raised the issue of legality." Rather, "the issue was...raised by the Court" to determine if the contract violated public policy.

This last phrase is as loaded as it is important to the judgment. Going way back to Russell v. Courier Printing & Publ'g Co., a Colorado Supreme Court ruling from 1908, to support his view, Pratt argues that "if the disputed contract violates federal law, it would be against public policy and would be void and unenforceable."

With this matter as a backdrop, Pratt determines that the plaintiff and Blue Sky did indeed enter into a contract, and the dispensary breached it. But to cut through the legalese: If the contract involved something illegal, that didn't matter.

Here's how Pratt lays out the responses he received on the subject of marijuana violating public policy:

The Court ordered the parties to brief the issue of whether a contract for marijuana is void against public policy. Plaintiff argues that the Court must enforce the contract because it is valid under Colorado law and further argues that it would be beyond the scope of this case for the Court to address the federal drug issues. Defendants argue that the contract is void as against public policy because it violates federal law prohibiting the cultivation and use of marijuana. Defendants also assert that the contract is void as against public policy because Plaintiff violated state marijuana regulatory law.

The judge then makes the following assertions:

• Colorado State Law Does Not Create a Constitutional Right for Citizens to Use and Possess Medical Marijuana.

• Possession and use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

• Federal law regarding marijuana preempts state law because Colorado state law creates an obstacle to the full enforcement of federal law.

Page down to learn more about the case and read the ruling.


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63 comments
IcePick
IcePick

The ruling, which wasfirst reported by Westword, was a jolt to Colorado's cannabis cognoscenti, even though it is uncertain how widespread its impact will be. Because the order was issued by a District Court judge, it does not count as legal precedent that other judges must follow. Read more:Colorado court ruling says medical marijuana trumped by federal law - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_21340833/colorado-court-ruling-says-medical-marijuana-trumped-by#ixzz240JFLLQz Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

pvplacid
pvplacid

So will the next shoe to drop in Colorado be a ruling that the state can't license businesses that are against public policy? Seems kind of likely if not inevitable. Actually, this ruling probably already says that. A license is a contract, after all.

Jon Stevens
Jon Stevens

at this point, if MMJ goes away, there is going to be a surge in underground sales, and increased wasted money on behalf of the states WAR ON DRUGS, instead of funds from MMJ funding the states police to take care of the real menaces which are METH AND COKE..

pat01
pat01

The fact of the matter is that the "war on drugs" is a big money machine for lawyers, judges, cops, the people that provide "classes" and the government in general. The marijuana laws at the federal and state levels are ridiculous, however, the enforcement of these laws create a very significant profit center for law enforcement. It is silly to think that common sense will ever take over eliminating these stupid laws when one considers the loss of jobs that would result when otherwise useless cops, judges and lawyers are out of work.

Jon Stevens
Jon Stevens

MMJ has kept me from becoming headline news... I feel i'm not alone.

Aaron Duran
Aaron Duran

That's kind of fucked up. What an asshole. However, this does make a great point, that during this upcoming election we are going to be facing great opposition to our (collectively) chosen freedoms. The MMJ community is strong though and has to once again mobilize in favor of freedom to choose how we medicate, celebrate and use our "free" time.

Bradley Langston
Bradley Langston

I have my doubts about "medical" marijuana, but they need to legalize it and tax it. Budget problems solved.

DHsSuperEgo
DHsSuperEgo

"Senor, I am a peaceful. mild and quiet man and I know how to conceal any insult because I have a wife and children to support and care for.  So let your grace be advised as well, since I can't give and order, that under no circumstances shall I raise my sword against either lowborn or gentry, and from now until the day I appear before God, I forgive all offenses that have been done or will be done to me, whether they were done, are done or will be done by a person high or low, rich or poor, noble or common, without exception and regardless of rank or position."

 

Donkey-  take a note from your own "self."  Agree or disagree, many in the MMJ industry in our great state have a passion for our patients, our rights and our plants.  If you were to take but a fraction of the time you spend here and apply it towards helping the fellow, common man you purport to defend; Our, your lives, would be so much better for it.

 

S.P.

the420rev
the420rev

PS THERE IS ONLY EXEMPTION, RELIGIOUSLY, FOR RASTAS AND NATIVE AMERICANS and must be proven each time individually, if charged

 

the420rev
the420rev

thats funny, a Judge can use my arguement to avoid a contract dispute, but i cant use the same to force the State's AG to follow his contract for the state of colorado to uphold the laws/constitution and protect the people LOL, this case just won my case LOL Jon Fiero, David Blake and John Suthers, Are You Ready To Bow Down?!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Leave it Arapahoe County to go after 'the ever so dangerous' pot-heads !!!

The only thing I liked about the story is a dispensary getting it stuck to them 

by someone other than law enforcement. I have NOTHING for those thieves !!!

Hermann
Hermann

Word to MMIG pot clowns, Michael Elliot, Mason Trvrt, Brian Vincente, Shawn Coleman, Josh Stanley, Wanda James and all the other losers who lobbied for HB1284 and now support its predecessor, Am. 64 -- We told you so! Your model sucks, was written by cops, and now all your bad karma is coming home to roost!

ZenarchistSwordsman
ZenarchistSwordsman

This ruling flies in the face of the Oregon/Kevorkian Supreme Court ruling which determined that States, and not the Federal Government, has the power to define "accepted medical uses" within that state. The parallels should be obvious, and it's too bad the Judge isn't that cognizant of the law surrounding who gets to decide accepted medical uses of anything.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

OMG!! ... and the Hits Just Keep On Coming !!

 

**** Medical Marijuana Division Has More Vehicles Than Workers !! ****

 

 

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/08/05/medical-marijuana-division-has-more-vehicles-than-workers/

 

 

And you fools BEGGED the Government to "legitimize" you with MILLIONS of $$$ in extortive fees for your continuing criminal enterprises.

 

Could you have possibly fucked yourselves deeper in the ass if you did a handstand under a hydraulic pile driver ??

 

 

BillyBYoung
BillyBYoung

I'd hate to see donkey's keyboard.

I know......"why do you hate keyboards"

have fun

Monkey
Monkey

I guess I'm just a stupid stoner but.......Blue sky is getting out of a contract for payment because they operate, and still operate, illegally? Their defense is that their business is illegal, therefor making any agreements related to their illegal activities are unenforceable? And, because they are in Colorado, they can continue to operate illegally until the feds do something, but the people they do business with, legally in Colorado, don't have the same luxury. I don't get it, isn't admitting you conduct an illegal business an admission of committing crimes? Did they really give the green light for the DEA and IRS to take all their money, without a trial because they already admitted guilt, just to save $40,000? I am stoned, maybe I missed something.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Looks like that renders next week's case involving Blue Sky moot ...

[From the online PUBLIC Arapahoe County Court Docket] --

 

08/13/2012 08:30:00 AM District Court Court Trial BLUE SKY CARE CENTER LLC  

Case # 2011CV1467 Div. 407

 

08/13/2012  District Court Court Trial - LOWDEN LAURA 

08/13/2012  District Court Court Trial - MARTINEZ RICHARD

08/13/2012  District Court Court Trial - RAHBAR JEFFREY

08/13/2012  District Court Court Trial - VAZQUEZ EDWARD

 

...  along with ALL OTHER MMJ $$ squabbles, like the one involving Keef Kola, and renders any previous rulings for $$ collection UNENFORCEABLE if they involved any MMJ businesses.

 

Note to ALL pot clowns foolish enough to enter into a contract involving CRIMINAL activity -- the other party can completely RIP YOU OFF, and there is nothing you can do about it legally, and bringing it to COURT just incriminates yourself and records your own criminal confession in PUBLIC RECORD!

 

My god! ... what kind of greedy INCOMPETENT IDIOT ATTORNEYS are bringing such insanity -- to the detriment and harm of the fools they are RAPING for THOUSAND$ in legal fees? Perhaps the contact high from their clients has FRIED THE BRAINS of these greedy lawyer-criminals.

 

Doesn't sound much different than the "Good Old Days" when Pot was Illegal, does it? ... except back then no one was completely fucking stupid enough to sue their former partners in court over a broken drug deal.

 

Who says smoking Pot doesn't Make You STUPID ??

 

.

 

 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

(That's "legalese", not "legalise".)

 

Article XVIII, Section 14 of Colorado's Constitution establishes the rights of citizens whose doctors have recommended it to use and possess medical cannabis -- Judge Pratt is a dangerous criminal who abuses his office to try to overturn the fundamental law of the land.  The People instituted Article XVIII, Section 14, and cops, prosecutors, and judges who flout its requirements should be beyond the protection of our laws.  Pratt is one of the many prohibitionists who now feel they are strong enough to fly in the face of the Constitution; his criminal acts should not go unpunished!

therealtrickjames
therealtrickjames

Then I guess the state will be refunding the millions in fees they collected....

 

Yeah right. The cat is out of the bag now. There is no going back.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @pvplacid Indeed, that's the heart of the ruling, pvplacid. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @the420rev  There is no religious exemption for the use of Marijuana.

 

Just ask the members of The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@HermannLooks like Kathleen Chippi was 100% right all along ... and Robert Chase and her other critics 100% wrong, as usual, on her assessment of the effects of Beinor and Watkins.

 

Facts --

 

-- A20 provided NO RIGHT to use marijuana or violate other existing laws, it ONLY offered an "affirmative defense" for limited, small, personal use quantities against criminal charges.

 

-- A20 NEVER authorized Commercial Retail Dispensaries or Commercial Cultivation.

 

-- A20 did NOT authorize Sales -- in fact sales were specifically disclaimed in the ballot summary.

 

-- All Commercial Dispensaries are in fact Continuing Criminal Enterprises willfully engaged in the daily violation of numerous Federal Felony Drug laws and violations of Money Laundering and other serious criminal activities ... all for personal pecuniary gain.

 

-- All those that aid and abet those activities -- including their lawyers -- are guilty of criminal conspiracy among other felonies.

 

It's been over 12 YEARS since the wildly defective, poorly written A20 became law ... and NO ONE HAS FIXED IT! ... yet the same fools and tools are promoting an equally pathetic, ineffective, dysfunctional A64 ... while asserting that "someone" will "fix it later" if that worthless turd actually passes the collective sphincter of the electorate.

 

Keep Repeating the Same Mistakes, Stoners ... "someone else" will "fix them" for you.

 

LOL!

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @ZenarchistSwordsman Completely Off the Mark.

 

First Year Law School -- Contract Law -- Valid vs. Voidable vs. Void

 

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @DonkeyHotay Makes you wonder how many guns they purchased to go with those SUVs. Perhaps 2 side arms, an AR-15 and a shotgun for each of their now non-existant marijuana army officers. 8 year lease, they planned for a long reign of terror fighting that evil plant. 

Skitz0
Skitz0

 @DonkeyHotay I notice you cannot justify jailing people for rationally choosing a safer alternative to deadly, and much more addictive and intoxicating opiates you and the government would rather force down the public's throat who are in pain and suffering.  When someone who is dying and/or in severe pain tell you this helps them, instead of jail them maybe you could listen.

 

It's people like you that make this world suck some times.  Life could be great if people would mind their own business.  If you were in pain and wanted to take Oxycontin (literally a heroin pill) for pain I would think you are stupid for using such a dangerous drug when a much safer alternative that cannot cause severe addiction or death is out there, and works just as good or better for certain types of pain.  However, I would not want to jail you for your personal (though irrational) choice. 

 

Go back to sleep.

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay WTF?! WHY ARE YOU COMMENTING STILL!!!! isnt your ten year old neice awake yet??? go back to family f*cking you inbred retard.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey The VOID contracts cut BOTH ways ...

 

... not only can Blue Sky -- and any other continuing criminal enterprise -- violate and breach their agreements, but any one else who engages in business with Blue Sky can also violate their contracts and agreements with Blue Sky.

 

For instance -- a Credit Card Factoring company *could* keep all the $$$ that was due to a Dispensary for customer payments, and then sucessfully argue that Money Laundering is a crime, and their contract to engage in said crime is VOID.

 

The whole "legitimization" bullshit is a castle made of sand ... in a typhoon of contravening laws and statutes.

 

What's amazing is that ANY LAWYER ever advised, aided and abetted their clients otherwise, whilst raping them for $$$ in "professional fees".

 

 

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay ok either you have some kind of bipolar, OCD, or your daddy walked out on your dumb ass and mommy went to tricking and ever since then youve blamed it all on the one time daddy smoked pot. dude... youre a loser. your dad hopefully blew his brains out and your mother is still tricking for nickels.  your entire life is over, no one likes you, no one wants you, just an hero and make the world a much better place.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @therealtrickjames  Well, someone could try and sue the State and Cities for refunds of the MILLIONS of illegal fees collected ...

 

... and the State and Cities could turn over all their evidence to the DEA for a slam-dunk prosecution even if the plaintiff won ...

 

How's that "LEGITIMIZATION" feeling now, Pot Clowns?

 

Suckers are as Suckers suck.

 

IcePick
IcePick

 @DonkeyHotay The ruling, which was first reported by Westword, was a jolt to Colorado's cannabis cognoscenti, even though it is uncertain how widespread its impact will be. Because the order was issued by a District Court judge, it does not count as legal precedent that other judges must follow.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Monkey They couldn't have done it without the help, assistance, and surrender of the "pro-pot" pimps themselves --

 

Thanks Brian Vicente!

Thanks Josh Stanley!

Thanks MMIG pigs!

Thanks Matt Cook!

Thanks Mason Tvert!

 

... and the acquiescence of the clueless patients themselves who were too busy getting high to foresee the inevitable self-destruction it would bring.

 

Enjoy your "legitimization" ... you *deserve* it!

 

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay WTF!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY?! more and more stupid sh*it coming out of your cum covered mouth?? you are a basement dwelling freak, go back to your boones farm wine and leave everyone here alone!

PotUser
PotUser

 @DonkeyHotay

 You need to stop getting fucked by your donkey, it's poking a  hole in your brain.

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay WTF? can you not shut the f*ck up and let ANYONE else comment without you spouting off something stupid? Are you seriously 23 years old? Are you retarded? Did your mother drink while pregnant and prostitute at the same time? Your like the gullom of these boards, a lonely dirty basement dwelling crusty fat troll. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay 

     = Illiterate Prohibitionist, Enemy of our People and Constituion

 

Remove the criminal Pratt from the bench!

Skitz0
Skitz0

 @DonkeyHotay The subject is medical marijuana you act as if I came up with the points out of nowhere.  The real dope heads are the ones using legal opiates which are very deadly my mother in law nearly died from Oxycontin while trying to deal with pain from cancer you piece of ___________

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay you are a f*cking loser. this is the 10th comment from your dumbass on this page alone.

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay  wow... you avoided every aspect of his arguement and insulted him on top of it. go back to looking at kiddie porn and praying to jesus to kill all those wicked pot smokers you limp d*ck faggot.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Skitz0 You cannot justify standing on your head and spitting wooden nickles ... and this is why you haven't attempted to do so.

 

Idiot.

Skitz0
Skitz0

 @DonkeyHotay No that would be you.  I clearly stated that you cannot make such a justification and this is why you haven't attempted to do so.  It is impossible to justify the illegality of a safer alternative to deadly much more intoxicating and addictive opiates and amphetamines to the sick and dying.  You know this, every politician knows this, and most importantly the pharmaceutical companies know this.

puzzlebox666
puzzlebox666

 @DonkeyHotay WTF? can you not shut the f*ck up and let ANYONE else comment without you spouting off something stupid? Are you seriously 23 years old? Are you retarded? Did your mother drink while pregnant and prostitute at the same time? Your like the gullom of these boards, a lonely dirty basement dwelling crusty fat troll...

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

 @DonkeyHotay 

May as well include Chambers.

She hasn't had any since it was banging

on her forehead while she was in her mother's womb....

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