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Marijuana: Colorado Springs owes $3.3M-plus after dispensary prosecution fails, attorney says

Categories: Marijuana

ali hillery.jpg
Ali Hillery.
In March, Rocky Mountain Miracles owner Ali Hillery was hit with felony charges over alleged discrepancies in the Colorado Springs dispensary's plant count. She was cleared of these charges last month, and her attorney, Sean McAllister, issued a motion calling for material seized by authorities to be returned by Monday. It was not -- so now, he's laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against the city, with damage demands expected to exceed $3 million.

McAllister offers a quick summary of the case.

Hillery "was raided on March 19 and 20. She had about 1,300 plants, and police said she had about fifty pounds of marijuana -- but when they raided her, they said she was only allowed 700 plants and about eighteen pounds of marijuana. So they took away 600 plants and 35 pounds of marijuana. They just cut down the plants, and they grabbed the marijuana whether it was cured, dried and harvested or wet and curing."

rocky mountain miracles interior.jpg
Inside Rocky Mountain Miracles.
This last action was only one of many problematic parts of the seizure, in McAllister's view. "The local police clearly didn't know the rule that only finished marijuana counts as inventory. At the trial, the state's own expert came in and said it was in the process of curing -- it had fan leaves on it and was on the stalk. And that was one of the big reasons why we got an acquittal -- in part because they didn't know the rules about how to weight the marijuana, and in part because the jury found there was no way for the dispensary owner to know how many patients she had."

Indeed, McAllister has regularly raised questions about the vague process for record keeping at medical marijuana dispensaries. "The health department won't tell them how many patients they have, so there was no way for her to comply with the law -- because how do you comply if you don't know how many patients you have?"

In the end, Hillery was acquitted on all counts, prompting McAllister to ask that the city return the plants and product, in order to determine if any of it is still unable -- something he considers to be extremely unlikely. And that's only the beginning.

"The first step is to assess my client's damages," he says. "When they ceased all of the plants and marijuana, they basically turned her business upside down. She had to go out and buy wholesale marijuana, and make less than half the profit she would have otherwise, which caused real damages in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we estimate in our complaint" -- read it below in its entirety -- "that the plants and product they took was valued at $3.3 million."

This figure is based on "the DEA's own numbers," McAllister continues. "They say every plant produces a pound, and a pound is worth $5,000."

Other expenses further inflate the $3.3 million figure, McAllister maintains. "Not only did she have to buy product from other people, but she had to replant to replace the plants that were taken. And there were the legal fees for months and months of litigation over this illegitimate criminal charge. The City of Colorado Springs sought to revoke her license, which is still up in the air -- and even though the city might be withdrawing that petition, the damages associated with fighting the revocation, and the emotional distress of the whole thing, are considerable."

Hillery's case isn't the only one of its kind.

Continue to read more about the potential lawsuit against the City of Colorado Springs and see the aforementioned motion for return of property.



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18 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Acquittal ? They actually have 'Acquittals' for people who aren't professional athletes, movie stars, cops, politicians or directly connected/associated w/ so ?  

AMAZING !......

Yet, in the end the poor lady STILL gets FUCKED !!!

" God bless America!  Land that I love !...."

Stumbler
Stumbler

Sean McLawyer to the rescue! Wait until the state unleashes their $2 million seed-to-sale-to-jail RFID tracking system that they have waiting in the wings. There will be no more ambiguity, and the planned police takeover of the marijuana "legalization" movement will be complete. Regulation works!

RobGsrh
RobGsrh

What is funny is that mmj patients have sued and won several cases just like this. In Ft. Collins, one plaintiff used the police departments own "facts" on how much the crop was worth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

1300 plants = MANDATORY Federal Prison Sentence of 10 (ten) years for first offense !!

Solution for Colorado Springs in this ill-conceived civil action = turn the case over to the DEA / Feds for criminal prosecution. The statute of limitations is still active for Federal Criminal prosecution on this case you clueless pot clowns.

These greedy egocentric Marijuana McLawyers place their clueless clients in extreme harm and danger with their unprofessional, unethical aiding and abetting of their clients' Continual Criminal Enterprises.


And on what planet is 35 lbs of pot -- even if it was all A quality bud -- worth $3 million? ... LOL!

35 pounds X $5500 / lb = $192,500  ... NOT $3 fucking million you stupid stoners.

Stupid Stoners + Math = Epic FAIL!

First thing the City will do is demand to see the FINANCIAL RECORDS and TAXES of this dispensary -- to see if they were in fact making $3 MILLION per harvest as they claim, then prosecute them for TAX EVASION if they weren't declaring and paying on that absurdly inflated figure.


"When they ceased [sic] all of the plants and marijuana"

Stupid Stoners + Grammar = Epic FAIL!

HipTip: if your Stoner Lawyer is too stupid to spell or comprehend basic English phonemes, find another attorney.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@rgillispie1 A big judgment could have an impact on future prosecutions. Thanks for the post, rgillespie1.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@rgillispie1 ... what's funny is how pathetically wrong you are. Name any dispensary who successfully received CASH $$ from the cops/government for any seized marijuana.



Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@DonkeyHotay  I 'kinda' possess personal knowledge on the subject & the FEDS used to come down HARD on those cultivating . This usually only occurred when the state didn't pursue criminal charges . It was like 1 - 5 & 6 - 99 plants, which carried mandatory sentencing lengths .

Fortunately, both state & Fed authorities have 'calmed' in their quest for marijuana as is additionally reflected in lighter sentences for Pot convictions nation wide . As of the past ten years, it's WAY easier to plead down to a non-incarcerated sentence than it was in 1987 !

Anon
Anon

@DonkeyHotayYou fail at reading comprehension. Using DEA numbers, 600 Plants yielding one LB each @$5,000 3,000,000 + 35LBs at $5000 each = 175,000 + cost of buying from other dispensaries + lose of profit + cost of replanting + legal costs = the 3.3 mil they came up with. Seems you are the epic failure in this case.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@free_radical ... so you support foreign countries using drone assassination strikes within the U$A, eh?

bongsucker
bongsucker

@Anon @DonkeyHotay

The financial value of an immature plant isn't 5 grand otherwise seeds and clones would sell for thousands each.

Even a bongsucker like me knows the claim is a publicity stunt. A dangerous one at that.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bongsucker

Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do.

This case has the potential to win The Bartkowicz Award for self-destructive hubris.


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