Marijuana: Colorado Springs owes $3.3M-plus after dispensary prosecution fails, attorney says
|Bob Crouse after his acquittal.|
The marijuana seized from Crouse was ultimately returned, but it had developed mold and was unusable. As a result, he filed a notice in late December that he'd be suing the city for its value, thought to be in the $300,000 range.
As for the Hillery case, McAllister stresses that "we definitely intend to file suit." But who the complaint will target remains up in the air.
"It's possible that we'll file not only against the Colorado Springs Police Department, but also against the MMED" -- the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, the state agency charged with overseeing the MMJ industry. "Originally, MMED agents came in and said, 'You're out of compliance. We're calling the cops.' And in conjunction with the MMED, and at the agent's order, the Colorado Springs Police took the product away. They didn't independent verify the plant count. They followed the MMED agent's recommendations, which is an example of poor training -- and it's not how they've typically handled these cases in the past, which is another big reason we won. Dan Hartman and the current director, Laura Harris, both testified that there have been cases where other people were told they had too many plants, and they went through an administrative process to destroy them -- and nobody got charged."
In McAllister's estimation, a lawsuit is likely to be filed by the end of March, with court action apt to follow during the summertime. He believes the results will be important not only for medical marijuana businesses, but possibly for recreational outlets that may be okayed under the implementation of Amendment 64.
"Whatever we do with recreational marijuana, we can't have a system that exposes people to criminal liability for administrative problems," he says. "If this is a business, it should be treated like any other business. We need to get out of the mentality that marijuana is a crime and these people are engaged in a criminal activity. People are doing their best to comply with complicated rules, which even regulators don't always understand. So this represents the difficulty of transitioning from forty years of a drug war to a regulated model.
"These kinds of criminal charges represent an old way of thinking, and not a regulated, business concept of marijuana."
Continue to read the Rocky Mountain Miracles motion.