Jason Lauve on Pot Progress and Challenges on Fifth Anniversary of Landmark Court Ruling

Categories: Marijuana

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Jason Lauve. More photos and images below.
Five years ago tomorrow, on August 6, 2009, Jason Lauve was acquitted in a high-profile medical marijuana case decided on the cusp of the MMJ boom. Since the conclusion of the landmark trial, Lauve is astonished by everything that's happened on the Colorado pot scene. But while he's optimistic about the future for both cannabis and hemp, for which he's become a well-known activist, he acknowledges that not all the changes have been positive.

See also: Medical Marijuana Patients Getting Scholarships From Local Group to Pay Expenses

As we've reported, Lauve broke his back in 2004 after being hit by a snowboarder. He subsequently became a medical marijuana patient under the provisions of Amendment 20, the measure that legalized the concept after being approved by voters in 2000. But in June 2008, he was arrested in Boulder County for allegedly having too much weed -- two pounds, two ounces.

The trial on this charge took place from August 3-6 of 2009, and in the end, Lauve was acquitted after a jury determined that the language of Amendment 20 was vague in regard to how much marijuana was medically necessary.

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A graphic from Lauve's Facebook page looks back on his trial.
Would the medical marijuana industry in Colorado have been negatively effected had the ruling gone the other way? Hard to say. But the decision in favor of Lauve was among the earliest indications that Colorado courts would rule in favor of marijuana patients despite cannabis remaining illegal for all uses according to federal law -- something that undoubtedly reassured patients, caregivers and entrepreneurs alike.

In the wake of the ruling, Lauve launched a number of projects, including a publication called Cannabis Health News Magazine and Colorado Patients Out of Time, which, among other things, provided scholarships to cover the cost of a doctor visit and red card for patients in need.

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Lauve with hemp seeds in another Facebook photo.
Today, Lauve is in the early stages of a related concept. "The conversations I've been having with patients and caregivers is about some sort of patient-support network," he says. "There are a lot of individual patient groups, but they don't have a cohesive platform for political influence in the state -- and that's one of the big things we need to move forward on."

In addition, he's been promoting hemp on a wide variety of fronts. "On the business side," he notes, "I'm consulting for about fifteen different entities," as well as "25 different hemp farms and various projects having to do with planting and other things." He's also working with local officials to launch an upcoming symposium to further spread the hemp gospel, and he recently spoke at the Denver County Fair "about industrial hemp, farming, production and marketing. And I was really impressed by how much excitement there is out there about it."

He sees more positives in coverage of cannabis issues. In his words, "some things have gotten better, especially in terms of communication. We're seeing more positive stories in the media and the dialogue in the public seems to be very open. I come across a lot of people in my daily routines, and conversations about cannabis are quite prevalent now."

And the negatives?

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Lauve talking about Hemp at the Denver County Fair.
"Patients seem to have less access nowadays to quality cannabis," he believes. "I think that's as a result of us going recreational. A lot of companies that have been growing over the years have had to mesh into a business model, and patients suffer because of that. So a lot of them have gone to the caregiver market, just like I have. I rarely go to dispensaries, because I find the quality to be better in the caregiver market, the prices to be cheaper -- and to me, the people are more caring than they are at a lot of the dispensaries. I hear patients saying, 'These medtenders don't know what they're talking about. They just want to pump you out the door.'

"That's not all dispensaries," he acknowledges. "But unfortunately, I think they're the exception to the rule."

Clearly, Lauve is on the side of compassion: "Being in service of others is not just a gift. It's fun, too," he says.

As for the anniversary of his trial, Lauve can't help reflecting on what might have been. Had he been convicted, after all, it's entirely conceivable that he could still be in jail.

"It's a blessing," he says, "just to be free."

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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36 comments
Max Padilla
Max Padilla

I agree. Don't buy weed in montbello it's still montbello. Go to boulder it's still boulder!

Jay Cismaru
Jay Cismaru

It is all the same even shwag from Mexico is just as good as your pretend kind

Che Weller
Che Weller

Myth 1. Growing great herb costs alot.... false. Do fertilizer companies want you to think that your weed wont grow good without $100 a gallon nutes? Yes they do. Heres a little story...ya know what Jamaicans use? Wood ashs and chicken shit. Not 'advanced nutrients'.

Eric Matthews
Eric Matthews

I don't know wtf this guy is talking about. I get amazing weed from my dispensary and I got my medical card. Growing high end weed is a costly start up project and the weed is cheap enough and amazing at the places I go to I have no need to grow my own. Maybe go to a better dispensary, its not like there's a shortage of them.

Che Weller
Che Weller

Ok maybe you cant grow, for whatever reason. But... you should have at least one friend that does. Everyone has "that one friend", everybody! get your supply from him or her. Also... If yall Stop patronizing or shopping at those half assed money hungry dispensaries, theyll be forced to change their practices or go out of business.

Pete Copeland
Pete Copeland

Yes it has. I often have to hop around shops to find a bag that doesn't look like the bottom of a lb....

Naomi Wolinsky
Naomi Wolinsky

not every one has a "green" thumb, or perhaps they live in an environment, such as a rental, where growing your own is not an option.

Naomi Wolinsky
Naomi Wolinsky

not every one has a "green" thumb, or perhaps they live in an environment, such as a rental, where growing your own is not an option.

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

Yes. Lots of small, milk dud like buds or if they're full size they've been hacked to death by an automatic trimmer.

Virgil Dunn
Virgil Dunn

Maybe they want to be seen with all the other "pretty people" at the local dispensary when they're throwing away their parents' trust fund money on overpriced schwag.

Che Weller
Che Weller

There's a solution.... grow your own. You all have that legal freedom wtf aren't yall taking advantage?

Lydia Cabrera
Lydia Cabrera

Yes it has. My dispense was amazing and then went rec=wreck . I looking for a new caregiver that doesn't do wreck just red card a

SpottedDick
SpottedDick

 "Patients seem to have less access nowadays to quality cannabis," he believes. "I think that's as a result of us going recreational. A lot of companies that have been growing over the years have had to mesh into a business model, and patients suffer because of that. So a lot of them have gone to the caregiver market, just like I have. I rarely go to dispensaries, because I find the quality to be better in the caregiver market, the prices to be cheaper -- and to me, the people are more caring than they are at a lot of the dispensaries. I hear patients saying, 'These medtenders don't know what they're talking about. They just want to pump you out the door.'


Word!


As our favorite jackass often says: Boycott the greedy big $ dispensary cartels, support your local private caregiver growers.



HempCleans
HempCleans

OOPS, I made a mistake there on the slide in the last picture. It is the New York Botanical Gardens and it is in the Bronx. I must have been thinking "No sleep til' Brooklyn!"

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

From small things big things come. Thanks for posting, Che.

HempCleans
HempCleans

P.S. I do have 8' hemp in my yard, which I do use for juicing of the leaves.

HempCleans
HempCleans

It is good to know that when I said "That's not all dispensaries," you replied with this comment. 

I know there are good centers out there.
How do I know what I know, well I have been to most of the centers since the first ones opened around 2003-4. I used to publish Cannabis Health News Magazine and have a strong research background. My goal as a patient has always been to support patients needs.
Please keep in mind this is a short article and I support many of the center's out there, because they not only have good products, but they have educated and courteous med-tenders who take the time to know there clients.
Physical limitations are one of many reasons why I personally do not grow and as you point out, cost is a large factor. To take the cost issue even further, with the gram a day of so called "Phoenix Tears" oil, 3-5 grams of flower/bud, the topical applications, etc., it can get extremely expensive.
Jason Lauve

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

"I don't know wtf this guy is talking about. I get amazing weed from my dispensary and I got my medical card. Growing high end weed is a costly start up project and the weed is cheap enough and amazing at the places I go to I have no need to grow my own. Maybe go to a better dispensary, its not like there's a shortage of them."  -- Obviously this statement is from a person that has never grown their own marijuana flowers.    Tobacco, chamomile, and other herbs/plants or flowers are generally under $20 per pound!  You'd be better off growing your own and investing your newly found surplus of money on precious metals....silver is around $20 per ounce...much cheaper than the outrageous retail price of marijuana. 


 Keep pissing your money away on schwag to employ the regulators, enforcement officers, and dispensary workers.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Eric. Much appreciated.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Interesting, Pete. Thanks.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Simply put, Lydia. Thanks for weighing in.

Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

Grow big or get screwed like a retail tourist.

Hot.Sauce
Hot.Sauce

@fistingblues heard "diseased dick" and came running as fast as he could.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@Hot.Sauce


You keep one in your pocket don't you saucy?  I hear you even pull it out when you are feeling a bit off and give it a lick. 

In fact, isn't that where you got the nickname "dick lick"?  

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