Newsbrief: In Colorado First, Denver Police Return Marijuana to Patient 3/11/05

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On March 4, medical marijuana patient Thomas Lawrence made Colorado history as the Denver Police Department returned to him a bag of marijuana it had seized during a January 11 traffic stop. While Lawrence didn't have his permit with him when stopped, he did have a state medical marijuana permit, and he went to the police station on February 3 with a court order demanding the medicine be returned. Police initially balked, but last week the weed walked.

Thomas Lawrence get
his marijuana back
from the state
(courtesy Colorado
Freedom Report
)
"This is the first time that drugs have been released to anyone" by Denver police, Detective Sgt. Teresa Garcia told the Colorado Freedom Report. As for the department's earlier refusal to comply with the court order, Garcia pleaded ignorance. "I'm not too specific about that," she said. "It's narcotics, it's a controlled substance, so we have to take every precaution."

"They were really polite -- they apologized for the misunderstanding," said Lawrence. "It was simple; it was like picking up anything else... It was difficult for them to let go of, I guess."

While Lawrence was happy to get his medicine back, his attorney, Robert Corry said police had acted improperly in seizing the marijuana in the first place. "The state government has no right to take his medicine from him... The police need an education on Colorado law. There are certain people who have a right to use medical marijuana," he said. Still, said Corry, the medicine's return was "a victory for the voters of Colorado" and for patients, who, he said, "for too long have been living in fear."

But Lawrence still had one complaint: The condition of his medicine after nearly two months in police storage. "It's a little drier than I'd like," he said.

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Issue #378 -- 3/11/05

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Busy Week: Campaign for Repeal of HEA Drug Provision on the RISE | UN Forum Highlights Divides Over Harm Reduction -- US Powerful But Isolated | Police and Needle Exchanges: The Philadelphia Story and Beyond | Howard Rides Again: Former Texas Lawman Riding Cross Country on Horseback to Explain Why Cops Say Legalize Drugs | DRCNet Interviews Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann on Reaching Out to the Right | Coasters to Stop the Drug War | Newsbrief: Federal Prosecutors Ask Life Sentence for Dr. Hurwitz | Newsbrief: Mountie Murders Shift Canada Marijuana Debate Rightward Even Though Grow-Up Link Tenuous | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Newsbrief: In Colorado First, Denver Police Return Marijuana to Patient | Newsbrief: Peruvian First Lady Defends Coca | Newsbrief: Local Authorities Trying to Ban Million Marijuana March in London Neighborhood | Newsbrief: Dutch Coffee Shops Facing Pressure, Greater Controls | Events and Conferences Coming Up for Drug Reformers -- Come Out and Be a Part of It | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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