Pubdate: Thu, 08 Jan 2004
Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Copyright: 2004, Denver Publishing Co.
Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Author: Ellen Miller, Special To The News


In a collision of federal and state drug laws, nine law enforcement
officers, including a federal drug agent, were issued contempt
citations Wednesday and ordered by a judge to appear in court Feb. 2
to explain why they shouldn't be jailed or fined.

Routt County Court Judge James Garrecht had ordered the officers to
return 2 ounces of marijuana seized in an October raid of Don Nord's

Nord, 57, who suffers from cancer, diabetes and other maladies, has a
certificate from the state's medical marijuana registry allowing him
to use and grow small amounts of marijuana.

His misdemeanor ticket for possession was dismissed after prosecutors
said the citation was lost. The judge ordered authorities to return
Nord's growing equipment, pipes and 2 ounces of marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Agency, however, refused to comply, saying
federal law supersedes state law and makes no provision for medical

Nord's growing equipment, however, was returned. State authorities
said the marijuana was sent to a DEA lab, as per usual procedure in
Moffat, Routt and Grand counties.

Eight of the nine officers involved in the raid work for northwestern
Colorado law enforcement agencies, while the ninth was a DEA agent.

"I'm happy the court wants to enforce its order, and I hope they give
my client his medicine back," said Kris Hammond, Nord's attorney.
"It'll be interesting."

The court scheduled a "show cause" hearing, where the officers will
have to explain to the judge why they should not be held in contempt.
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