Pubdate: Fri, 02 Nov 2012
Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Gazette
Author: Matt Steiner


Authorities held on to a Colorado Springs leukemia patient's stash of
medical marijuana Friday, even after a court ordered its return.

Bob Crouse, who was acquitted on felony drug charges in late June, and
his attorney Clifton Black went to the Police Operation Center on
Friday and were greeted by news of a possible appeal by the 4th
Judicial District Attorney's Office.

"They said they were sorry we were told one thing yesterday and
another thing today," Crouse said after a police officer explained the
situation to him behind closed doors. "They said they were just
following instructions."

According to the court order signed Tuesday, the 6 pounds of refined
marijuana and more than 50 plants seized from Crouse's home in May
2011 must be returned to Crouse "within 10 days from the date of this

Crouse was arrested after police said he was using the plants to make
pot-infused barbecue sauce. The man said that the large amount of pot
was needed in order to extract crucial parts of the marijuana to fight
off his disease. His case has become a rallying point for the
pro-marijuana community who say that his case shows how authorities
treat users of legalized medical marijuana.

Lee Richards, a spokeswoman from District Attorney Dan May's office,
addressed the failure to return Crouse's pot.

"The Colorado Springs Police Department asked the DA's office to send
it to our appellate attorney for review to see if it's something that
should be appealed," Richards said.

Crouse's attorney argued that holding the evidence is

Black cited Colorado Constitution Amendment 20, which states that
marijuana seized by law enforcement officals "shall be returned
immediately" upon acquittal.

"It just drives me crazy to see us waste taxpayer's money attacking a
cancer patient," Black said.

About a dozen supporters of Crouse and the medical marijuana industry
gathered outside the police department building Friday. Among those
present was Howard Wooldridge, a former police detective in Michigan
turned activist for marijuana rights.

"Today I came to essentially apologize for law enforcement for the way
they've treated the leukemia patient Bob Crouse," Wooldridge said,
sitting atop his brown and white horse and wearing a T-shirt that read
"Cops say legalize pot, ask me why."

Jason Warf of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council joined
Crouse supporters on Friday.

Warf and Crouse both expressed concerns that even if the DA's appeal
fails, they do not believe Crouse's pot will be in usable condition
after months in an evidence locker.

"After a few months of laying around, it's useless," Warf said.
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