Pubdate: Wed, 29 Oct 2014
Source: Baraboo News Republic  (WI)
Copyright: 2014 Capital Newspapers
Author: Elizabeth Onheiber For the News Republic


A Madison couple investigated for possessing marijuana and drug
paraphernalia in Baraboo will not be charged with a crime for
possessing the controlled substance.

The Baraboo Police Department and City Attorney Mark Reitz declined to
prosecute the offenses and found the couple provided authorities with
valid Wisconsin medical marijuana prescriptions.

While investigating a complaint about a dog left in the vehicle of
Greg and Karen Kinsley on Sept. 13 at the Sauk County Fairgrounds,
Baraboo Police Sgt. Mark Lee and Det. Jeremy Drexler spotted a
marijuana pipe through the car window. The officers confiscated it
along with a small amount of marijuana after resolving the pet issue.

During a discussion, the couple provided signed documentation from
Wisconsin doctors recommending medicinal marijuana and Karen Kinsley
presented a valid Oregon medical marijuana registry card.

The husband and wife say their prescriptions for medical marijuana are
intended to help with Crohn's disease and treat the pain of scoliosis,

A seldom used state law passed in 1971 allows Wisconsin citizens to
possess marijuana with a valid doctor's note and serves as an
exemption to the Wisconsin Controlled Substance Act.

The couple spent some time discussing the statutes with police, who
ultimately declined to issue possession charges at the scene, and
instead deferred the matter to the Baraboo City Attorney Mark Reitz
for possible prosecution as a city ordinance violation.

"If the person in possession of the marijuana had a valid
prescription, then that is valid in Wisconsin," Reitz said shortly
after the incident.

Police focused their investigation on determining whether the
prescriptions were valid.

In an email Lee sent to the couple Oct. 23 at the conclusion of his
investigation, the police sergeant said he spoke with Dr. Zorba Paster
of Dean Clinic in Oregon, Wisconsin, who prescribed medical marijuana.

"After speaking to him I believe that the letter you received from him
in 2012 could be interpreted as a 'medical order,'" the statement
says. "Due to this, there will be no charges or citations from this

In his police report, Det. Drexler reached the same

"It would appear at this time that they would be under the law with
the statutes provided," he stated.

Lee said he looked into the "rather rigid system" of rules and
regulations of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, and warned the
Kinsleys that program prevents them from using marijuana in public.

He told the Madison couple that smoking in their vehicle is hazardous
if they drive while impaired, and also could violate the terms of
their Oregon prescription since activity inside a vehicle typically
occurs within public view.

There are few regulations regarding use of medical marijuana in the
1971 Wisconsin legislation. Numerous attempts to legislate more
comprehensive marijuana reforms in the state have failed over the
years, leaving no means of supply for Wisconsin medical marijuana
users or restrictions on qualifying conditions. Medication not returned

In his email, Lee also stated that the items confiscated from the
Kinsleys would not be returned because it could not be determined if
the substances were obtained legally through the Oregon program.
Wisconsin has no medical marijuana dispensaries, and the law does not
specifically regulate how the medicine can be obtained.

Greg Kinsley said he believes police should return the property and
said he plans to contact Reitz for clarification about the refusal to
release the medication.
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