HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Smoker Wants Agents To Be Cited
Pubdate: Thu,  1 Jan 2004
Source: Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
Copyright: 2004, Denver Publishing Co.
Author:  Ellen Miller
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Feds Have Defied Judge's Order To Return Marijuana To Ill Man

A Hayden man whose medical marijuana was seized in a raid by local and
federal drug agents asked a judge Wednesday to find the officers in
contempt for refusing to return the plants.

Earlier in December, a Routt County judge ordered the drug task force
to return 2 ounces of the marijuana by Monday. The man's attorney
filed for a contempt citation Wednesday.

Don Nord, 57, is disabled by a work injury and ill with cancer,
diabetes and other maladies. He is registered with the state medical
marijuana program, entitling him to keep marijuana, under state law.
Federal law makes no such allowance for marijuana, and the Drug
Enforcement Administration remains adamant that it will not return
Nord's pot.

"Under federal law, marijuana is contraband, and by policy, we destroy
contraband," said U.S. attorney's spokesman Dick Weatherbee.

DEA spokesman Bill Grant said the agency isn't bound by the order of
Routt County Judge James Garrecht.

"Federal law supersedes state law, and the federal government does not
recognize the medicinal use of marijuana," he said.

But Kris Hammond, Nord's attorney, said denying a sick man medication
OK'd by a doctor is "ridiculous. This has got to be stopped. Sick, old
people are being denied their medication, and he's a totally harmless

Nord, who also has lung disease and needs supplemental oxygen, lives
on $642 a month in a small apartment and relies on friends to help him
cover the cost of prescription drugs - some of which he wouldn't have
to take if he could resume marijuana use.

A former maintenance worker, Nord was injured in a fall on the job and
was disabled in 1985.

"The only thing that relaxes me so I can sleep is marijuana, and it's
better for pain, too," he said. "The reason I started this whole thing
about returning it is so it doesn't happen to anybody else."

Police raided Nord's apartment Oct. 14, seizing three marijuana
plants, growing equipment and pipes. Nord was ticketed for misdemeanor
drug possession, but the charges were dropped. The government said it
lost its copy of the ticket.

Hammond then persuaded the judge to order the DEA to return Nord's
growing equipment, pipes and 2 ounces of marijuana.
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