HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Student Fights CU Over Hazy Marijuana Law
Pubdate: Sat, 20 Sep 2008
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2008 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Allison Sherry
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


"I Was Never Really Worried About The Court Case Because I Was 
Following The State Law."

A University of Colorado at Boulder student who has a 
medical-marijuana card will be given his pot back by  campus police Monday.

CU officials relented when threatened with a lawsuit  after campus 
police confiscated less than 2 ounces of  pot from Edward Nicholson's 
dorm room, and officials  threatened him with suspension.

Nicholson, 20, said he was holding the drug for his  23-year-old 
brother, a chronic-pain sufferer.

State law allows doctor-recommended marijuana use for  those 
"suffering from debilitating medical conditions."  Caregivers of 
patients must carry state-issued  medical-marijuana cards.

Nicholson is the cardholder because he says pot is  easier to buy in 
Boulder than in Aurora, where his  family lives.

The ordeal started last winter when an officer smelled  pot in 
Nicholson's dorm lockbox during a room  walk-through on winter break. 
When Nicholson brandished  his registry card, that officer didn't cite him.

But in February and March, Nicholson said he was  awakened several 
nights in a row by CU-Boulder police  officers who said they could 
smell pot coming from his  room. Nicholson said he doesn't smoke pot 
and called  the late-night door knocks obnoxious.

"They were on an unbelievable power trip," he said.

CU officials couldn't talk about the case, citing  student privacy laws.

In May, campus authorities threatened to suspend him  for a semester, 
to commit him to community service and  drug and alcohol testing, and 
make him write a paper  about the harmful effects of the drug on his schooling.

After Nicholson hired lawyer Robert Corry, who  threatened a lawsuit, 
CU officials threw the case out.

"They didn't do any harm to me, but they sure tried,"  said 
Nicholson, who is now in his second year at CU and  living 
off-campus. "I was never really worried about  the court case because 
I was following the state law."

CU officials revised their policies this fall to  accommodate the 
8-year-old medical-marijuana law.

CU students - even medical-pot cardholders - are not  allowed to 
store the drug in dorms. But officials say  they'll release 
first-year students from the on-campus  residency requirement if they 
are cardholders "at their  prerogative," said CU lawyer Jeremy Hueth, 
who worked  on Nicholson's case.

"If they (medical-marijuana cardholders) would rather  move off 
campus . . . we're not going to penalize them  for it," he said.

There are 1,955 cardholders in Colorado, according to  last year's 
statistics from the state health  department.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said in a  statement 
responding to the CU case Friday that the  medical-marijuana law has 
become a "front for  widespread marijuana distribution."

"The proponents of these laws make them intentionally  ambiguous, 
causing significant problems for law  enforcement in Colorado and 
elsewhere," he said.
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