Congratulations to Robert Crouse and his legal team, Clifton Black, Charles Houghton, and Laura Haynes!
The Colorado Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, has affirmed the trial court’s ruling, that the police must return marijuana to a medical marijuana patient that has been charged and acquitted for possession of the marijuana. This ruling supports the wishes of the voters of Colorado who voted in Article XVIII, section 14 of the Colorado Constitution allowing for the use and possession of marijuana by those suffering from debilitating medical conditions.
Specifically, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals have determined that the Federal Controlled Substances Act does not preempt (or override) the Colorado Constitution Article XVIII, section 14, (2), (e) that clearly states that marijuana shall be returned to a patient upon an acquittal.
This decision will have significant impact on how patients are treated by the government during an arrest, including search & seizure and the end of the criminal case when the police are required to return the property.
The medical marijuana amendment also requires law enforcement to not harm, neglect, injure, or destroy the property seized in connection with medical marijuana. In the case at hand, the police failed in their duties when they willfully destroyed this patient’s medicine. This legal team hopes that this ruling will change police procedure so that a patients’ medical property will not be harmed in the future.
You can read the opinion in full here.