Moments from now, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office will return hash it seized from medical marijuana patient Gregory VonAlmen -- and Von Almen's attorney, Rob Corry, believes the decision sets a precedent by establishing that marijuana concentrate and other related products are also protected by Amendment 20, which legalized MMJ in Colorado.
"A lot of police officers, prosecutors and other authorities are under the mistaken impression that, for some reason, marijuana concentrate is not covered," Corry says. "That's why today is important, and why we're looking forward to getting the medicine."
Moreover, he continues, "I think it implies that anything containing THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, that's being used for medical purposes is also protected."
For Corry, the fact that today's give-back is taking place in Arapahoe County, which he describes as "one of the more stringent jurisdictions in the state," is also significant. "I commend the DA [Carol Chambers] for doing the right thing in this case, but she's no friend of medical marijuana -- she's not a supporter. That makes the fact it's happening there even more extraordinary.
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"Hopefully, there'll come a day when police giving back marijuana or marijuana products isn't newsworthy," he allows. "Hopefully, there'll come a day when they stop taking it at all. But we're not there yet."
Here's a press release from Corry's office providing more details:
ARAPAHOE SHERIFF TO RETURN MARIJUANA CONCENTRATE TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT
Thanksgiving dinner will be much more delicious for one Colorado medical marijuana patient this year. On Tuesday 11/16/2010 at 11:00 a.m., the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department will return the medical marijuana it confiscated from Gregory VonAlmen last January. However, the marijuana he will receive won't be green.
When Arapahoe County Sheriff's deputies pulled Mr. VonAlmen over for failing to use his turn signals, the deputies uncovered a form of marijuana known as hashish, or hash. Hash comes in small compressed blocks, usually about half the size of a sugar cube, and is typically brown, black, or yellow in color.
Authorities occasionally take the legal position that so-called marijuana "concentrate" is not included in the medical marijuana defense. The result in this case clears up this misconception. Most Colorado medical marijuana centers sell hash and other concentrated forms of marijuana, such as kief, a powdered marijuana concentrate that can be further compressed into blocks of hash.
Mr. VonAlmen's lawyer, Robert J. Corry, Jr., commends the Arapahoe District Attorney and heralds the return of his client's hash as a success in the battle for medical marijuana patient's rights.
Mr. VonAlmen gives thanks that his medicine will be returned to him and hopes the return will have a positive effect on future seizures of concentrated marijuana; "If [this return] could possibly prevent the next guy from having to go through this, then it is a bonus." The hash-handoff will go down at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, 13101 East Broncos Parkway in Centennial.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana returned by sheriff's office a year after seizure: See the photos."