Medical marijuana: Dr. Toribio Robert Mestas cleared of charges after sting operation
On Wednesday, Dr. Toribio Robert Mestas was cleared on four counts stemming from an undercover operation in March 2010 by the South Metro Drug Task Force. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Kurt A. Horton dismissed Mestas on charges of writing fraudulent medical marijuana recommendations.
Dr. Mestas was randomly targeted by an officer who secretly recorded his examination.
According to Judge Horton's dismissal order (which can be viewed below), Agent Joseph Ward, assuming the alias "Joseph Butkus," scheduled an appointment with Mestas seeking to obtain a Physician's Certification for medical use of marijuana. Ward, or "Butkus," filled out a Medical Marijuana Registry Application Form and underwent an examination with Mestas.
According to the Cannabis Therapy Institute, Ward complained of lower back pain that was severe enough to affect his work as a handyman. The group also says Mestas took a patient history and advised Ward to stop smoking and lose weight.
Mestas then advised Ward on different types of marijuana, and Ward purchased some from AGD Herbal Medicine, which shares a building with the doctor.
Mestas was charged with attempt to influence a public servant, forgery, distribution of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
In clearing Mestas of all four counts, Judge Horton ruled that he acted in compliance with Colorado's Constitutional Amendment, which grants physicians an exemption from medical marijuana recommendation laws.
Read the full dismissal order below.
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