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Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money

Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money
Thomas Mitchell
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In December 2017, Sweet Leaf dispensaries across Denver were raided by the Denver Police Department; the homegrown chain had been under investigation for a year, on suspicions that stores were engaging in "looping," or selling more than an ounce of product to a customer in a day. The law has since been changed to change vague wording that had arguably created a loophole (interpreting the one-ounce limit as "per transaction" rather than per day), and charges were dropped against eighteen budtenders who'd been arrested.

But two higher-level Sweet Leaf employees are now serving thirty-day jail sentences...and a grand jury was convened to look into the case this year.

Says Anwar: 

Good. Serves them right for trying to ruin it for everybody else....They were purposely overselling to people.

Replies Leon: 

Sorry, the law is BS in the first place.

Responds Bret: 

it might be, but it’s still the law and when you have the kind of money they have invested in the business, you don’t take the risk...no matter how dumb the law happens to be.

Adds Josh: 

 What a waste of taxpayer money. The budget for marijuana enforcement ought to be precisely zero. #defundthedrugwar.

And Max adds: 

Meanwhile, actual crime is being ignored in Colorado because the state needs to make a profit off victimless crime. Less than a third of burglaries are solved, 50/50 on murders and rapes. The state does not care about actual crimes...only profit and control.

And Glen advises: 

Grow your own. Pennies on the dollar to what these places charge for it.

Keep reading for more of our coverage on Sweet Leaf.

Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money (2)
Jay Vollmar

"How Sweet Leaf's Success Story Went Up in Smoke"

Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money (3)
Scott Lentz

"Sweet Leaf Officially Ceases to Exist in Denver"

Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money (6)EXPAND
Scott Lentz

"Majority of Sweet Leaf Budtenders Have Had Their Charges Dismissed"

Reader: Sweet Leaf Case Was a Waste of Taxpayer Money (4)EXPAND
Scott Lentz

"Former Sweet Leaf Execs Land in Jail for Looping Scandal"

Former Sweet Leaf vice president Nichole West and retail operations manager Ashley Goldstein both pleaded guilty to felony drug charges and will each serve thirty days in jail, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office. The women were charged by the DA on Tuesday, November 27, with one count of distribution of four to twelve ounces of marijuana or marijuana concentrate, a class 4 drug felony; Goldstein also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana distribution charge.

While the legal battles faced by Sweet Leaf's ownership group and former budtenders have been well-documented, Goldstein and West are the first employees to be sentenced in connection with the case. So far, no charges have been filed against Sweet Leaf owners Anthony Sauro, Christian Johnson and Matthew Aiken, although the DA has confirmed that there was a grand jury investigation into the trio's involvement with Sweet Leaf. The three men were also heavily fined by the MED and cannot work for or have ownership in a Colorado marijuana business for fifteen years.

What do you think of the Sweet Leaf case? Post a comment or send your thoughts to marijuana@westword.com.

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