American kids are born capitalists -- capable of understanding that they can make some folding green from another kind of green just lying around the house.
Example? A teen in Carbondale was busted for bringing some of his dad's medical marijuana to middle school and selling it to students.
Tony Hershey, deputy district attorney for Colorado's 9th Judicial District, who prosecuted the case, sees the potential for more incidents like this one. "I'm concerned that this issue came up," he says. "I think this was an unintended consequence of the medical marijuana statute. That's how the child got it."
Not that Hershey tried to make an example of the boy. Instead of sticking to a distribution and possession charge, he asked for a deferred judgment, and got it. The boy has since been released from home detention.
Hershey thinks the punishment was appropriate.
"In juvenile court, the purpose is to protect the community while at the same time acting in the best interest of the child," he says. "So my major goal was to get services in place that were appropriate for him."
As medical marijuana becomes more prevalent in Colorado, so do incidents involving MMJ and children. Earlier this month, we told you about two happenings that occurred within days of each other: an eleven-year-old who shot himself in the foot while guarding his parents' grow and a baby who had to be hospitalized after ingesting some of his folks' marijuana edibles.
As for the prospect of additional cases like the one in Carbondale, Hershey says, "I can't predict what's going to happen -- but I wouldn't be surprised to see more."
Neither would anyone else. After all, this is America.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.