It’s been 14 months since the police swarmed Bob Crouse‘s Colorado Springs House, confiscated his personal medical marijuana garden and brought a felony charge against him for possession with intent to distribute. Friday an El Paso County jury found the leukemia patient not guilty.
Crouse swore to his innocence all along, saying he had a fairly major grow operation only because he needed as many as 75 plants in order to ensure a steady supply of phoenix tears, which are created by boiling about a pound of marijuana at a time, turning it into about an ounce of slushy oil, which is then taken in doses of about a gram a day. Many cancer patients swear by the process, but the only way most can afford a steady supply is by growing their own.
Leukemia patient and medical marijuana user Bob Crouse, on right, outside the El Paso County Courthouse. To his left is Shan Moore, father of teenage medical marijuana patient Chaz Moore aka Bill Smith. (Kersgaard)
“Buying it was not an option,” Crouse told The Colorado Independent last year.
“I was just trying to grow the quantity of medicine I needed to medicate myself. I never had any intent to distribute,” Crouse said then. “They think I was part of an underground network, but I think I was within my rights. They thought I was a criminal. I tell you it was real intimidating when they showed up with eight or 10 agents. I’m a 63-year-old leukemia patient fighting for the right to fight for my life.”
State law allows medical marijuana patients to possess up to two ounces of marijuana or three mature plants, but also says a person may possess as much marijuana as is medically necessary.
Since Crouse possessed substantially more marijuana than two ounces or three plants, he exercised what is called an “affirmative defense,” essentially saying that while he possessed more marijuana than statute allows, he did not possess more than is medically necessary and therefore did not possess more than is allowed under the constitution.
He said prosecutors did not want to allow him to use the affirmative defense, but that the judge ruled in his favor on that point. “Throughout the trial, the judge (Timothy Schultz) was fighting for my right to defend myself. He said I had the ability to run my affirmative defense and I am grateful that the jury was able to follow along through the maze of laws,” he said.
– Read the entire article at The Colorado Independent.