Steamboat Springs Timothy Nelson, accused of growing marijuana at his Hayden home, was about to accept a plea agreement to end his case before prosecutors told him he would not be able to use medical marijuana while on probation.
When he heard that, Nelson tore up the agreement and decided to go back to court.
On Friday, Nelson again appeared in District Court in Routt County in front of Judge Shelley Hill. He parted ways with his former lawyer, Sandy Horner, and now is representing himself.
Before the hearing began, Nelson said that when he heard he would not be able to use medical marijuana on probation, his doctor changed his prescription to a combination of narcotics to treat his chronic pain from torn ligaments and intestinal problems.
The new treatment isn’t working for him, he told Hill, and he requested that a public defender represent him to move the case forward.
Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle said it is the opinion of judges in Routt County that people on probation should not be allowed to use medical marijuana because a requirement of probation is to not break any laws. Because federal law does not recognize medical marijuana, using it would be a violation of that law, he said. Prindle said the DA’s office supports that decision.
Nelson was arrested after Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies raided his home May 23 when a deputy, investigating a report of a loose dog, saw marijuana growing in the house. Deputies seized six plants in the raid.
Nelson was not home at the time, but was later arrested on charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and unaltered dog at large.