Hayden resident won’t give up medical marijuana in plea deal

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Timothy Nelson

— 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.

Comments

mmjPatient22 4 years, 8 months ago

Did Mr. Nelson have the recommendation of a doctor for marijuana at the time of the incident? I'm assuming that he didn't because his case is in the legal system. Just wondering because the article did not specify.

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jk 4 years, 8 months ago

MMJ,
"Routt County Sheriff's Office Investigator Mike Curzon, who is in charge of the case, said last week that during their final search, on May 26, deputies had information that Nelson did not have a medical marijuana license and took the last six plants, along with a computer and some files."

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muck 4 years, 8 months ago

Well this is how i see it.

If he was going to accept a plea for the "crime" that he must have felt he had no case to win, then he must not have had any mmj license. So if he had no case, or mmj license he cannot legally grow or have marijuana in anyway.

I would have to assume that if you go on probation you cannot consume alcohol also right?? Why would he think he could smoke a natural product and it would be ok because they say it's illegal.

Also i think that under ammendment 20. If he were a true registered mmj patient, he would have been protected from this article based on "patient confidentiality" rights givin to all of us under all medical circumstances.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

This is a perfect example of why states should not pass laws --- or constitutional amendments --- which violate Federal laws. It is all just Alice in Wonderland.

This is also an example of how "medical" marijuana is such a farce --- this guy was self-medicating himself. More power to him but he is not a doctor. He was a guy who wanted to get high.

He, like all medical marijuana "patients", wanted to smoke some dope. Fair play to the old boy just don't pretend it is about medicine.

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muck 4 years, 8 months ago

WAIT! WAIT! JLM stop! The state? NO! The people of the state. Not the state. Dude you are really a government sheep! Look at your comments! We should not do what mommy says we shouldn't do!! Or change anything unjust or mistakes that were law like "SLAVERY" (YOU IDIOT) made into law. Or have the right to think strait and be PISSED when they lie to me!

Who are you to judge a man's pain? Do you read people's thoughts? Can you feel the my emotions toward ignorance.

So JLM Mr. Government man, which one are you??

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

@ muck ---

Well, you certainly shouldn't do what your Mommy says not to do as she will take away your computer privileges, dear boy.

Please be quiet while the adults are talking.

We are a Nation of laws, not men. If Colorado wants to confuse its standing with the Federal government, have at it but be prepared to deal with the confusion.

Now run along. Bed time is nigh!

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exduffer 4 years, 8 months ago

This just goes to show, you can't have your dope and smoke it too.

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freerider 4 years, 8 months ago

JLM spoken like the true fascist you are, pathetic ignorant bully with the body of a sheep and the head of an ostrich . Why don't you run along little boy and let the adults talk about taking our constitutional rights back from the Federal Government or should I say our corporate fascist govenment , fools like you are so caught up in the corruption you actually support it. what a bafoon. Your position supports drug cartels and organizations like the Taliban , idiot , your a scared little boy that buys into the fear mongering and lies that our government just loves to feed the sheep ....baaaa baaaa baaa baaaa your mothers calling you............ go away now

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 8 months ago

Judges and DA can have their policies, but I can see this guy going to a jury and say he was following medical marijuana rules (6 plants for personal use), but messed up the procedures of getting a card. That he now has a mmj card and he won't make the same mistakes again. With that I just don't see a jury convicting him of cultivation and possession.

The DA and judges are also being disingenuous. It is obvious that state and federal laws are in conflict and the Justice Dept has said it will not pursue personal possession cases of mj. So the laws are in conflict and the feds have said that they will not prosecute this sort of case. The feds have said that in this situation of conflicting laws that they are allowing citizens to live by State law, but the local DA and judge ignore that and want the guy to live by unenforced federal law.

It is wrong and I think Routt County citizens should seriously consider starting a recall petition asking the DA and Judges to follow Colorado State law.

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JLM 4 years, 8 months ago

@ sw ---

The most important responsibility that any DA has is "prosecutorial discretion", the judgement as to what cases to prosecute and to what extent to prosecute those he selects.

That is why the prosecutor in this case --- exercising his discretion --- initially offered the perp a deal. He was winking and saying --- "this is not a big deal".

When the perp found out that part of the plea deal was a prohibition against using mmj during the period of probation, he spit the bit and decided against the plea arrangement. Ill advised and bad decision.

The DA's insistence on the prohibition against using mmj during the period of probation was an equally sound decision. You can't pick and choose which laws to obey. The law is the law. Probation is a good deal given the alternatives.

By drawing attention to the mmj provision, the perp raised the ante and doomed the chances of working around this roadblock.

A more experienced criminal attorney would have simply had his client agree to the plea deal and then thereafter asked the Judge for a modification of the plea arrangement to allow his client to use mmj strictly under a Doctor's care. He could likely have broached the subject at the actual plea agreement hearing.

As much confusion as there is in the conflict between the Colorado Amendment and Federal law, the Judge --- exercising his judicial discretion --- would have likely agreed. The DA is not likely to second guess a doctor and a Judge is not likely to countenance an argument from a DA in conflict with a medical professional.

The first rule of any criminal defense is to get your "get out of jail free" card. After you are free, you can either take your chances or seek a modification of your plea arrangement. An experienced criminal attorney with an active practice would have made a deal with a local DA in a second. Happens all the time.

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