STUDENT FIGHTS CU OVER HAZY MARIJUANA LAW
"I Was Never Really Worried About The Court Case Because I Was Following The State Law."
A University of Colorado at Boulder student who has a medical-marijuana card will be given his pot back by campus police Monday.
CU officials relented when threatened with a lawsuit after campus police confiscated less than 2 ounces of pot from Edward Nicholson's dorm room, and officials threatened him with suspension.
Nicholson, 20, said he was holding the drug for his 23-year-old brother, a chronic-pain sufferer.
State law allows doctor-recommended marijuana use for those "suffering from debilitating medical conditions." Caregivers of patients must carry state-issued medical-marijuana cards.
Nicholson is the cardholder because he says pot is easier to buy in Boulder than in Aurora, where his family lives.
The ordeal started last winter when an officer smelled pot in Nicholson's dorm lockbox during a room walk-through on winter break. When Nicholson brandished his registry card, that officer didn't cite him.
But in February and March, Nicholson said he was awakened several nights in a row by CU-Boulder police officers who said they could smell pot coming from his room. Nicholson said he doesn't smoke pot and called the late-night door knocks obnoxious.
"They were on an unbelievable power trip," he said.
CU officials couldn't talk about the case, citing student privacy laws.
In May, campus authorities threatened to suspend him for a semester, to commit him to community service and drug and alcohol testing, and make him write a paper about the harmful effects of the drug on his schooling.
After Nicholson hired lawyer Robert Corry, who threatened a lawsuit, CU officials threw the case out.
"They didn't do any harm to me, but they sure tried," said Nicholson, who is now in his second year at CU and living off-campus. "I was never really worried about the court case because I was following the state law."
CU officials revised their policies this fall to accommodate the 8-year-old medical-marijuana law.
CU students - even medical-pot cardholders - are not allowed to store the drug in dorms. But officials say they'll release first-year students from the on-campus residency requirement if they are cardholders "at their prerogative," said CU lawyer Jeremy Hueth, who worked on Nicholson's case.
"If they ( medical-marijuana cardholders ) would rather move off campus . . . we're not going to penalize them for it," he said.
There are 1,955 cardholders in Colorado, according to last year's statistics from the state health department.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said in a statement responding to the CU case Friday that the medical-marijuana law has become a "front for widespread marijuana distribution."
"The proponents of these laws make them intentionally ambiguous, causing significant problems for law enforcement in Colorado and elsewhere," he said
Newshawk: Just Say Know: http://www.efsdp.org
Pubdate: Sat, 20 Sep 2008
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2008 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Allison Sherry
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)