Colorado High Court Declines To Hear Big Medical Pot Case


Graphic: Johnny California

‚ÄčThe controversial court ruling last year requiring medical marijuana caregivers and dispensaries to do more than simply supply cannabis will not be heard by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The high court on Thursday declined to hear on appeal People v. Clendenin, a case in which the Court of Appeals upheld Stacy Clendenin for cultivation and sale of marijuana, reports Matt Masich at Law Week Colorado.  Clendenin argued it was legal for her to sell medical marijuana because she qualified as a caregiver under Colorado’s medical marijuana law approved by voters in 2000.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that “the act of supplying marijuana for medical use, by itself, is insufficient to constitute significant management responsibility for a patient’s well-being, and consequently is insufficient to constitutionally qualify a person doing so as a ‘primary caregiver’.”
On November 3, less than a week after the Court of Appeals’ ruling, the Colorado Board of Health struck the definition in its rules that allowed someone who only sold medical marijuana to be classified as a caregiver.
However, the rule change was voided by then-Denver District Court Chief Judge Larry Naves because there had been inadequate public input.
The board has not tried to change the caregiver definition again, which left the significance of the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the Clendenin case unclear.
Attorney Rob Corry represented Clendenin in the Court of Appeals; Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and Assistant Attorney General John T. Lee represented the state.