May 21, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Colorado Springs Gazette "Marijuana cases headed to trial, even as other take pleas"

Lance Benzel:
"One is a cancer patient and former restaurateur who says he believes that oil derived from marijuana holds the cure to his leukemia.

The other — a Colorado Springs woman who left a corporate job to join the state’s booming medical marijuana trade, only to be swept up in a 2010 raid on growers who shared a local warehouse.

In June, Robert Crouse and Elisa J. Kappelmann — defendants in two of El Paso County’s most closely watched marijuana prosecutions — are headed for jury trials at a time when many similar cases quietly end in plea agreements.

Kappelmann, 52, is due for a June 4 trial. Crouse, 63, is to be tried June 25.

The cases, which are otherwise unrelated, have attracted notice from medical marijuana advocates who staged demonstrations and packed the 4th Judicial District courthouse hallways during their court appearances. According to court records, the District Attorney’s Office contends that Crouse and Kappelmann were operating marijuana nurseries without proper licensing, charges both deny.

Crouse was arrested in May 2011 after police seized 6 pounds of marijuana and more than 50 plants from his home on North Weber Street. Crouse is charged with two drug felonies, including possession with intent to distribute.

According to an arrest affidavit, Crouse told authorities he was part-owner in a recently opened dispensary called God’s Own Garden. Crouse said he wasn’t involved in day-to-day operations but told police that he occasionally supplied a business partner with marijuana that Crouse grew at home, the affidavit said.

Crouse had invested $7,000 in the venture, court records said.

Police say Crouse was also trying to produce marijuana-infused barbecue sauce, modifying the same barbecue recipe he used at Yakibob’s, the Colorado Springs restaurant he owned until handing the business off to a family member in 2009....."  (Read more?  Click title)

"Unapologetic pursuit and tracking of patterns within the news others make since 2010."

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