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Judge Is Asked To Dismiss Citations

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DENVER - U.S. Attorney John Suthers asked a federal court Friday to dismiss
contempt citations for six officers involved in a clash of state and
federal laws regarding the use of marijuana by the sick.

The drug task force officers seized a few ounces of marijuana from Don
Nord, 57, last October, but Routt County Judge James Garrecht dropped
charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia against Nord, who
said he suffers from cancer, diabetes and other ailments.

Nord has a certificate from the state allowing him to use marijuana under a
voter-approved 2000 constitutional amendment that allows the infirm to grow
or smoke marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Garrecht ordered that
the marijuana be returned to Nord.

However officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency said they had no
intention of returning the drug, which is illegal under federal law.

Garrecht issued the contempt citations Jan. 7.

In arguing to dismiss the citations, Suthers' office wrote that the
officers were part of a DEA-sponsored task force and were acting under
federal law, under which illegal contraband is never returned to the owner.

Three Hayden police officers also received contempt citations, but they
were not covered in the motion Friday.

Nord's attorney, Kristopher Hammond, said he expected to file an objection
to the motion. Hammond said his client is too afraid to resume growing
marijuana, even though he has the state certificate.

Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 2004
Source: Daily Camera (CO)
Copyright: 2004 The Daily Camera.
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