Bob Crouse has cancer. Leukemia, to be precise. When he was diagnosed by his doctor 4 years ago, he knew he only had a limited amount of time left on this earth. Like many other Cancer patients, Bob began looking for an alternative treatment to try and save his life. Two years after his diagnosis and after extensive research online, Bob talked to his
doctor about medical cannabis. Like many other cancer patients in Colorado, Bob found medical marijuana relieving for the body, positive for the mind, and stress-reducing for the cancer.
Bob was born and raised in Colorado Springs and has owned small businesses all over Colorado, employing hundreds over his life time. His Fillmore Restaurant, Yakibob’s, has been a local staple in the City for over 14 years.
As a conservative businessman and devout Christian, Bob believes medical marijuana falls under God’s promise in Genesis 1:29 of the Bible that says, “I give unto thee All seed Bearing Plants.”
He has felt his life improve while using medical cannabis and he credits Jesus for giving him the strength to fight the cancer that is slowly killing him.
Growing his own medicine was very therapeutic for Bob and he even tried his hand out at caregiving for other ill patients, finding a new lease on life in his last years by gardening. At 62 years old now, Bob’s health and life are leaving him. What he has left is a loving family and faith in his God to see him peacefully through his ordeal. What he doesn’t need, besides Leukemia, are the two felony charges against him from the El Paso County DA’s Office.
In May, Bob answered the door of his home to police officers who had arrived to investigate an unrelated case. Having been a businessman dealing with regulators for the last 14 years, Bob allowed officers to enter his home after one of them claimed to smell marijuana. Bob thought the police would understand his right as a patient under Colorado law. He thought wrong.
The result was half a million dollars’ worth of law enforcement assets deployed to his home to seize 54 medical marijuana plants from a 62 year old cancer patient. Bob was charged with cultivation and intent to distribute, despite his pleas to officers that the marijuana was for medical use and that he was growing only for himself.
Earlier in the year, Bob had spoken with a doctor about raising the plant count limits originally assigned to him so he could make cannabis oil. Concentrated cannabis oil has been seen in cases around the world to have anti cancerous properties and some patients have seen cancer completely disappear. Bob intended to grow the amount of cannabis needed for this therapeutic oil concentrate.
After discussing this treatment with a doctor, Bob was assigned a higher plant count limit and submitted his renewing paperwork to the State. Bob should have been protected under the Colorado Constitution when police visited his home according to the 20th Amendment. Unfortunately, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment rejected Bob’s paperwork because of a clerical error and so police arrested him when they saw his medical marijuana.
The DA’s office is trying to claim that because Bob’s renewal paperwork was rejected for a clerical error, that he is a criminal, and not a cancer patient, for growing medical marijuana at home.
Clearly, this is not the case if Bob agreed with his doctor and was using the marijuana concentrate for his cancer. Like the other 135,000 patients in Colorado, Bob is not a threat to society for simply growing and using medical marijuana at home.
District Attorney Dan May and his office apparently feel that tax payers should prosecute Bob for being sick and for having an error on his forms.
Bob can not afford an attorney and has a public council, and that is just not right. The person who was assigned as his council was just changed on him again, and now he’s facing a very real life or death decision in the hands of the jurors trying his case. On one side of the justice scale, the prosecution will portray Bob as a criminal cultivator of a dangerous plant. On the other side, blind justice should feel the weight of Bob being a cancer patient and growing his cannabis as medicine, as recommended by his doctor.
If Bob’s jurors take a note from precedent cases, they’d be wise to read about Jason Lauve’s case when he faced District Attorney Stan Garnett in Boulder. After a long 4 day trial, Lauve was finally acquitted of the charges against him on August 6th, 2009 and his 34 ounces marijuana was returned to him. The jury in Lauve’s case found that Jason had a legal right to more marijuana if deemed medically necessary and that his doctor’s recommendation alone was sufficient to having his Constitutional right to medical marijuana.
Like Jason, Bob had a previous diagnosis and his physician’s advice. Even if his paperwork was rejected for a clerical error, Bob still had Leukemia. Cancer doesn’t care about paperwork. The prosecution will have to prove that Bob possessed more than was medically necessary when they arrested him. As in every criminal case, the prosecution will have the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bob broke the law. In every right, the individual should be protected, not prosecuted, by the law. This is especially true when it centers around the health of a patient facing trial and certain death if imprisoned. If he accepts the DA’s plea bargain, he still faces a painful death, without his medicine, and would still be found guilty.
Colorado Springs citizens should not tollerate using any more police resources to pursue any of these medical marijuana prosecutions, and Jason Lauve’s acquittal should stand as an indefinite precedent for Colorado patients with rights like Bob Crouse. Write D.A. Dan May and his office and let them know that it would be wise to drop the charges against Mr. Crouse before more time, money, and effort are spent pursuing cannabis patients as criminals.
According to Dan May’s Office Website:
The mission of the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office is to administer justice, advocate for victims, and partner with law enforcement and citizens of this community in the deterrence and prevention of crime.
Somebody obviously doesn’t have thier priorities straight. Write or call them at:
112 N. A St., PO Box 958
Cripple Creek, CO 80813