March 4, 2011
Home Alone With The Plants
The Colorado Hearing Board has imposed a six-month suspension of a non-practicing attorney for possession of a controlled substance. The circumstances that led to the arrest and felony charges are set forth in the order imposing sanctions:
At the sanctions hearing, Respondent explained the events underlying the criminal proceedings. Respondent and her husband were traveling on February 7, 2009, and had left their seventeen-year-old daughter home alone. A party involving other teenagers took place at Respondent’s home that evening, and the police were called to investigate. While at Respondent’s home, the police discovered a number of marijuana plants, as well as sixteen grams of psilocybin mushrooms.
Respondent has held a license to cultivate medical marijuana in Colorado since approximately 2002. She testified that she uses marijuana to treat her anxiety, depression, herniated neck, and irritable bowel syndrome. Although Colorado law generally permits licensed individuals to have no more than six marijuana plants at any time, Respondent testified that she had at least forty plants on February 7, 2009.
Respondent explained that she decided to enter her Alford plea to the psilocybin charge because she could not risk going to prison and leaving her daughter without a home. At the sanctions hearing, she asked that the Hearing Board impose a sanction for her misconduct in growing an excessive number of marijuana plants but not for her alleged conduct regarding psilocybin mushrooms.
The board denied the attorney's request to impose the suspension nunc pro tunc to the date of an interim suspension imposed in the matter. (Mike Frisch)
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