Saturday, March 15, 2014
The retroactive application of Amendment 64 wasn't the only marijuana law issue before the Colorado appellate courts this week. In a decision that affects a much narrower group of defendants than the Amendment 64 issue, an appeals court (PDF) held that a doctor's post-arrest assessment will not help medical marijuana patients who want to grow more than 6 plants:
Section 14(4)(b) (the 14(4)(b) defense) of the Medical Marijuana Amendment (Amendment), article XVIII of the Colorado Constitution, creates an affirmative defense to the offense of cultivating marijuana, where the plants are needed for medical use. Whether this defense can be asserted based on a physician’s assessment obtained after the offense has been committed presents a novel question. We conclude that the 14(4)(b) defense cannot be raised based on such an after-the-fact assessment. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of conviction of defendant, Stephen S. Fioco, entered on a jury verdict finding him guilty of cultivating more than six but fewer than thirty marijuana plants.