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CannaBiz: Crouse trial begins

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Convictions and Crouse

The trial of Bob Crouse, a cancer patient charged with felony cultivation and distribution of marijuana, finally commenced Monday after many months of delay. The Colorado Springs native and MMJ cardholder says he uses the substance to treat side effects of his leukemia, and wound up on the wrong side of a paperwork snafu.

Though we didn't hear back from Crouse's public defender before press time, attending advocate Audrey Hatfield said the trial process was moving right along.

"You know, a lot of the jurors that were brought in, we were hoping they were gonna stay, because it seemed like they might be more supportive — just trying to judge by appearance," she says on Monday. "And all of those people were let go."

Hatfield is president of Coloradans 4 Cannabis Patient Rights, which has organized people in front of the courthouse to protest every step of Crouse's prosecution. With signs like "Dan May go away," and "Fed up with the D.A.," this has not gone unnoticed by the district attorney's office.

"Once again the prosecution was complaining about our being out there protesting," says Hatfield. "And the judge told her, 'Well, it's their right to peacefully assemble, and I'm not going to stop that.' So, again she had complaints about any buttons, or pot shirts. But he said, 'Well, I can't really stop people from what they wear.' 'Well, it's gonna influence the jury.'

"Well, sorry."

During the trial, Indispensary (indispensary.com) is offering a BOGO gram for anybody with a picture with Crouse at a protest; C4CPR is meeting outside the county courthouse at 8 a.m. every day of the trial.

First responders

Though we haven't heard of a centralized response to the Waldo Canyon fire from the local medical marijuana community, individual centers are taking action.

Briargate Wellness Center (890 Dublin Blvd., briargatewellnesscenter.com) posted a message to its Facebook page, saying it was donating 10 percent of Monday's proceeds to the firefighters, and anyone bringing a non-perishable food item this week gets a house joint for 1 cent with any other purchase. Amendment 20 Caregivers (2727 Palmer Park Blvd., amendment20cos.com) donated almost $200 worth of dog food to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, says owner Tanya Garduno, and is attempting to organize help for affected centers like Eagle's Nest Wellness Center in Cascade.

Medical mixer

At 7 p.m., Thursday, June 28, the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council (csmcc-net.org) will host George Thomson, senior director of enforcement with the Department of Revenue, at the Warehouse Restaurant and Gallery (25 W. Cimarron St.). Thomson will speak about the July 1 moratorium lift on opening new MMJ centers; tickets are $10.

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