Give or take a minute or two, it was 4:20 p.m. Friday when leukemia sufferer Bob Crouse was declared innocent of all charges against him. It was a fitting time to lift the legal weight off the shoulders of this medical cannabis patient who was charged with felony cultivation and distribution of marijuana, and has been fighting this particular battle for over a year and a half.
Calls to Crouse were not returned as of press time, but a YouTube video by user AgentOfDoubt shows the trial's immediate aftermath — a beaming and tearful Crouse hugging supporters, and exclaiming, "Wow! Wow!" outside the courtroom. Jury members deliberated for less than four hours before providing Crouse the same outcome as Elisa Kappelmann and Jesse Vriese, others who have been similarly charged.
"There's a lot of education that still needs to happen, and it's OK, it takes time — but not guilty on all charges!" the joyful MMJ patient says in a recorded impromptu speech. "We've seen how valiant the city has rallied around the awfulness of the fires and the destruction, but it's beautiful to see it come together in a courtroom in the midst of all of this."
And because the Waldo Canyon Fire's been nothing if not wantonly affecting, this note was included with the Cannabis Therapy Institute's press release: "Bob has been forced to evacuate his home due to Colorado wildfires. Please send donations to celebrate this victory [and] help support Bob and his 90-year-old mother, who have been displaced by the fires." The pair have since been allowed to return home.
• The Denver Post reports that a Fort Collins advocacy group has gathered enough signatures to place a question on that city's November ballot, seeking to lift the restriction on medical-marijuana centers.
"Voters last November passed the ban on Fort Collins' 20 dispensaries by a 53-to-47 percent margin," reports Monte Whaley. "But former dispensary owner Kirk Scramstad said that vote was not a true reflection of how most residents feel about medical marijuana. This November's election, which features a presidential vote, will likely draw more voters to the ballot box who will be more supportive of the measure, Scramstad said."
• The group backing marijuana-decriminalization effort Amendment 64 has announced the formation of "a group of concerned parents, organized for the purpose of highlighting the benefits of regulating marijuana to keep it away from teens." Moms and Dads for Marijuana Regulation — no doubt created in response to the "No on 64" campaign's positioning of children as the main sufferers — unveiled a new billboard at 1600 Federal Blvd. in Denver that reads, "Please, card my son. Regulate the sale of marijuana and help me keep it out of his hands."