The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld Thursday the 2017 conviction and sentence of a Palisade man who was operating a “donation marijuana dealership” out of his home.
At the time of his arrest, Dean Allen Richardson, 40, argued that he was only taking a “donation” from people who came to his home for up to an ounce of marijuana, telling them to “come by anytime.”
He was found guilty in a jury trial for possession of marijuana or marijuana concentrate with the intent to sell more than 12 ounces, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempted extraction of marijuana concentrate using an inherently hazardous substance, the court said.
He was acquitted on an additional charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and a special offender sentence enhancer, and subsequently was sentenced to four years in community corrections.
In his appeal, Richardson’s attorneys tried to argue that he had an affirmative defense under the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment, but the court rejected that argument.
“Richardson’s trial counsel did not request an affirmative defense under the Medical Marijuana Amendment, and Richardson did not argue his post-conviction motion that this qualified as ineffective (legal) assistance,” Judge Neeti Pawar wrote in the ruling, which was joined by Judges David Richman and Lino Lipinsky.
When he was arrested, Richardson told law enforcement he had a medical marijuana card.
On appeal, he tried to argue that because of that card and the amount of medical marijuana the amendment allows people to have, it should have reduced the amount of additional marijuana he had below the 12-ounce threshold, arguing that conviction on that count should have been rejected by the court.
“The record before us contains no evidence — other than (law enforcement) testimony that Richardson told him he had a medical marijuana card at the time of his arrest — to demonstrate that a medical marijuana defense was warranted here,” Pawar wrote.