Grand jury sees through legal haze

In the murky legal haze that has surrounded medical marijuana in Colorado for the past year, even those who tried to abide by the law could find themselves running afoul of it.

Witness the case of Naturals, A Wellness Center, and the three owners of the Grand Junction facility, who were the target of a criminal investigation beginning last March, even though they established their business after consultation with an attorney and believed they were following the law.

Fortunately, our judicial system has its own system of checks and balances that attempts to ensure only legitimate criminal cases are prosecuted and true criminals convicted.

In this instance, prosecutors with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office decided it was best to allow a grand jury to hear the evidence against the owners of Naturals, and determine whether criminal indictments were warranted.

Late last week, the grand jury concluded its work in the case and decided — correctly, we believe — that no indictments should be handed down against Cristin and Brian Groves and Sid Squirrrel.

In a state where medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities have operated with all manner of retail systems, growing arrangements, security measures and little accountability — and with few laws to guide them — it’s difficult to see how the owners of Naturals were involved in some sort of criminal behavior.

Since the March raid on the growing facility associated with Naturals, the Colorado Legislature has adopted a much more explicit regulatory structure for medical marijuana. The rules that Naturals and every other dispensary and growing facility must operate under should now become far more clear.


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