'Medical marijuana' couple to be arraigned today

January 04, 2007

, The Coloradoan

A Fort Collins couple who say they were growing marijuana for medical use will be arraigned today on felony cultivation charges.

James and Lisa Masters were arrested Aug. 2 when police were called to check the welfare of the couple's two children, ages 4 and 6, according to an affidavit from Fort Collins police. The officer smelled marijuana in the house and the couple told the officers they had a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana and they were growing it for that purpose.

Their attorneys attempted in October to have the charges dismissed under Colorado’s Amendment 20, an initiative approved by voters in 2000 that allows people with certain medical conditions to grow, possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

However, District Judge Jolene Blair rejected the dismissal motion, saying the Masters didn’t have the required state documentation showing they are caregivers for people authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes.

Lisa and James Masters both have medical conditions that resulted in a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana, their lawyer, Rob Corry, has said. Their precise condition hasn’t been revealed.
Corry and co-counsel Brian Vicente said the couple are both medical marijuana patients and caregivers. They said this is the first case in the state to use Amendment 20 as a defense.

“The Masters are being targeted for providing help to sick people,” Vicente said.
“This test case has the potential to increase vital access to medical marijuana by expanding the legal definition of ‘caregiver’ to allow those with significant responsibility for the care of seriously-ill individuals to cultivate and provide them with medical marijuana.”

The couple will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. in Larimer District Courtroom 5B. The Masters and their lawyers plan a news conference following the hearing.

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