Well, another birthday is here for me. I will be 43 in two days. I have more experience practicing law and I am much better at it. I have found more happiness in life. In the past few weeks, I had a trial set. We were third on the list and so we show up on Tuesday at 815am only to be told to return Wednesday at 815, only to be told to return in February. This is a strange system sometimes. The Broncos are in the Superbowl against the Seahawks. These teams come from the only two states to legalize marijuana. That seems kind of strange, huh.

On Friday, I wrenched my back lifting some beautiful art into the car to bring to its final location.  I can barely move.  I skied, but not long or well.  It looks great.  I am spending much time looking at it.

The list of stores being sent recreational marijuana MJ licenses follows (just what I got from the government website - don't blame me!)

OFFICIAL Listing of Retail Licenses Mailed 12-23-2013.xls

removed because some information may be incorrect or misleading


On January 1, 2014, tourists in Colorado will be able to purchase marijuana at some dispensaries.  Anyone with a valid ID proving they are 21 years or older can purchase a small quantity of marijuana at dispensaries that are licensed to sell recreational marijuana.  Most dispensaries will only be able to sell to medical marijuana patients.  

The question is where can you consume it?  There are strong smoking bans throughout Colorado.  You cannot consume it in public.  Many hotels will fine you for smoking in your non-smoking room.  The common areas of hotels are "in public."  It is certainly arguable that a balcony is not "in public."  Most cigarette smoking areas are "in public."  Especially in tourist family areas, police will ticket you for public consumption.  If you expect kids may be around, know that the police will be watching for marijuana consumption.  And, it smells, so it will be easy to spot.  Consideration should be given to vaporizers to prevent the odor of smoking. 

Tourists should be careful with dosing.  Colorado marijuana is often much more potent than the underground ditchweed found elsewhere.  A person should wait at least 2 hours after smoking prior to driving and I recommend 4 hours.  This is dose-dependent, but smoking or vaporizing marijuana usually provides the greatest high about 20 minutes after consumption and that fades quickly over time.

Remember that in Colorado our DUI rules are different than most states - our lesser DUI called Driving While Ability Impaired DWAI, only requires that a jury find that your ability to drive was impaired to the slightest degree, either mentally or physically, by alcohol, drugs or a combination.  Please know that alcohol and marijuana are not additive, but instead multiply to make driving exponentially more difficult when used together.  Please take a cab or walk, but stay off the road.  The worst result is to hurt or kill someone.

Edibles should be used with great caution.  It takes 20-60 minutes for edibles to take effect depending on whether there is food in the stomach.  Edibles will last for several hours with a fairly consistent high.  I do not recommend driving until a person has had a full night's sleep after consuming an edible.  If a person takes too high of a dose, it will take a long time for that dose to clear the body.  Pay attention to how you feel and do not take a chance with driving.

We do not want you to "come on vacation and leave on probation."

Today, my big red golden retriever and constant friend, Crash, started the Big Sleep.  I cannot say enough about the wonderful people at Home to Heaven for making this sad day as comfortable as possible.  I will miss you buddy, and we will see each other again, but not yet.

I have not posted in several months.  I have been quite busy.  I am happy to report a personal injury client was made whole through settlement.  He was a pedestrian struck in a crosswalk by an inattentive driver with a small amount of insurance.  His company settled for the policy limits.  We also were able to get policy limits from my client's under-insured motorist policy.  Once again, the reason to have good auto insurance is to protect yourself.  Make sure you have MEDPAY if you do not have health insurance (best to have at least $20000).  Make sure you have uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage ($100000 or more).

One of my domestic violence clients had his case dismissed prior to trial.  I tried another domestic violence case where with great results and a very happy client. 

Today, I received some police reports of the accuser in a domestic violence case.  These reports detail her arrest and placement in the Boulder Hospital psychiatric ward after she threatened to file false charges on her sister and brother in law, then assaulted her sister.  My client is her ex-boyfriend.  She has filed false charges against him.  This will go a long way to getting this felony case dismissed.

Recent experiences include a case in Boulder Municipal Court for the charges of Operating a Marijuana Business without a license, operating marijuana business violation, violation of marijuana ventilation requirement.  My client thought that he was following the law.  He had his red card and doctor's recommendation for more than 6 plants because he wanted to make edibles.  Based on this information, he had an affirmative defense to the Boulder Code violations for marijuana business.  We were able to resolve this case fairly.  But, most people do not know that Boulder City Code says anyone that grows more than 6 plants, with a limit of only 3 plants being flowering, is considered a marijuana business.  If you are a marijuana business, then you have to have a license and follow all the rules for marijuana businesses, including solar offset, security, license, inspection, and other issues.  If you are growing marijuana, you need to know the rules of your city, county, and state.  If this man would have come to my office before the police, he would likely have saved several thousand dollars.  Boulder Revised Code 6-14-13 is a good place to start.

A little non-law related information:

I have heard many people say you have to face your problems or that you cannot run from your problems.  I probably have said it without thinking about what that really means.  Recently, I faced an issue that has been on my mind for many years.  I was scared of it.  I tried to hide from it.  I actively ran from it.  I used intoxicants to numb it.  Guess what, it was still there.  Well, I finally faced it head-on without anger, manipulation, or expectation for a specific result.  It was not easy.  I have not felt so good in longer than I can remember.  It is important to face these things.

But, it is also important to know that facing things you have hidden from or repressed will bring up lots of pain and anger.  It is best not to use intoxicants when facing these things.  That pain/anger can come out poorly when mixed with intoxicants.  It can cause you to get in trouble with the law or just your friends and family.  If the issue is really big, like past sexual assault, you really need a mental health professional to help you face things.  And, to help you deal with the pain/anger brought up by facing these things.

Face your biggest fear and deal with it.  Make sure a trusted loved one is around to help.  Do not drink or use drugs while facing these fears.  You will be happier.

As with all of these memos from the Federal Government on Marijuana, there are no promises.  These are just guidelines.  But, the main point here is that the policy of the DOJ is NOT to spend its resources on marijuana cases in states where it is legal, highly regulated and sufficiently enforced.  This bodes well for Amendment 64 and the recreational marijuana industry that will begin on January 1, 2014.

Here is a link to the actual memo.

Support Colorado NORML on facebook and twitter.  Join the only consumer/patient rights organization in Colorado.  We do not represent industry interests, just yours.  (We often agree with industry interests.)  We are a non-profit organization meeting monthly to make sure the individual's voice is heard on marijuana rights issues.  Local chapters are forming now.  I am a board member and the current secretary.

So, a few months ago, a client calls about a PMJ ticket written by Adams County Sheriff Deputies Doug Kelsay and Michael Benson with the Drug Task Force.  She is over 21 and the ticket was from April 2013. 

I tell her to just go to the first court date and ask the DA for dismissal.  She does and DDA says, sure, if you take a "better choices class."  She sends me a text and I say, no way.

So I file a motion to dismiss, write a letter to the DA and ask the case be dismissed prior to the next court date.  They did not DM until today when we showed up.

I complained that cops need to be trained and so does the DA from the last appearance.  I am worried that people w/o attorneys are getting a raw deal - hell, it's a raw deal just to have your stash taken and being required to go to court.  DA listens and generally agrees in that DA way.  He says they are working on training the agencies and cops.  (maybe the cop should take a better choices class?!?)

I almost wish they would not have dismissed so I could have brought the pain.  If you have a case like this, let's discuss.  I would love to teach a lesson in the right case.  It is not illegal for an adult to possess less than 1 ounce of marijuana in Colorado after January 1, 2013.  You cannot openly use or possess marijuana.  But, if charged with this crime, do not plea guilty or accept a deal.  It is no more illegal than having blond hair or being left-handed. 

I just started working on an auto collision case, and it made me think about levels of automobile insurance.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM FINANCIAL DISASTER FOR INJURIES YOU CAUSE - If you have assets (like a house), you need a high level of auto insurance (250-500k) and likely an umbrella policy (2+m). This protects you if you hurt someone else. It also saves you from knowing you hurt someone and destroyed their life - yucko.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM FINANCIAL DISASTER FOR INJURIES OTHERS CAUSE - Regardless of assets, if you do not have health insurance, you need to purchase MedPay on your own auto policy - the more, the better. This pays for your medicals while the case is being settled - it makes sure doctors will treat your injuries.

Get good uninsured and under-insured protection too. This will cover you if the at-fault driver cannot cover your full injury. It should be at least 100k.

WHY? Lots of folks have low levels of auto insurance (like 50k). If you get hurt, they will pay their max and leave you still needing treatment with no money to pay for it. These bills can get over 50k quickly. Make sure you are covered.

Fortunately for my client, she was hit by a commercial driver with a good policy and assets. If she was hit by an average low policy driver, she would be in a bad way.

I first learned something about Scotch from the Johnny Walker promotional event in Washington DC while in law school - thanks, Sean Kennedy.  Cardhu is a single malt that they use to make the JW blends.  I quickly found that I liked the single malts better than the blends.

Last night, talking with Randy Kelly (great Denver plaintiffs lawyer), I distilled (yeah, I said it) what I think about singles versus blends this way:

If there are 100 different single malt flavors of scotch, each one appealing to a fairly distinct pallet, then the blends cover several to get more customers.  Me, I prefer my specific single malts.  I enjoy finding flavors within one.  I tend to find the blends lose the specificity I like.

Either way, drink out of a good glass that shoots the volatiles into your nose so that you get all the tannins and flavor.  Not discussing law today - see you next week.