Carbondale teen sentenced in medical marijuana case |

Carbondale teen sentenced in medical marijuana case

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A former Carbondale Middle School student accused of selling his father’s medical marijuana to students was sentenced in a Garfield County courtroom Wednesday morning.

Garfield County Court Judge Paul Metzger sentenced the 13-year-old to a year of supervised probation, 25 hours of community service, and 10 days of juvenile detention. However, Metzger credited the juvenile with four days in detention, which he served after the arrest, and suspended the remaining six days as part of the deferred sentence agreement offered by prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey also agreed to reduce the original felony distribution charge to a misdemeanor possession charge of between 1 ounce and 8 ounces of marijuana, to which the juvenile pleaded guilty in March. However, that did not diminish the severity of the crime in Metzger’s mind.

“This is a very serious matter,” he said. “We expect people at the schools to be free of substances like marijuana.”

However, Metzger said that the court had received nothing but positive reports on the minor from outside agencies like YouthZone and Colorado West, which have been in contact with the youth regarding the case.

The teen was arrested at his home on Feb. 5, after police were called to the middle school because a student had been allegedly found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana.

According to court records, the youth took small amounts of his father’s medical marijuana and smoked it with two other students at the school. He also allegedly sold small amounts of the substance to three students.

The arrest affidavit stated that one of the students told authorities that he witnessed the juvenile showing another student how to make a pipe out of an apple, to smoke the substance, at the school.

The juvenile was expelled from school following the arrest, and has been on home monitoring since April 9.

Hershey told the court that he was comfortable with the deferred sentence in this case.

“He is a very young man, and a nice kid,” Hershey said. “I think he just made a mistake.”

Court records indicated the teen’s father does have a medical marijuana registry card, and that he will now be locking up the substance. Hershey told Metzger the father had also expressed his responsibility in the matter.

Hershey said that it was his opinion that this case was an unforeseen consequence from the legalization of medical marijuana, and that these types of cases may become more common.

“Whether it’s illegal or not, children having access to it is a problem,” Hershey said. “And I think it’s going to continue to be a problem.”

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