Pueblo marijuana dispensary owner gets probation
Aspen, CO Colorado
PUEBLO, Colo. – A medical marijuana dispensary operator convicted of possessing marijuana but acquitted of cultivating it has been sentenced to 18 months of probation, but he plans to appeal the felony conviction.
A judge sentenced Tom Sexton, 55, on Wednesday and granted an exemption from the usual probation prohibitions on drug use to allow for medical marijuana.
Pueblo County sheriff’s deputies found and destroyed 128 plants growing on Sexton’s property in 2007. Jurors convicted him of marijuana possession but acquitted him of cultivating the drug.
Sexton expressed frustration at the verdict. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but Colorado law allows patients and caregivers on a state registry to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and six plants to treat certain medical conditions.
Sexton’s attorney, Karl Tameler, had offered a book with the registry cards for seven patients for whom Sexton was growing the plants, plus physician recommendations for having more six plants for Sexton and one of his patients.
“I’ve been found guilty of possessing that which I’m legally able to cultivate,” Sexton said. “This case is about a mistake and the taking of my medical marijuana garden without any investigation. What I do is try to help people improve their quality of life and I do that by providing a safe, alternative modality for treatment.”
Sexton’s future with his MediMar Ministries dispensary is unclear.
A bill awaiting Gov. Bill Ritter’s signature would prevent anyone who has served a felony sentence in the past five years from owning a dispensary.
Sexton’s attorneys said their client’s position with MediMar will depend on the outcome of the appeals process and the fate of the bill. Tameler said Sexton’s wife, who owns the dispensary, has no felony drug convictions.
Sexton had no previous criminal record before the possession conviction.
The long drives to Denver to play competitive club softball and fine-tune her skills during the offseason are paying off for Glenwood Springs High School senior Kiera Larson.