Sensi: Intl. Church of Cannabis Founder Demands New Trial

Leland Rucker is the senior editor at Sensi Magazine and he joins us on Thursday mornings at 8.20am to talk about the latest news in cannabis.

 

The Denver Post reported Tuesday that the co-founder of Denver’s International Church of Cannabis is seeking a new trial on public-consumption charges after a jury member alerted the court that the panel improperly discussed the case before it was over and prematurely reached its conclusion.

 

 

The case stems from an event held at the church on April 20, 2017. A jury found Steve Berke guilty on Feb. 1 of public consumption of marijuana and violating the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act and fined him $50.

 

The trial centered on the definition of what constitutes “open and public” consumption. The city successfully argued in the original trial that the event was public because undercover cops were able to get into the building.

 

Tuesday, Berke’s attorney filed a motion in Denver County Court seeking a new trial due to jury misconduct. The motion says a juror submitted an affidavit to the court stating that the “jury had discussed the facts of this case as early as Day 1 of the four-day trial, and that individual juror had formed impressions and reached conclusions in violation of the Court’s instructions given multiple times.”

 

Denver has launched a new program called “Turn Over a New Leaf” to vacate low-level marijuana convictions. The city is working hard to get the word out, and it’s worth repeating and updating what we talked about last month.

 

A low-level marijuana possession offense can negatively affect a person’s life, including employment and education opportunities, qualification for government benefits and programs, ability to travel, and immigration status proceedings. The “Turn Over a New Leaf” Program allows people to request to vacate and seal certain low-level marijuana convictions in Denver that happened before legalization. You can apply online or in person at one of three clinics in February and March. To learn more about the program and eligibility, visit the website or email newleaf@denvergov.org with questions.

 

Clinic Locations and Times

 

Sunday, February 24

1-5pm

Denver Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church

3385 Albion Street

Denver, CO 80207

Wednesday, March 6

5-8pm

Servicios de la Raza

3131 W 14th Avenue

Denver, CO 80204

Thursday, March 21

9am-1pm

Cultivated Synergy

2901 Walnut Street

Denver, CO 80205

 

And the city of Boulder is helping people with minor pot convictions clear their records. The initiative is called “”Moving On from Marijuana” and will allow those who have been convicted of use or possession of small amounts of the drug to petition the district’s courts to have the convictions sealed and expunged.

 

Boulder citizens can apply online at the Boulder County DA’s website (www.bouldercounty.org/district-attorney). The office asks that you not call or email as it doesn’t have the resources to respond except electronically.