Justice: Colorado Style
Would Branson give consent to these officers to conduct a warrantless search of his home in Thornton?
Well, of course he would consent - especially after, as Branson tells it, the dozen or so armed cops explained, in detail, the needless tragedies that would befall his home if they were forced to go through the trouble of returning with a warrant.
In they went.
The police, naturally, knew exactly what they were looking for and quickly seized about a dozen marijuana plants Branson was growing in the backyard.
Charged with felony cultivation and possession with intent to distribute, the 38-year-old Branson, who is in a 20-year fight with HIV, is now facing a maximum six years in prison.
Branson, who had no previous criminal record, claims that a physician named Dr. Cynthia Firnhaber verbally recommended medical marijuana to him in 2002 to help ease his pain.
"That or pick out a hospice which you'd like to die in," Branson alleges the doctor told him.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2000, but you need the written recommendation of a doctor, and Branson only had oral recommendation because the doctor worked for the University of Colorado, and they could lose federal funding if they gave out medical marijuana prescriptions.
Branson says he'll commit suicide if convicted or forced to stop taking marijuana.
Sadly, this case is far from unique. The government really seems to enjoy finding people who are suffering and using semi-illegal drugs to ease their suffering, then prosecute them and take the drugs away, and watch them suffer in pain in prison. And for what? We kill our own innocent civilians, nearly 1 out of every 150 people is in prison, and the drugs have not stopped flowing. The drug war is ridiculous, and it's tearing apart our country.