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Ask a Potty Lawyer – Boulder Weekly

The fact that cannabis is legal in Colorado has done nothing to change the fact that it is still a Schedule I drug in America, classified in the most sinister class of narcotics, reserved for substances. or chemicals that have “no medical benefit” and “high potential for abuse. And even in states where it at legalized in one form or another, it is still considered a substance of influence.

That is to say, the fluff will fall on you for weed, even in this wonderful age of legalization, and even in post-prohibition states like Colorado.

And that’s why lawyers like Leonard (“call me Lenny”) Freiling are always there to defend people who have been in trouble with the law – defending drug cases of all shapes, sizes, times and colors. Lenny served as a Lafayette judge at one point in his career, but resigned in protest in 2009 when Lafyette’s chief judge tried to increase the fine for possession of an ounce of pot from $100 (this which was the state penalty) to $1,000. and one year in prison.

“I cannot in good conscience sit on the bench without wanting to enforce city ordinances,” Frieling said in his resignation letter. “I find myself morally and ethically incapable of sitting as a city judge.”

Lafayette never ended up following through on this change in policy. Coincidence? Lenny doesn’t think so.

That’s all to say: Lenny has very strong feelings about cannabis. So, after getting up from the Lafayette bench and walking out, Lenny became involved with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Since then, he has been defending people accused of “weed-related crimes”.

We caught up with this green advocate to learn more about the types of cases he sees in a marijuana-legal state, like Colorado.

Boulder Weekly: Lenny, we saw your advertisements on the NORML website: “Over 45—Drug Defense. We thought you might be a good source to talk about marijuana law.

Lenny Freiling: Well, as you can imagine, hearing that my name still comes up is quite satisfying. My overall thinking is: if I keep doing the work, the phone will keep ringing, instead of focusing on how to make the phone ring.

BW: What types of cases are coming to your desk these days?

LF: The first is DUID, or Driving Under the Influence of Something. I prefer the word “impacted” instead of “altered”. We know that alcohol is impaired and we know that there is a pretty good correlation between the level of impairment and blood alcohol content. This correlation works. But this model just doesn’t work with Delta-9 THC for a number of reasons, one being the issue of blood showing active THC levels even long after being smoked. And with DUIDs, the ramifications are serious. So it’s a real problem, and it boils down to ignorance: people are ready to drive too soon after drinking, or travel with them in their front seat, smokers or not.

Another area that appeared some time ago was the extraction of concentrate with [an “inherently hazardous substance”]. People at home were doing various types of extractions, with ice water or pressurized water or highly volatile things like butane and the like. Some of these people using the high volatility mining methods were blowing themselves up, along with their friends and neighbors. We still have extraction [cases].

We also have people stuck in a sting because they don’t know how to run their own dispensary or possession of minors. Or, the other side of that, which is HB 1317 – which is a disaster (see Weed Between the Lines, “Front of the medical middle”, March 3, 2022, for details on how the legislation would have required that the Colorado School of Public Health to review research related to the possible physical and mental health effects of high-potency THC). Not only was HB 1317 not scientifically sound, it was really bad for the [demographic] they were really trying to target: 18 to 21 year olds with real medical needs. Leave me alone. [The state is] remove medication from patients.

BW: Governor Jared Polis has launched programs to slowly start clearing past criminal convictions for nonviolent cannabis. Any thoughts on how the state approaches this?

LF: The “duck and cover” answer from my lawyer: What I think I see is a lot of political press. ‘Let us help you’ kind of stuff. Ask me a year from now when I’ve been lucky enough to have people call me and say, “Here’s what I tried to do to get my record wiped, and they told me to get lost.” I would like to believe that this is well on its way to being a solved problem. But let’s wait and see.

BW: What is one of the biggest legislative hurdles that you think stands in the way of legal markets?

LF: Colorado’s 1818-406 (“Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate Offenses”). Here’s the summary: 2018, the Federal Farm Bill legalizes hemp, as well as isomers and derivatives, and they made it very broad, including CBD, etc. Well, an Israeli doctor [Raphael Mechoulam] found that they could get legal CBD into the lab and with very, very basic chemistry techniques, like isomerization – nothing too extreme – they could prepare other cannabinoids, including Delta-8, not discussed previously in [U.S.] law. Which is a problem, because Delta-9 has been already covered in the law, and you can’t make Delta-9 unless you jump through all the paper hoops, and even then it’s a problem. So, [with 1818-406] they basically said that any synthetic cannabinoid is now a controlled substance. What they are trying to do is ban anyone from taking legal CBD and make it one of the over 113 cannabinoids found in cannabis. [at home]. I find that very disturbing.

BW: What’s the best, most comprehensive advice you can give someone who’s having trouble with cannabis?

LF: I think the biggest challenge that has come up in my office consistently for years has been someone coming in and saying, “I want to do this legally. How do you do that?” This extends to people who grow, people who want to start a business, or people who want to use the cannabis they’ve purchased but don’t know where, or don’t know how many plants they can grow at home… people ask, “Is it legal? Illegal? Or somewhere in between? That can be a very complex question, in my opinion.”

If you have any questions (or need legal defense for a drug-related crime), Lenny can be reached through his website: