Colorado man says cops justified cash ‘donations’ for pot delivery service

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 15:48 EDT
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A bud of finely cultivated marijuana. Photo: Flickr user eggrole, creative commons licensed.
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A Colorado man arrested earlier this month for running a marijuana-for-donations delivery service said Tuesday that police were quoted in the media describing a legal loophole that results in an exchange of cash for weed.

Since legalization went through in November, a culture of selling weed by soliciting “donations” and then giving the product in return as a “gift” has become immensely popular online. A simple search on Denver Craigslist reveals hundreds of postings offering high quality marijuana for a generous donation.

Pritchard Garrett, 31, is one such purveyor, who ran the Billygoatgreen MMJ delivery service — which even has a Facebook page. He was so brazen about it because, as he told police, he honestly thought that police said giving away marijuana is legal under state law. Garrett and two associates, Shilo Campbell, 27, and Daniel Conticchio, 29, were arrested earlier this month after The Colorado Springs Independent featured a story about them.

“[We] met with a high profile lawyer and he says if we fight it and loose were looking at LIFE in PRISON!!!!!” the Billygoatgreen MMJ Facebook page announced on Feb. 11. “[Out] on bail waiting for court dates. they are using a undercover police boyfriend and girlfriend to trick people on craigslist.”

“If I show up at your house with less than an ounce of marijuana, I’m 21, you’re 21, and I say, ‘Hey dude, it cost me 50 bucks in gas to get over here,’ and you give me 50 bucks for my gas, there’s nothing illegal,” Lt. Mark Comte, a Colorado Springs narcotics officer, told The Colorado Springs Independent in January. “I mean, you and I both know what’s going on with it, but they know what the loopholes are right now.”

Speaking to The Denver Post on Tuesday, Garrett pointed to that very quote and declared: “You just green-lighted this delivery business. You just said, ‘Hey, the cops said this wasn’t illegal, so call them up.’”

Despite his enthusiasm for the legally tenuous venture, Garrett does not have the law on his side. Colorado Attorney General spokesperson Carolyn Tyler told the Post that pot-for-donation ventures are “a scam to get around the laws” passed in November.

Regulations for retail sales are still being hammered out and aren’t expected to be adopted until next year. Even then, entrepreneurs who want to sell marijuana will have to purchase a license and adhere to state guidelines, whatever they end up being.

Photo: Flickr user eggrole, creative commons licensed.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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