Legality issues further clouded by recent Colorado pot-dispensary arrests |

Legality issues further clouded by recent Colorado pot-dispensary arrests

John Ingold
The Denver Post

The arrest of three people who police said were running a one-stop pot shop has highlighted yet another murky corner of the state’s medical-marijuana law, people on all sides of the issue said Tuesday.

Investigators with the North Metro Drug Task Force arrested the trio Saturday in Brighton on suspicion of felony drug-distribution charges, after officers broke up what they described as an “assembly line” to give patients medical-marijuana recommendations and then pot.

Task force Sgt. Jim Gerhardt said the reason for the arrests was that police believe the people running the operation were selling marijuana to people who couldn’t legally buy it, even though they had received the required doctor recommendation.

Ultimately, the case hinges on a single question: When is a medical-marijuana patient legally able to purchase marijuana?

“Nobody knows exactly what is in bounds and what is out of bounds,” Gerhardt said.

Jeffrey Gappa, a Brighton chiropractor at whose office the incident took place, and his wife, Christy, were arrested. Gappa did not respond to a request for comment. Also arrested was Forrest Charlesworth, who Gerhardt said was dispensing the marijuana.

Colorado medical-marijuana patients who hold a registry card from the state are shielded from arrest. But with the state running months behind in getting eligible patients their cards, thousands of patients are operating in a paperwork gray area, using their doctor’s note and other documents to verify their legal status.

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