BOULDER, Colo. — Rolling out of the Boulder County Justice Center in a wheelchair Thursday with a jumble of once-confiscated pot in his lap, Jason Lauve smiled and waved to supporters after a jury acquitted him of possessing too much medical marijuana.
Eight men and four women found the 38-year-old Louisville resident not guilty of a felony drug possession charge, as well as lesser charges of possessing marijuana and marijuana concentrate.
Lauve, who was prescribed marijuana to relieve the pain from a back injury, burst out crying, grabbed his defense attorney and nearly fell to his knees when the verdict was announced.
"Thank you so much," he yelled out to the jurors.
Boulder District Judge Maria Berkenkotter had to pause and admonish Lauve's supporters as they applauded and called out during her reading of the verdicts.
She ordered that more than two pounds of Lauve's marijuana supply, which had been confiscated by police in a raid of his home last summer, be returned to him.
"I have a right to live," Lauve said afterward. "All of us as patients have a right to have our own life, not the government's life. We should not be treated like criminals."
Laurie Borgers, a medical marijuana patient from Denver, said she was elated by the verdict.
"I am happy and relieved as expected to see justice was served today," she said outside the courtroom. "They need to stop picking on sick people."