Pot Trial Ends In Settlement

An anticipated trial that was set to invoke and challenge a city ordinance legalizing marijuana in Denver was put to bed on Tuesday after the defendant in the case settled with the city to avoid losing financial aid for college.


Tim Arndt, a 24-year-old attending Metro State College of Denver, was facing a jury trial over possession charges that were incurred when he was stopped by police while walking in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and found to be carrying a small amount of marijuana.


Under federal law, students convicted of possession charges can lose financial aid from the government.


Instead of going to trial, Arndt settled with the city by pleading guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia, a charge that will allow him to keep the money he is receiving for school.


The Denver ordinance, which legalizes the private possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years and older, has been tested in city courts before, where offenders are still charged for breaking state laws against pot.


Denver voters passed an initiative legalizing private possession of marijuana in 2005, along with another measure to make such cases a "lowest law-enforcement priority" for police in 2007.

Read Fighting Possession Tickets Bodes Well For Pot Offenders In Denver for more information about Denver’s high-profile pot cases, many of which featured students who stood to lose financial aid.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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