Appeals court overturns conviction for Spokane dispensary owner

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by KREM.com & Shawn Chitnis

KREM.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:56 AM

SPOKANE -- The Washington State Court of Appeals Division III has overturned a ruling concerning a marijuana dispensary owner from Spokane.

A jury found Scott Shupe guilty of multiple drug trafficking charges in March 2011. He owned a dispensary called Change at 1514 NW Boulevard.

At the time, police said the Shupe misunderstood what the law allowed for in treating patients with marijuana.

One of the key issues in the trial was understanding the meaning of treating “one patient”. Documents filed Tuesday showed the Court of Appeals agreed with Shupe’s understanding of the law, that “one patient” meant one transaction at a time.

The ruling went on to criticize methods used in the Spokane Police investigation.

“...we are left to conclude that there was no probable cause to support the search... we would conclude that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction for delivery of marijuana,” wrote Judge Dennis J. Sweeney.

Judge Kevin M. Korsmo disagreed with the ruling. He felt detectives did take proper steps to prove probably cause and use credible witnesses.

Shupe’s attorney said his client has been out of jail awaiting today’s result. All of his convictions have now been reversed.

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