Senior citizen ticked by marijuana brownie probe in Aspen
Antoinette Jaworski of New Castle says she enjoys baking treats for children and adults. Now getting them baked? That’s another matter, but the 84-year-old widow soon found herself caught in the crosshairs of a pot probe by the Aspen Police Department.
It was May 25, and Jaworksi was at a Memorial Day barbecue at the Elks Club in Aspen passing out her individually wrapped homemade goods. Soon she found herself questioned by police.
Their concern: A woman from the Elks Club had called authorities believing that Jaworski was giving away cannabis-infused brownies and pumpkin bread. Jaworski’s alleged victims were believed to be both children and adults.
But after what Jaworski called a 15-minute interrogation, the police backed off the allegations.
“The police came and started asking me questions, and I was quite annoyed,” she said. “I’ve done this type of thing before. I give homemade brownies to the people who’ve done so much good work for other people. I look up functions in the paper, and I’ll come up.”
Jaworski said she’ll take a bus up the Roaring Fork Valley to Aspen, where her son lives.
But her most recent Memorial Day visit was upsetting to her, the fiery senior citizen said.
“They wanted to know my Social Security number, all kinds of things I don’t give out,” she said. “But I did give it to them because I was trying to be cooperative, but I also became irate. I told them if they were to proceed, I would call the (news) papers. Well, the police disappeared, and the woman who called said it was just a mistake.”
A police report shows the caller “had learned that Ms. Jaworski said that the brownies had marijuana in them. It was not certain if Ms. Jaworski was just being sarcastic, or if indeed the brownies did contain marijuana concentrate.”
Police asked for Jaworski’s contact information in case anyone became sick from the brownies, the report says. Jaworski complied.
“However, when asked for more information, Ms. Jaworski became uncooperative and would not give any more information,” says the report, written by Officer Seth DelGrasso. “She tried to leave the establishment, and we told her she could not leave because we were conducting an investigation due to the fact she would not deny or confirm that there was marijuana in the brownies she was handing out to the children and adults.”
Sgt. Mike Tracey then arrived on the scene to join DelGrasso and Officer Walter Chi.
Tracey smelled one of the suspicious brownies “and he did not notice any odor of marijuana.” By that time, Jaworksi told police her goodies weren’t laced with cannabis. Even so, police tested one of the brownies. The results came back negative, the report says.
“I’m sorry Ms. Jaworski was upset by our contact with her,” said Police Chief Richard Pryor in an email to The Aspen Times. “Knowing the officers who did talk to her, Walter and Seth, I am sure they attempted to handle the call respectfully.”
Pryor said the police report reflects the challenges towns and cities have when it comes to marijuana, which became legal to use recreationally in Colorado in 2014.
“I think it shows the curious position communities are in now in having to be aware of their environment in making particular comments about marijuana, in this case a function open to the public where an individual makes a comment about having put marijuana in a product she is handing out to children and other guests,” Pryor said. “Not knowing the contents of the brownies, how would you feel if your kids took one and started eating it? As part of the Valley Marijuana Council (www.valleymjcouncil.org) we have been stressing over and over the concept of respectful use of marijuana products.”
Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said the incident “had nothing to do with her so much as someone called us that this lady is handing out marijuana-laced brownies, and we just went there to try and have a conversation. It’s strictly about people’s safety.”
Jaworski said she obtained a copy of the report Friday. She said she never told anyone her goodies were infused with pot. She said she was uncooperative with the officers about some of their questions because the implication was she dealing out cannabis-laced treats.
“They asked me directly if there was marijuana in it, but I felt it was inferred because why would they stop me or even want to consider stopping me from handing out homemade goods?” she said.
She added: “They were wrong. I’m 84, but I still have rights.”
Regardless, at next year’s Memorial Day barbecue, the Elks Club will not allow any outside beverages or food to be handed out, the police report says.
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