Continuance granted in Macosko case |

Continuance granted in Macosko case

Susan Wood

A continuance was granted Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court to prosecutors seeking more time to corral witnesses on the case of a South Shore man charged with transporting a quarter-pound of marijuana through the U.S. Postal Service.

Medical marijuana distributor Matt Macosko, 28, was set to go to trial Oct. 16, but a witness scheduled by the county District Attorney’s Office is unavailable at that time.

A new trial date will be set on Sept. 21, when the court will take up motions relative to the case.

Macosko was arrested in April after mailing a package containing marijuana to a friend in Kentucky. The package was never picked up and was returned to South Lake Tahoe’s post office. When Macosko picked it up there and drove away, city police and SLEDNET – South Shore’s multiagency drug enforcement team – pulled him over.

He has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of drug transportation, one count of possession for sale and driving under the influence of marijuana.

If convicted on all charges, Macosko could be sentenced to up to five years and eight months in jail.

Macosko admits to mailing the drugs to 35-year-old Dean Criscitello because he said his friend of eight years uses it as medicine for chronic pain. Criscitello received serious injuries from a snowboarding accident six years ago, Macosko said.

“I hate to think of him in pain having to take narcotics,” Macosko said before appearing in front of Judge Terrence Kinney.

But officers claim Macosko’s friend is using the drug as a substitute for heroin.

Macosko’s defense addresses Proposition 215, a bill voters passed in California in 1996 that allows for medical marijuana use with a valid doctor’s recommendation.

The landmark measure has placed federal and state laws regarding the substance at odds. Efforts endorsed by the California Attorney General’s Office to develop a statewide registration to track sanctioned medical marijuana providers have failed.

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