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Man charged with trying to sell marijuana to dispensary comes clean

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 12 2014 11:14:19 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 12 2014 11:32:08 PM CST

A Colorado Springs man accused of trying to sell home-grown marijuana to at least one Pueblo County dispensary admits to the crime.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs man accused of trying to sell home-grown marijuana to at least one Pueblo County dispensary admits to the crime.

Thomas Salsman, 57, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that he knew that what he was doing was against the law.

"I didn't realize at the time that it was such a severe crime," Salsman said.  "I was ignorant of that."

Salsman said he got the idea after seeing the long lines at Pueblo County dispensaries following the legalization of recreational marijuana.

"I had seen all the business they're doing down there and thought, 'This is a good way to get rid of some of this leftover marijuana that I have.'"

Salsman, who lives in Colorado Springs, said he was only growing marijuana for personal use.  He had 10 plants, he said, and tried to sell around 18 ounces.  The first dispensary he offered marijuana to turned him away, telling him it was illegal, he said.  The next, told him 'no' but took his contact information.  Salsman said that the dispensary owner called police, prompting a police sting.  

Salsman said the owner called him and asked him to come back with the marijuana, offering him money and a job.  

"I parked my car, opened the trunk, carried my product in," Salsman said.  "They slapped handcuffs on me."

Salsman faces three felony drug charges and says he knows he'll likely be convicted.  However, it's what he says Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor accuses him of that has him sharing his story.

In an interview with KRDO NewsChannel 13, Taylor said he believes black market drug dealers are helping fund other illegal drug trades.

"The black market is coming in, flowing it through the dispensaries, and the profit that the black market is getting is going to finance other illicit drugs," Taylor said.

As an example, though admitting he didn't have proof, Taylor cited Salsman.

"Just last week, we had some illicit drug dealer from Colorado Springs come down and try to sell to the dispensaries here in Pueblo," Taylor said.

Salsman said when he saw the remarks, he became furious.

"I almost threw a brick through my TV set because I have never done heroin," Salsman said.  "I have no idea about the heroin trade."

Salsman said he doesn't buy Taylor's black market theory and that it especially doesn't hold true for his case.  He says he's done with marijuana, too.

"It's all gone now," he said. "I threw it all away. I will never grow again. I will never smoke marijuana again. I will never talk about marijuana again once this is over."

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