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DENVER (AP) — The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that a Colorado man cannot be deported from the United States based on his drug conviction.

Everett Johnson, a citizen of the Bahamas who became a “permanent resident” of the U.S. in 1977, pleaded guilty in 2016 to possessing a schedule II controlled substance in Colorado, The Denver Post reported.

Based on the drug conviction, the Department of Homeland Security and the Board of Immigration Appeals sought Johnson’s removal from the U.S. back to the Bahamas.

Johnson, through his attorneys, petitioned the circuit court for a review of the deportation orders.

The court ruled that because the Colorado Revised Statute used as a basis for deportation “is overbroad and indivisible as to the identity of a particular controlled substance, Johnson’s conviction cannot subject him to removal from the United States.”

“A state drug conviction cannot qualify as a basis for removal if the state statute’s elements are broader than the federal analogue,” the court said.

The Colorado statute criminalizes more substances than Section 802 of Title 21 in the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“More specifically, Johnson asserted that the Colorado statute was overbroad because it criminalized possessing a substance called morpholine — a substance that the CSA does not criminalize,” the ruling said.

Friday’s ruling will have broad implications and could affect hundreds of people in Colorado who face deportation on drug convictions, according to Hans Meyer, one of Johnson's lawyers.

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Seven Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

This week, you can roam freely around the world — without leaving the comfort of your couch. Explore Brazilian dance, remember past football glories, dive into Colorado water issues or learn more about the role of racism on mental health. And if you're willing to venture outside, you'll find dinosaurs on the plains of Aurora.

Here are seven of the best free events in and around town over the next five days.

Sans Souci Dance Festival
Monday, August 10 through August 24
The seventeenth season of the Sans Souci Dance Festival is the second collaboration with Grupo Dançaberta (Campinas, SP, Brazil); there will be four virtual screenings and a series of lectures, workshops, discussions and more with a wide variety of contributing artists and experts in the field. All events are free, and all but one — a drive-in movie — are online. Find the full schedule at sanssoucifest.org.

Water & Energy in Colorado: Emulsifying Two Great Challenges in Four Parts
Tuesday, August 11, 10 to 11:30 a.m., and three subsequent sessions

The Colorado Scientific Society, in collaboration with the Center of the American West and hosted by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is sponsoring a symposium on the science and cultural issues at the interface between water and energy in Colorado. Dr. Patricia Limerick will moderate panels on August 11, August 13, August 18 and August 20; the virtual program is free, but registration is required at centerwest.org.

Lowry Speaker Series
Tuesday, August 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Eisenhower Chapel, 293 Rosyln Street

Scott Perry, the author of NFL Since 1970: The Ultimate Visual and Historical Standings Reference, will provide an overview of NFL highlights since the AFL/NFL merger fifty years ago. You can attend in person (limited room) or watch on Zoom; reservations are required at lowryfoundation.org.

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Black Male Mental Health, Trauma, and Resilience
Wednesday, August 12, noon to 2 p.m.
Dazzle, 1512

The second panel in this series will focus on the recycling of trauma, the role it plays and the toll it takes on  mental health. Halim Ali will moderate a panel that includes Michael Acuna, Randall S. Craven (Ab Men Metu),
Amir X and Ronnie Qi Harvey. The event is free, and you can attend in-person at Dazzle or virtually. Find out more or sign up on Facebook.

Pictures on the Plains
Wednesday, August 12, doors open at 5 p.m.
Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 East Quincy Avenue
Watch Jurassic Park from a socially distanced pod on the grass (so bring your own blankets and lawn chairs). There's a pre-movie concert with Strings and the Box at 6:30; the movie starts rolling at 8:30 p.m.. Admission is free, but reservations are required at arapahoecountyfair.com.

Community Conversations: Injustice, Race, and Rape
Thursday, August 13, 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Moving to End Sexual Assault will bring together a panel of local experts to discuss how ending sexual violence also means confronting racism and injustice. The lineup includes Saoirse Maloney, board member on the Trans Steering and Events Committee of OutBoulder County; Derek McCoy, Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment’s Prevention Director; Beatriz Sanchez, creator on the Crown Institute’s Mind Body Voice Youth Team; and Annika Spilde, member of Boulder Valley School District’s Youth Advocating for Change. Register for this free virtual event here.

Stories on Stage 20th Anniversary Party
Friday, August 14, 7 p.m.

Celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Stories on Stage, hear stories from your favorite actors (including GerRee Hinshaw), and be there when the next season of this Boulder tradition is revealed. This virtual event is free; the first fifty to sign up will be entered into a door-prize drawing. Register at storiesonstage.org.

Know of a great event in or around Denver? Send information to editorial@westword.com.

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