City Attorney Drops Charges At The Last Minute 

City Attorney Drops Charges At The Last Minute 
Posted by CN Staff on September 22, 2005 at 17:38:21 PT
For Immediate Release
Source: ACLU 
Burbank, CA -- Confronted with the prospect of a jury trial set to begin next week, a Burbank city attorney today dropped charges against medical marijuana patient Valerie Corral. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Corral, was poised to challenge Burbank’s illegal policy of pursuing prosecutions against medical marijuana patients known to be innocent. Despite having dropped the charges against Corral, the city attorney continues to insist that she is guilty and has refused to order police to return her seized medical marijuana.
Corral, who uses medical marijuana to minimize the occurrence of seizures caused by head trauma sustained in a near-fatal car accident years ago, was detained by local police at the Burbank airport for possession of marijuana even though she presented a Santa Cruz County-issued medical marijuana card identifying herself as a legal patient under California law. “The police had absolutely no reason to doubt that Ms. Corral was a legal patient once they saw her identification card. It should have ended there,” said Christina Alvarez, a staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project. “Instead, they have wasted Ms. Corral’s time and the court’s time by ignoring well-established California law.” Airport officials found a small amount of marijuana in Corral’s carry-on bag during routine screening procedures. The marijuana was contained in a plastic bag along with Corral’s Santa Cruz County-issued medical marijuana identification card. After examining her medical marijuana identification card but refusing to take any further action to confirm Corral’s legal status, the police cited her for illegal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor offense, and seized the medication. Corral faced a $100 fine, a criminal record and the possibility of enhanced sentencing should she ever be convicted of a federal crime – a special concern for Corral, who is a high-profile activist and plaintiff in a lawsuit against the federal government’s persecution of medical marijuana patients. The ACLU argued that California’s Compassionate Use Act protects patients like Corral from detainment and citation by local and state law enforcement for possessing marijuana if they present credible evidence of their status as legitimate medical marijuana patients. Judge Hegarty of the Superior Court of Los Angeles refused to order the return of Corral’s medical marijuana, a refusal the ACLU will immediately challenge. “The city of Burbank clearly has a policy of coercing qualified medical marijuana patients into pleading guilty when they are entirely innocent of wrongdoing,” added Alvarez. “Valerie Corral just happened to be a patient who refused to back down. We intend to challenge this policy until we gain a factual finding of innocence from the city attorney.” California’s Compassionate Use Act, passed in 1998, allows patients with a doctor’s recommendation to legally use marijuana for medical purposes. Although several counties currently issue registration cards for the primary purpose of identifying legally qualified medical marijuana patients to law enforcement, the Compassionate Use Act does not require patients to possess such a card to be entitled to protection under the law. The California Department of Health Services planned to implement a state-wide identification card system by August 2005, however, less than 200 of the estimated 100,000 patients currently have state-issued cards. “A city cannot arbitrarily choose the laws it will enforce,” said Corral. “Every citizen must obey the law, including Burbank police officers.” Complete Title: ACLU Challenges Burbank Policy of Pursuing: City Attorney Drops Charges at the Last Minute to Avoid Jury Trial For more information about Valerie Corral, visit: ACLU (NY)Published: September 22, 2005Copyright: 2005 ACLUContact: media Website: Articles & Web Sites:ACLU Activist May Sue Over Bust at Airport Backers Rally in Santa Cruz
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Comment #18 posted by Max Flowers on September 25, 2005 at 13:27:40 PT
schmeff - Firefox bug
The question mark-where-there-should-be-apostrophes thing was a problem for me too with Firefox. What seemed to fix it for me was to go into View-->Character Encoding and make sure that the top one, "Western (ISO-8859-1)" is selected. Something had made it select the one below that somehow, which does the question mark thing.
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Comment #17 posted by paulpeterson on September 23, 2005 at 17:59:53 PT:
"split decision" here advances a "fictio
Brilliant split decision by the prosecution. It also represents a good didactic (teaching device) for both a "fiction" and also a "high-lo".First, for the high-lo. He mullified arch-conservatives who might have thought bad if he just dismissed outright (this is on an entirely subjective basis to him only, of course). For liberals this still represented something of a "loosening of the reigns". In addition, some people might even be able to see the deeper potential for true 2nd level "Solomon's logic" ie: the only way this would hurt her is if she gets in more trouble with the feds, so don't sweat the fine print, etc. (Still superstitious, and probably the very pernicious sort of thing that sends some people away ie: presumptions, innuendos, etc.).In addition, when you think about it, from an ACLU attorney's standpoint, who wants to get to the appellate court so he could get citable authority status for the opinion, he might have INSISTED ON AT LEAST A FACT FINDING TO SURVIVE A DISMISSAL SO THE CASE COULD GO UPSTAIRS. These guys may have looked eye to eye and decided to discuss how to position the matter so nobody loses much face.This is also an example of how, no matter who decided on thse archane details (and the Solomon notation is further abt from the very split decision soundtrack here), a "judicial fiction" develops. First, there is a need to change existing law or procedure to meet changing times or circumstances (or shift in opinion). A judge (via written opinion) would find the shortest possible shortcut to satisfy the need, by using logical substitution or other symbolic or visual metaphors that seem, somehow or other, to justify, in at least a really thinly veiled way, the result that at least to common sense appears logical in the end result. Then, once it gets "appellitized" (yes, I just made that up) and cited as precedent, the legislature either has to start thinking about codifying it into the law real formal like or abolizizing it by some fear mongering campaign or other.In one of my Zines from 2001 (directed to judges and all) I sought to encourage the judge to visualize that he was talking to "my people" and to say it like he was Yule Brenner in the King and I, or the uncola man, then to go over there, to where that robe is hung on that hook, put it on man, and then GO OUT THERE TO YOUR PEOPLE AND MAKE YOU SOME NEW LAW and report back to me, and that's an order, judge! But none did. They just started dismissing cases, like by 2004 they were up to a 94% dismissal rate, for small cases, according to that Chicago Seargent that almost got the Daedalus wheel going in that urban enclave of repression now sandwiched between the Northern forces and the new band of South burbs that have just signed on.Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you could also call this mental operation a "Tom Cruise" maneuver, you know, from "Top Gun". Visualize the bad guy is gunning right on your tail (this would be the negative aspect of an event). Visualize that you pull up on the stick, spin over or around or through, or whatever works for you, there, you got it right, and now you are on his tail. Whatever logical, emotional, spiritual, metaphorical or metaphysical power or force is being applied against you know becomes yours to exert outwardly, usually by trying to find a happy thought, if you get my drift (I don't like going to the dark side and all).Here, by allowing the prosecutor to "weasle" out of a trial, if you will, defense counsel made a quotable change in status quo, seemed to protect his own position in the system and also protected the "appealability" of the case.This is all cause for thanks, on a world-wide basis, any time change is seen. Please bless it with praise, not with vitriol. Thanks move the engine another notch in the right direction. Over and out. 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 13:05:16 PT
Thank you. You made me laugh. I'm glad it helped.
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Comment #15 posted by schmeff on September 23, 2005 at 13:01:35 PT
I did what you suggested and the page now displays correctly.  Where should I send your check? lolBeauty and brains....some people have all the luck!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 12:39:15 PT
I'm glad I was able to help. If I remember the solution it is to clean your cookies and history I think. I'm not 100% sure but maybe that might help you.
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Comment #13 posted by schmeff on September 23, 2005 at 12:20:47 PT
Thanks, FOM
Firefox it is. Funny that the apostrophes and quotations in the 'comments' section display correctly. I guess the inherent correctness of the CNews community can't be tarnished...even by a buggy browser.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 12:15:44 PT
It's fine for me. It has happened to other people that are using Firefox.
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Comment #11 posted by schmeff on September 23, 2005 at 12:12:47 PT
Am I Bugged?
Does anyone else see question marks in the above story where apostrophes and quotation marks should be, or do I have a computer problem?
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 10:30:11 PT
News Web Site Showing Flooding in New Orleans
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 08:05:20 PT
Such Sad News
The bus exploding and killing all those senior citizens near Houston. What a terrible way to die.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 23, 2005 at 07:37:31 PT
New Orleans Flooding Again
It is filling up fast.
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on September 23, 2005 at 06:41:00 PT
Jim Lunsford
"Think about your power when you shop."I had a moral challenge yesterday to get an audiocassette to record Neil Young's interview. I bypassed Wal-Mart and Radio Shack. I finally found a cassette at Grand & Toy."I just talked with an old associate who was vehemently opposed to marijuana being legalized."I had a late night conversation with an associate who is still "opposed to marijuana being legalized." He doesn't want the government to get their hands on it. He thinks that they don't deserve it. In light of all the problems that the "government of the people, by the people, for the people" faces, I think his viewpoint is short-sighted.Unfortunately, many share his mis-placed sentiments. I heard an audio stream yesterday about family services investigating a couple who smoke cannabis away from home and not in front of their child. The call-in remarks were disturbing. So much ignorance, we got a lotta 'splainin' to do.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on September 23, 2005 at 03:54:41 PT:
This is why jury trials are so important
And why we MUST get the word out about the right of jury nullification.The prosecution *knew* it didn't stand an icicle's chance in Hell and could expect to be publicly humiliated, because by now the public knew of the WAMM raid and the aftermath. The DEA was made to look very badly indeed for their foolish attempt at intimidation; all it bought them was anger and scorn. And because of the efforts of Fully Informed Jury Association and its' supporters, the public in that area now knows of its' rights of nullification. A hung jury was a certainty. Not only would the prosecution be humiliated, but a dangerous public precedent would have been set. Namely, the entire citizenry of the US would have eventually learned of jury nullification through this one very visible case. THAT'S WHY THE PROSECUTION BACKED DOWN. The judges and the prosecutors want to be able to continue to bamboozle people locally about their rights to nullify; this case would have made that impossible, as the *national* media wonks would have *had* to include nullification in their explanations for a jury's refusal to convict. Those reading this can guess what effect that would have on drug cases nationwide. 
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Comment #5 posted by potpal on September 23, 2005 at 03:07:07 PT
Say it again
I hear you, Reverend. Wonder if the police would take the time to arrest a cannabis user in the Nola/Houston area these days? 
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Comment #4 posted by Jim Lunsford on September 22, 2005 at 23:42:38 PT
Let's see, we have Rita approaching the Houston, Galveston area. Only 27.5% of our refinery capabilities there. Due to hit on Saturday. This is also the day we have scheduled for pot rallies and anti-war rallies. Even on the O'reilly factor (okay, not a REAL show, but one that passes for one) a telephone conference with a former new jersey supreme court judge, (okay, I don't remember his name, but he is a constitutional conservative in the stricter sense) states that this country is at a cross-roads in how it shall treat social issues such as race and class. If even that show notices such a change is needed, then perhaps there is some hope for this species after all. 
  Toxic waste sludge from all of the oil refineries and chemical plants in houston are a concern. Just as they are in New Orleans. And New Orleans has only begun their disaster. 
  Perhaps the time is coming soon for Americans to realize that we are the government. It is never one person, and this whole state of affairs is far too idiotic for one person alone to have created. Stupidity on the level that our species has commited requires the participation of all it's citizens. Think about your power when you shop. If all the environmentalists, anti-prohibitionists, anti-war, etc. groups were to ever unite (instead of being so easily divided as the marijuana groups is on other drug issues (think meth), then the government would have to bow to the pressure. After all, how many people are aligned with at least one of the "counter-culture" groups? 
  On the bright side, though many amerikans are still woe-fully uniformed of the marijuana fight, the word is getting out. I just talked with an old associate who was vehemently opposed to marijuana being legalized. Now, he is for it. 
  With the ongoing talks concerning the deficit and spending, more debate regarding the economic impact and the national security implications of repealing this war against us can only help our cause. Any debate concerning energy and medicine and environment and global warming and so many other issues can be channelled through prohibition repeal. For me, this prohibition repeal includes even the demonized meth prohibition. After all, it's the criminality of meth which produces the inferior grade of meth, not the drug itself. Prohibition doesn't work, whether it's cannabis or meth. This doesn't mean I am a meth fan. I just believe that prohibition is an infantile method of handling social ills. 
  I hope that soon, this country, will gather the cajones to understand that we have seen the enemy, it is us, and we need to grow up as a nation before we make this planet uninhabitable for us as a species. That's it for now, hope everyone is well. These are such exciting times!Rev. Jim LunsfordFirst Cannabist ChurchCompassion: It's just a choice
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 22, 2005 at 19:06:31 PT
Valarie and Mike Corral
I have never met them but I feel I know them. Maybe it is because I have always felt that they were doing the right thing. I don't have heros except a few and the Corrals are one of those few to me.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeC on September 22, 2005 at 18:57:36 PT
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 22, 2005 at 18:30:18 PT
I Love These Stories
Prejudice prosecutors are running away with their tail tucked between their legs. Justice served.
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