Judge Tells Feds To Ease Up on Marijuana Maven 

Judge Tells Feds To Ease Up on Marijuana Maven 
Posted by CN Staff on March 17, 2007 at 07:18:39 PT
By Josh Richman, Staff Writer
Source: Oakland Tribune
San Francisco -- A federal judge on Friday gave a prosecutor one month to decide — and a lecture to guide his way — on whether to continue the government's case against "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Wednesday tossed out money laundering and tax evasion charges, a huge section of the government's case, against the 62-year-old former High Times magazine columnist. The judge said those new charges amounted to vindictive prosecution after an appeals court overturned Rosenthal's 2003 conviction of three marijuana-growing felonies.
On Friday, Breyer granted Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan's request for more time to contemplate his response to that ruling: Appeal it to a higher court or proceed with the marijuana cultivation and distribution charges that remain or drop the case entirely. The government already has said it won't seek more than the one-day jail sentence Rosenthal already served for his original conviction should he be convicted anew on the marijuana crimes. Breyer made it clear Friday he'd like to see the case go away, suggesting the government should weigh whether its time and energy, and the court's, is best spent on the trial of a man who already has served his sentence. Breyer ordered everyone back to court on Friday, April 13, and chuckled over the date's superstitious connotation. "I can't imagine a better day," he said dryly. "How about 4/20?" Rosenthal quipped. The number "420" is often associated with marijuana use. Outside the courthouse, the ever-impudent Rosenthal dared Bevan to continue the case, claiming a trial would further expose the government's misconduct and vindictiveness: "It would be foolish of Mr. Bevan not to go forward. ... I urge him to." His lawyers, however, said they agree with Breyer that it should end now. Famed for his marijuana cultivation books and the "Ask Ed" column he wrote for High Times, Rosenthal's 2003 convictions came more than a year after federal agents raided his Oakland home, an Oakland warehouse in which he was growing marijuana and a San Francisco medical marijuana club he supplied. Medical marijuana use on a doctor's recommendation is legal under state law but prohibited by federal law, so Rosenthal was barred from mounting a medical defense at trial. Breyer sentenced him to one day behind bars — time he'd already served. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his convictions in April 2006, finding juror misconduct — a juror's conversation with an attorney-friend during deliberations — compromised Rosenthal's right to a fair verdict and so warranted a new trial. But the court also rejected Rosenthal's claim of immunity from prosecution as an officer of Oakland who grew the drug under the city's medical marijuana ordinance. Prosecutors reindicted Rosenthal in October, adding charges that he'd laundered marijuana proceeds by buying four money orders totaling $1,854, and that he'd falsified tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001 by omitting income from his marijuana distribution.Note: Court deals prosecution one month to decide whether to keep up case versus 'Guru of Ganja'.Source: Oakland Tribune, The (CA)Author: Josh Richman, Staff WriterPublished: March 17, 2007Copyright: 2007 MediaNews Group, Inc. Contact: triblet angnewspapers.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site: Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles Feds Plan To Retry Marijuana Advocate Urges Feds To Consider Dropping Charges
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Comment #12 posted by whig on March 18, 2007 at 02:49:27 PT
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Comment #11 posted by whig on March 17, 2007 at 23:53:21 PT
Dr Ganj
Of course, if George Bevan wasn't a team player for Karl Rove he'd have been fired with the other eight prosecutors. Just to keep the blame at the top.
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Comment #10 posted by Dr Ganj on March 17, 2007 at 21:06:32 PT
Ask Ed
Ed Rosenthal is quite a fighter, and I truly admire him.
I've said for years now, that if everyone who got arrested and charged with a marijuana offense took their case to trial, we would not have this awful drug war. 95% of drug cases do not go to trial, and most defendants get frightened when they hear that the prosecutor wants them to spend years in prison. Because of this popular tactic, they plead guilty (and usually to a lesser offense), where they either get probation, or county jail time instead of the big house.
What Ed realized, and has so cleverly done here, is he took his case to jury trial-a place where all sorts of mistakes can be discovered, and turned to benefit the accused! Because he had excellent legal assistance, his attorneys proved jury misconduct, which turned out to be key in his victory. 
These final desperate attempts by the prosecutor is solid proof he is vindictive, and an extreme sore loser. He knows it's a waste of time and money, but his ego won't let him accept the truth. 
Prosecutors hate to lose, and their common sense is discarded when they are confronted by intelligent people like Ed. 
What we need is more people to take their cases to trial, and let 12 jurors decide if years in prison is a fair sentence for someone who grows beautiful green plants. I'll wager a few people on the jury panel will feel like you and I-and vote for an acquittal. So go ahead, make them spend money on a trial that everyone knows is a place for real criminal cases to be heard, and not a place to prosecute gardeners who like to grow plants and be happy.
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on March 17, 2007 at 16:12:47 PT
How much have the feds squandered on their little witch hunt? I want my money back!!!
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on March 17, 2007 at 13:45:22 PT
reverse gateway theory 
CN BC: Holy Smoke Owners Enter Plea 
by Sara Newham, (15 Mar 2007) Nelson Daily News British Columbia 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 17, 2007 at 11:04:26 PT
C-Span: Rally Against The Iraq War
It's on now and will be covered for a couple of hours.
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Comment #6 posted by Toker00 on March 17, 2007 at 10:49:50 PT
CQ...Absolutely. And for those who may lurk here
from local Southeast Texas, here's an invite to join us next Monday evening in Galveston, Tx.Iraq War Anniversary Vigil on Monday can you make it?
	Host: Sheila S.—fellow MoveOn memberWhere: public park 4600 Seawall Blvd. (in Galveston)When: Monday, Mar 19 2007, 5:00 PMWe're gathering this Monday night in conjunction with 1,000+ vigils across the country to commemorate and reflect on the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. While Congress debates ending the war and bringing our troops home, let's gather for what is hopefully our final Iraq war vigil together.R.S.V.P.: Can you attend a vigil this Monday to honor our troops and help end the war? Can't make this event? Here is another vigil near you:Iraq War Anniversary Vigil
25th and Market, Galveston at 8:00 PM—RSVPFor more info and to find more vigils, click here. And don't worry, this email was sent through the MoveOn system so your personal contact info is still private.Support our member-driven organization: Political Action is entirely funded by our 3.2 million members. We have no corporate contributors, no foundation grants, no money from unions. Our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. If you'd like to support our work, you can give now at: FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION,
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Toke.
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on March 17, 2007 at 10:12:12 PT
CQ it's the same attitude that showed when the school administrator doubled the suspension of the "bong hits 4 jesus" kid after he quoted Jefferson to her on freedom of speech.How DARE you question our power? The power of the One, the monolithic Government?  The same woman probably went out of her way to get the kid's father fired from his job.WE control your birth, your death, your food, your medicine. You know what they say about aboslute power. The human ego can't resist corruption, that's why it's wrong to turn over control of so much of society to government.
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Comment #4 posted by charmed quark on March 17, 2007 at 09:00:31 PT
religion and the government
What I should have said is that there really is no place for religious crusades within government. We're set up to allow people to have religious freedom. It's a primary freedom in the USA. So it's perfectly OK for you or me to have very strong opinions based on our religion, to protest, participate in government and even to try to enact laws based on these beliefs. As long as these laws don't violate our basic constitutional rights, which were set up to prevent the majority from oppressing a minority.But a religious crusade as an arm of the US government is very wrong and very anti-American. And that is what this drug crusade is.
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on March 17, 2007 at 08:28:52 PT
"Moral crusades should be fought peacably by religious groups, not by the law."There is an article on Yahoo about Christians going to DC to march on the Pentagon today. Is that a good example?Toke. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 17, 2007 at 08:18:29 PT
charmed quark 
I know what you mean. What has been so bad since this administration got into power is the strong desire by them to control and put down anyone for any reason that doesn't fit into their structure for different reasons. The religious right has attached itself to the Republican Party and that reminds me how religion can cause so much hate. All we have to do is look at Iraq. The Evangelical Christians act similarly without the violence but only hate and make laws to control us. I was involved in a fundamentalist church so I do know what I say is true.We are suppose to visit those in prison but we were never told to put people in prison who didn't listen.
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Comment #1 posted by charmed quark on March 17, 2007 at 07:59:12 PT
They really are rabid
This sort of thing shows that many of the anti-marijuana warriors really aren't concerned about drugs and public health. It's obvious they are running some sort of moral crusade which at times reaches the level of insanity. Or maybe it's just revenge against someone who called them on their behavior.In any case, this sort of thing REALLY shouldn't be going on in our dear USA.Moral crusades should be fought peacably by religious groups, not by the law.
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