Retrial for Medical-Pot Advocate Opens

Retrial for Medical-Pot Advocate Opens
Posted by CN Staff on May 15, 2007 at 13:21:47 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- The retrial of marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal on federal cultivation charges opened today with his lawyer doing everything she could to make it clear to jurors that he had been growing cannabis for medical use, a subject the judge has put off-limits. "Mr. Rosenthal is a scientist and the government will attempt to suppress his ideas,'' defense lawyer Shari Greenberger said in an opening statement in San Francisco federal court that drew repeated objections from the prosecutor. "For the past 40 years, my client, Ed Rosenthal, has been a proponent of marijuana advocacy and reform, and that is why we are here.''
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer immediately told the jurors they were there to decide whether Rosenthal was guilty of growing marijuana, not why the government was prosecuting him. Rosenthal, 62, of Oakland, an authority on marijuana cultivation and writer of numerous books and magazine articles on the subject, was arrested in 2002 and charged with growing thousands of plants for patients at a San Francisco dispensary. He was convicted in 2003 but sentenced by Breyer to only one day in jail, which he had already served. The judge said Rosenthal had believed he was acting legally because the city of Oakland had designated him as an agent in its medical marijuana distribution program. A federal appeals court overturned the conviction last year because of misconduct by a juror who had called an attorney for advice during deliberations. Prosecutors tried unsuccessfully to add charges of tax evasion and money laundering for Rosenthal's second trial and have acknowledged that he could not be jailed if convicted again. As at the first trial, Breyer has barred evidence that the marijuana was intended for medical use, or to the 1996 California initiative that allowed patients to use the drug with their doctor's recommendation. That didn't stop Greenberger from trying.  Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Tuesday, May 15, 2007Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles Rosenthal: Opening Statements Set for Today Guru's Retrial Set for Next Week
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 16, 2007 at 08:58:55 PT
SFC: Pot Advocate's New Trial Begins
May 16, 2007The lawyer for marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal pushed as far as she could Tuesday against a judge's edict to keep the subject of medical marijuana out of his retrial on federal cultivation charges, trying to let jurors know that Rosenthal was growing cannabis for sick patients. Defense attorney Shari Greenberger began her opening statement in federal court in San Francisco by addressing jurors as "fellow Californians,'' a less-than-subtle reminder that state voters legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996. She later acknowledged that "this is a federal case brought by the federal government. There are certain areas where we cannot go.'' Greenberger said, "Mr. Rosenthal is a scientist and the government will attempt to suppress his ideas. ... For the past 40 years, my client, Ed Rosenthal, has been a proponent of marijuana advocacy and reform, and that is why we are here.'' Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 15, 2007 at 14:09:53 PT
News Article from
Women's Medical Marijuana Group Prepares For Court***WAMM To Argue Benefits Of Pot For Chronic Pain Sufferers
 May 15, 2007SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The Women's Alliance For Medical Marijuana is heading to court over the use of pot to help ease chronic pain.The case is similar to one involving Angel Raich, of Oakland. She sued the federal government over the right to smoke medical marijuana. Raich dropped her case last week.Police never arrested Raich, but the WAMM collective was raided by federal agents. 
 When WAMM goes to court in July, it will present three arguments, according to WAMM co-founder Valerie Corral. The first involves due process and the right to access to medicine if it's the only thing that will keep someone alive. The second involves the 10th Amendment and allows the city the right to provide marijuana as a medicine to the community. Finally, they will argue what they call the "necessity defense."The case is scheduled to be heard July 13 in San Jose District Court. Copyright 2007 by TheKSBWChannel.com
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