Holder's Pot Policy Unclear on Old State Cases
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Holder's Pot Policy Unclear on Old State Cases
Posted by CN Staff on April 11, 2009 at 06:03:33 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- The owners of a medical marijuana dispensary near Hayward are looking at 15 years in federal prison on charges that might not get them arrested today. The owner of a former Hayward pot co-op faces similar charges that carry at least a five-year term.They're among as many as two dozen defendants in California who - according to advocacy groups and defense lawyers - are guilty of nothing more than bad timing.
They were charged with growing or distributing marijuana during the administration of President George W. Bush, when federal agents regularly raided pot clubs and suppliers. The administration argued, and federal courts agreed, that California law allowing medical marijuana was no defense to charges of violating the federal ban on the drug.Their cases were still pending when President Obama's attorney general, Eric Holder, announced a new policy on marijuana raids: Federal agents, he said March 18, would target only "those people who violate both federal and state law." In other words, anyone who was complying with the medical marijuana law in California, or any of the 12 other states with similar laws, would be left alone. Unanswered Questions  But Holder left two questions unanswered: whether the same rule would apply to defendants who had been charged under the former policy, and who would decide whether marijuana suppliers were violating state law - federal authorities or state and local governments that were already licensing and regulating pot clubs. Snipped   Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, April 11, 2009Copyright: 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by cliff on April 11, 2009 at 09:11:20 PT
New Must-see movie (flash website ugh.)Based on true events during the 2000 election, AMERICAN VIOLET tells the astonishing story of Dee Roberts (critically hailed newcomer Nicole Beharie), a 24 year-old African American single mother of four young girls living in a small Texas town who is barely able to make ends meet.While police drag Dee from work in handcuffs, dumping her in the squalor of the women’s county prison, the powerful local district attorney (Academy Award® nominee Michael O’Keefe) leads an extensive drug bust, sweeping her housing project with military precision.  Dee soon discovers she has been charged as a drug dealer.Even though Dee has no prior drug record and no drugs were found on her in the raid, she is offered a hellish choice: plead guilty and go home as a convicted felon or remain in prison, jeopardizing her custody and risking a long prison sentence.--------------------------------------------------------'American Violet' tells story of ill-fated Hearne drug raids12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, March 14, 2009Hearne, a hamlet so tiny that it can't even lay claim to a movie theater, is all abuzz about a new Hollywood film coming to town next week.Regina Kelly, a 32-year-old single mother of four, can't wait for her hometown folks to see American Violet."I'm actually both – nervous and excited," said Kelly."It's going to be weird for everybody to see this movie, even my family. It's going to be the first time for them to see what I went through."John Paschall, on the other hand, has absolutely no interest in seeing the flick, a dramatization based on an ill-fated narcotics raid in Hearne that was eerily similar to the 1999 drug raid in Tulia."The only way I'd watch it," said Paschall, the five-term district attorney for Robertson County, "I'd have to be handcuffed, tied to a chair and you'd have to tape my eyes open."As you may have figured out by now, Kelly is the sympathetic protagonist in American Violet, one of 28 Hearne residents arrested on charges of distributing crack cocaine.Paschall is cast as the villain, the racist DA hell-bent on rounding up black druggies and hauling them off to jail – by any means necessary.------much more link-------
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 11, 2009 at 06:16:06 PT
Just a Comment
It might be quite sometime before we get the new drug czar in place and a policy developed. John Walters was sworn in  December of 2001. We don't know who will replace the head of the DEA from George Bush's administration. I feel sorry for people who will go to jail over getting caught under Bush's administration. As far as how to figure out about state law I think study Prop 215 and if people are following it they should be ok. ***Can I grow marijuana?Yes. Under Prop. 215, the cultivation of marijuana plants for the personal, medical use of a patient is permitted. However, the seeds necessary to begin cultivating marijuana are no more legal or available than before. Again, a patient must go to the black market for seeds or seedlings, and the transaction itself is still illegal. Cultivation remains a felony in most cases under state and federal law. A person arrested and charged under state law has the right to use a Prop. 215 defense. Federal agents are believed to be unlikely to arrest and prosecute small-time growers of marijuana for medical use, because small-scale cases are not a high priority to federal law enforcement. Still, prosecutions by federal agencies are possible. Cultivation guidelines. It is important to take steps to keep any medical marijuana cultivation within the boundaries suggested by Prop. 215. First off, grow no more marijuana than you need for personal consumption. There is no concrete standard for numbers of plants under Prop. 215. Generally speaking, a few healthy plants should satisfy a patient's needs. Do not distribute or sell marijuana under any circumstances to anyone - especially non-patients. Any evidence of distribution puts a person at very high risk. A Prop. 215 defense will not work for someone who distributes or sells any amount of marijuana, because the new law applies only to a patient's personal, medical supply. If prosecutors discover evidence of sale or distribution, they are likely to charge a person with felony counts that could result in years of prison time, regardless of that person's medical condition or medical authorization to use marijuana. URL:
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