Man, Mom Face Marijuana Trial

Man, Mom Face Marijuana Trial
Posted by FoM on January 19, 2000 at 20:56:02 PT
By Kimberly Bolander, Record Searchlight
Source: Record Searchlight
A month after one medicinal marijuana patient's acquittal, a Redding mother and son facing similar charges of drug possession will meet their prospective jurors today in Shasta County Superior Court. Jim Hall, 38, and Lydia Hall, 62, of Redding have recommendations from their doctors approving the use of marijuana to treat their ailments, Jim Hall said. He suffers chronic pain from a 1993 back injury and subsequent surgery; his mother uses pot to treat her glaucoma because conventional medicine gives her blinding migraines, her son said. 
''All this (prosecution) has got her terrified. The district attorney is scaring the crap out of her,'' Hall said about his mother. Under California's Compassionate Use Act, a voter-approved initiative signed into law in 1996, patients who have their doctors' oral or written approval may obtain and use marijuana as medicine. The law does not set limits on how much marijuana a patient may grow or possess. On March 16, law enforcement officers found 240 seedling plants in the Halls' home. At that time no arrests were made, but officers confiscated the plants, grow lights and about 6 ounces of processed marijuana. After waiting four or five months, the Halls' Redding attorney, Eric Berg, filed a motion for the return of the marijuana and equipment, Jim Hall said. About a week later, the district attorney's office filed charges against the Halls, for cultivation of and conspiracy to cultivate marijuana. Jim Hall faces an additional charge of possession for sale. Deputy District Attorney Tim Kam, who is prosecuting the Halls' case, declined to discuss it Tuesday. Jury selection for the trial begins this morning, he said.Monday, Hall said half the plants he was growing would likely be males, which don't produce the flowers desired by growers. He would have thinned out the rest to 50 plants to be grown in 50 indoor pots. That number would have been in compliance with medicinal marijuana guidelines approved in Oct. 27, 1998, by the Oakland City Council. Oakland police and prosecutors allow documented patients to grow 144 indoor plants or 60 outdoor plants.Shasta County has no guidelines for the amount of marijuana patients can possess.Hall said he contacted the Shasta County sheriff's and district attorney's offices after he got a doctor's approval and before he began growing marijuana to ask how to comply with county policy. ''They told me, 'We can't give you legal advice. Talk to an attorney,''' Hall said.He said he grows marijuana because he can't afford $325 per week for the ounce he smokes in that time. Without it, Hall said, he would have to go back to the 14 to 16 extra-strength Vicodin pills he used to take daily, plus the same amount of Soma, a narcotic muscle relaxer. ''Basically, these pills were killing me from the inside out. So I started using marijuana, and my pill consumption went way down to four a day, and I'm currently in the process of quitting (prescription drugs) completely,'' Hall said.Judge Bradley Boeckman is presiding over the Halls' case. He also presided at the trial of medicinal marijuana user Richard Levin, who was acquitted by a jury in December of selling of the drug. Tuesday, a court deputy returned evidence from that trial to Levin, 49, of Redding, including a back brace, metal plates that were once surgically screwed into Levin's back after a serious fall, and a ''roach clip,'' used to hold a marijuana cigarette.Friday, Levin expects the Sheriff's Department to give back the rest of the seized property: about a pound and a third of marijuana, 41 plants -- now dead -- two scales and Levin's handgun.In the meantime, Levin will be sitting in on the Halls' trial, he said. ''If the district attorney's office is giving back my marijuana, they can't be prosecuting others for using it,'' he said. ''The Hall case should not exist.''Pubdate: Wed, 19 Jan 2000Copyright: 2000 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. ScrippsContact: letters Address: PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397 News Article Courtesy Of MapInc. Related Articles:Pot Must Go Back To Owner Judge Clarifies Order - 1/15/2000 Still Pondering Medicinal Pot Policy - 1/14/2000 Pot User Should Be Entitled To His Medicine-1/13/2000 Patients Find Pot is an Arresting Experience-1/12/2000 Doesn't Get Pot Back Yet - 1/12/2000 Will Get His Pot - 1/12/2000 
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