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  Fed Jury Slaps Guru of Ganja With New Pot Charges
Posted by CN Staff on October 12, 2006 at 20:11:24 PT
By Josh Richman, Staff Writer 
Source: Oroville Mercury-Register 

medical California -- Oakland "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal was re-indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on a host of marijuana-related charges, roughly six months after an appeals court tossed out his earlier convictions.

The superseding indictment filed Thursday contains 25 counts against Rosenthal, 61, and two of his original co-defendants, Kenneth Hayes and Richard Watts. Rosenthal faces 14 counts including conspiracy, use of a place to manufacture marijuana for distribution, manufacturing marijuana for distribution, laundering money from marijuana sales, and filing false tax returns.

"I knew they had a grand jury but I didn't know what was going to happen," Rosenthal said Thursday night. "What they're trying to do with these indictments and with my continued persecution is to close down all of the dispensaries in California, to deprive people of their medicine."

"It's not the way I planned to spend my time for the next year but I'm resigned to it," he said, describing himself as an "everyman" who won't be cowed. "Most people considering their circumstances for one reason or another are forced to give in under the weight of government pressure. I'm not only standing up for dispensaries but for all these people who've been harassed and hounded by the government."

But he won't let it ruin his life, either. "We're still going out to dinner tonight," he said wryly.

Famed for his marijuana cultivation books and the "Ask Ed" column he wrote for High Times magazine, Rosenthal was convicted of three marijuana-growing felonies in 2003, more than a year after federal agents raided sites including his Oakland home, an Oakland warehouse in which he was growing marijuana, and a San Francisco medical marijuana club he supplied.

Medical use of marijuana 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, 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. The court in July refused Rosenthal's requests for rehearing or for an "en banc" rehearing by a larger panel.

He and his lawyers appeared before Breyer in August and September as prosecutors prepared to retry him on the original charges, even as witnesses were being subpoenaed by a grand jury investigating new charges.

Watts was arrested and charged in the same 2002 raids which nabbed Rosenthal, but injuries sustained in a car accident have kept him from trial until now. Hayes fled to Canada to avoid prosecution.

Thursday's indictment essentially claims Rosenthal from October 2001 through February 2002 conspired with Hayes and Watts to grow marijuana at sites on Sixth Street in San Francisco and on Mandela Parkway in Oakland; laundered marijuana proceeds by buying four money orders totaling $1,854 during that time; and falsified tax returns for 1999, 2000 and 2001 by omitting income from his marijuana distribution. Hayes and Watts face similar, related charges.

"With these new more serious charges, I think I'll get even more community support," Rosenthal said Thursday. Citing recent federal raids of Bay Area, Modesto and Granada Hills dispensaries, he said his new indictment is part of "a concerted effort by the federal government" to crack down on medical marijuana.

Note: Ed Rosenthal says it's federal effort to shut down state pot clubs, "deprive people of their medicine."

Complete Title: Fed Jury Slaps `Guru of Ganja' with Host of New Pot Charges

MediaNews reporter Karl Fischer contributed to this report.

Source: Oroville Mercury-Register (CA)
Author: Josh Richman, Staff Writer
Published: October 12, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Oroville Mercury Register

Related Articles & Web Site:

Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles

`Ganja Guru' Wants Grand Jury Info

Feds Take Aim at `Ganja Guru' Again

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Comment #19 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 11:46:54 PT
Here's the excerpt
[Emphasis added.]

The superseding indictment filed Thursday contains 25 counts against Rosenthal, 61, and two of his original co-defendants, Kenneth Hayes and Richard Watts. Rosenthal faces 14 counts including conspiracy, use of a place to manufacture marijuana for distribution, manufacturing marijuana for distribution, laundering money from marijuana sales, and filing false tax returns. "I knew they had a grand jury but I didn't know what was going to happen," Rosenthal said Thursday night. "What they're trying to do with these indictments and with my continued persecution is to close down all of the dispensaries in California, to deprive people of their medicine."

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 11:43:56 PT
Ed Rosenthal
He is being persecuted for tax-related matters, and the rest is window dressing.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #17 posted by whig on October 13, 2006 at 11:42:02 PT
I don't have as much respect for copyright as some do, because I believe an article which is not an entire newspaper, is properly copied and shared as a matter of fair use. This is the policy I follow on cannablog, but FoM is under different constraints, being advised by whoever is responsible for hosting CNews that she must conform to their interpretation of rules.

To me, and independently of that, there is no such thing as copyright. Credit should always be given when due, and respect is essential, but to forbid the copying of information itself is to deny speech in a way I consider unacceptable.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 11:35:14 PT
Thank you. You explained it very well. That's the reality of it all.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #15 posted by Hope on October 13, 2006 at 09:44:23 PT
Please people...use your copy and paste
Post the urls and excerpts. Don't post the entire article.

Some of the sites being copied from have copyright laws with them, they consider it theft to lift their words, word for word, and we can be sued or shut down.

Yeah. I know it's unreasonable...since the information is out there for the public anyway. But who said laws had to be reasonable?

One law, in one state, says I can't ride an ugly horse and carry a gun longer than a specified length. I guess if you are on a ugly horse, and someone makes a can shoot them with a short gun, but not a long one.

Laws are often unreasonable. We can change them one or a few at a time...but the copyright laws haven't been changed yet.

And don't tie your alligator to a fire hydrant, either!

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 08:41:32 PT
I can delete posts but then people get mad at me. I just wish people would understand that I have rules to follow and I am the one that will get in trouble. I don't mind getting in trouble for what I do wrong but I don't want to get in trouble for something I have no control over.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #13 posted by Dankhank on October 13, 2006 at 08:32:09 PT

I know you can delete posts.

I know you rarely do, mostly duplications or by request.

Perhaps you should start deleting posts that violate stated policies.

I'll keep trying to be a good boy ....:-)

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 08:27:27 PT
SFC: Freed Medical Pot Advocate is Indicted Again
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, October 13, 2006

California -- Marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal, who successfully appealed his federal convictions for growing plants for a San Francisco medical marijuana club, was indicted again Thursday on an expanded set of charges, including filing false tax returns and money laundering.

The 2003 trial of Rosenthal, the "Ask Ed" columnist of High Times magazine and an authority on marijuana cultivation, drew national attention and ended in a one-day prison sentence, a disavowal of the guilty verdicts by a majority of the jury, and an eventual reversal this April. An appeals court said a juror who had qualms about the case committed misconduct by phoning an attorney friend for advice.

In the new grand jury indictment, Rosenthal, 61, of Oakland, was charged with 14 felonies, including conspiracy to manufacture marijuana at his Oakland warehouse and distribute it to the Harm Reduction Center, a San Francisco dispensary, between 2000 and 2002.


Complete Article:

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 13, 2006 at 06:18:17 PT
If We Get Taken Off Line
It really won't be my fault. I hope that if Mapinc gets upset with unsnipped articles they don't contact me because I can't control it and I don't want to contol it.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #10 posted by mayan on October 13, 2006 at 05:38:28 PT
50$ Worth of Lies
Thanks for that article, global warming. It looks like all of the prohibitionists are going to have spent their 50 dollars worth of lies well before election day! All Mason needs is his brain,the truth,and just a little bit of sleep. The drug warriors are going to run out of ammo,but then again, they're firing blanks anyway!

SAFER Colorado Blog:

Regarding Ed, it's just sour grapes on the part of the feds. They are clearly out to get him even though he is a threat to nobody. He has the support of the people while the feds have the support of the devil himself. They picked the wrong dude to mess with because Ed is going to fight and make the fascists look like just that. Thank you, Ed!


Analyzing South Park's 9/11 Show:

Who "Pulled" 9/11:

Rice: Does anyone really believe I'd ignore terror warning?

Rudy, dont take your love to town...or the evidence (video):

Confessions Of A 9/11 Hitman (fiction):

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Toker00 on October 13, 2006 at 05:20:31 PT
Just thinking again. I know, you're saying to yourself..."Uh-Oh".

How about mounting three wide screeners in a pick up, one on each side of the bed, one in the rear. Connect a DC/AC converter, hook up a splitter on a DVD player so all three sets will play from it, park in a mall parking lot, a public park, or wherever and pass out DVDs of your favorite cause, while showing the DVDs on your three wide screens? How many laws would I be breaking?

Too much? Ok. I'll just keep the idea of setting up in my own driveway.


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by global_warming on October 13, 2006 at 03:42:39 PT
while in CO
Rancor rises at pot debate...

Grand Junction - Diverging opinions about a marijuana- legalization initiative led to a finger-jabbing shouting match during a news conference Thursday featuring local, state and federal officials opposed to Amendment 44.

The angry exchange came at the end of speeches given by White House National Drug Control deputy director Scott Burns and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who oppose the measure.

Mason Tvert, campaign director for the Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Committee, a group attempting to legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for adults in Colorado, asked Burns, Suthers and other elected officials standing in front of a "Marijuana - Not in Our Community" banner, "Who paid for this press conference?"

"Why don't you have to file a campaign finance report when you are engaged in campaigning?" he asked as various speakers attempted to quell his questions.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey, one of the speakers against Amendment 44, answered that, as drug experts, they had the right to talk about the marijuana initiative.

Suthers was visibly angered when he told Tvert, "You are just flat wrong" about campaign finance law - as wrong, he said, as Tvert is about drug laws. "As public officials, we are perfectly entitled to step up and express our opinions at any time," Suthers said.

The Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act allows government employees to spend up to $50 to express opinions on a ballot initiative.

Heather Janik, a staff member with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said that the federal office paid $50 to rent the room for the news conference and that Burns' travel to Grand Junction from Washington, D.C., was covered by his appearance at a conference to discuss methamphetamine abuse.

The thick packets of booklets and fact sheets with information opposing marijuana use that were handed out at the news conference did not specifically mention Amendment 44.

Tvert, who also held a news conference Thursday under a new billboard urging yes votes on Amendment 44, reiterated that "these guys, who are so concerned with the law, are breaking the law on this."

Other speakers at the anti-44 conference included Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, who said "I virtually never see a meth case that doesn't also include marijuana."

Listen to them squeal, oink.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 12, 2006 at 22:30:09 PT
Thanks for the article. I'll get it posted first thing tomorrow morning.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #6 posted by The GCW on October 12, 2006 at 22:10:54 PT
Hi FoM,
Here's one.

This is the Boulder Weekly's voter picks / stand on Amendment 44... Oct. 12, 2006.


Amendment 44 The marijuana-alcohol equalization amendment


Amendment 44 asks Colorado voters to decide whether or not to legalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 years and older. If passed it would still be illegal to consume marijuana in public, drive while under the influence, grow marijuana, sell it or possess it if you are under 21.

This is an expansion of the initiative that was passed last year in Denver. Currently, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a petty offense in Colorado and carries a $100 fine.

Proponents of Amendment 44 say that marijuana is a safer alternative drug than alcohol and that Colorado citizens should be allowed to consume it in the privacy of their homes if they so choose. Every year, there are thousands of injuries and deaths, in addition to violence, that occur as a direct result of alcohol, yet alcohol is legal. Marijuana, on the other hand, does not cause a persistent threat to public safety and carries no risk of overdose. Marijuana users are far less likely to engage in violence or erratic behavior than those who imbibe alcohol. Furthermore, supporters of Amendment 44 say that many studies have shown marijuana to be less addictive than other illegal and legal drugs.

Amendment 44 will also save taxpayers money. Currently, it costs Colorado thousands of dollars every year to track down, apprehend and prosecute marijuana users. This is money that could be better spent capturing violent criminals and fighting drugs that are more harmful to the public, like crack and meth. Supporters say that arresting marijuana users for such a minor offense needlessly destroys thousands of lives and eats up taxpayer revenue.

Opponents of Amendment 44 say there is no scientific evidence that conclusively demonstrates marijuana is safer than alcohol. Since marijuana is illegal, it is impossible to study the long-term effects of cannabis on the human body. However, studies have shown that THC can certainly be addictive to some people, and smoke inhalation of any kind is detrimental to the lungs, they say. Today's marijuana is as much as 10 times stronger than the pot used in the 1970s, and the effects of that heightened potency vary depending on the individual.

Opponents also claim that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that introduces young people to the drug culture and encourages them to try other truly harmful drugs. They say prohibition works and it is the only viable option in the drug war. There is also the concern that legalizing pot will attract drug users to Colorado, raising crime rates throughout the state.

Finally, those opposed to Amendment 44 argue that legalizing pot will not save money in the long run. The costs of enforcement are minimal when compared to the costs of addiction treatment and the drug counseling centers that the state would be forced to pay for.

BW position: Opponents are full of bull, and a large percentage of Boulder County readers knows it. Why? Because they smoke pot and lead healthy, functional lives. The war on pot is a waste of money and a waste of lives. Prohibition has never worked and never will. If alcohol and cigarettes, which are demonstrably more costly and harmful to human beings and to society, are legal, then ganja should be legal, too.

End the hypocrisy. Vote YES on Amendment 44.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by afterburner on October 12, 2006 at 21:43:31 PT
'Nasty Nasty Nasty Nasty Nasty Nasty' Frank Zappa
Maybe lemmings don't really jump off cliffs like blind obedient zombies, but politicians and prosecutors sure do. They are rubbing our noses in it, and they need to be taken to the woodshed. This administration is in full-on self-destruction. Only rigged Diebold voting machines can save them now from the wrath of the people.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #4 posted by mastercy on October 12, 2006 at 21:39:49 PT
this is hilarious
This article is great.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on October 12, 2006 at 21:24:58 PT
That looks like a good movie.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by ekim on October 12, 2006 at 20:43:50 PT
pass a mmj tax that is collected by all the clubs
put half of it in a fund to hire the best legal rep it can buy. use it for cases such as this -- with a clause that help for those that the US wants to bring here and try{sic}like mr emery could apply for assistance.

suporters of ED please partner with the great warming movie to show how saving the Cannabis plant and saving the planet go hand and hand

thank you ED for all you have done for the people and what your family has had to live thru.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 12, 2006 at 20:14:00 PT
Good Luck
I wish Ed Rosenthal and his family good luck.

[ Post Comment ]

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