DA Limits Some Prosecutions Temporarily
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DA Limits Some Prosecutions Temporarily
Posted by CN Staff on July 17, 2009 at 13:23:44 PT
By Linda Williams, TWN Staff Writer
Source: Willits News
California -- The leak of two confidential memos by Mendocino County District Attorney Meredith Lintott to the Ukiah Daily Journal confirmed the observations of many county law enforcement officers about recent prosecutorial priority changes in her department.In the memos to her staff, the DA told them not to file certain types of new misdemeanor cases and to prosecute felony cases involving marijuana cultivation only for grows involving more than 200 plants or 20 pounds of processed bud.
According to Lintott, the memos were meant to be internal staff guidelines only, and she still expected each deputy district attorney to assess every case on its own merits to ensure issues of public safety were addressed. "The temporary filing guidelines were never meant to change existing laws or regulations on marijuana or to set new policy. The District Attorney's Office supports the current limits of six plants, eight ounces of processed marijuana for medical marijuana patients," says Lintott in a letter to Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman and other county law enforcement groups."She assured me even while these temporary measures were in place she would be reviewing each case on a case by case basis and would be open to our input," says Willits Police Chief Gerry Gonzalez. Lintott says most marijuana cases are complex, typically involving multiple defendants filing a series of motions, which need to be handled by the most experienced prosecutors. The department lost three senior prosecutors out of the seven in the Ukiah office, due to retirement, resignation and dismissal in a short period. This shortage, coupled with the nearly 50 percent increase in the number of marijuana cases being processed in the county, made Lintott decide to provide temporary guidelines to her staff to help reduce and prioritize the immediate workload. "These cases are very complicated," says Lintott. "Before we file the case it must be in good shape. If not it will go back to the initiating agency until it is in good enough shape to file on. The best deterrent is to successfully prosecute a serious case."Some cases, says Lintott, are not filed on because we don't have the evidence needed to move them forward. Lintott has posted to hire permanent experienced replacement attorneys to fill the sudden holes in her department. As an interim measure, she is hiring less experienced temporary prosecutors to relieve some of the burden. The department recently hired a new much less experienced attorney, as well. Of some concern as well to local law enforcement is the cutback on filing certain new misdemeanor cases. According to Lintott's confidential memo, no new filings should be made for "no-victim" cases involving things like being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of small amounts of pot or meth, public drinking, using false documents, fighting, having certain weapons, and panhandling "where the public is inconvenienced" but not directly harmed.For other crimes such as "contributing to the delinquency of a minor, graffiti, fraud, counterfeiting, minors in possession of drugs or alcohol" first offenders should be referred to diversion or counseling programs. The lack of action in the DA's office, combined the budget crunch felt by all government agencies in the county, leave officers wondering, off the record, whether they should bother arresting someone for anything other than serious felonies knowing nothing will come of it, anyway. Source: Willits News (CA)Author: Linda Williams, TWN Staff WriterPublished: July 17, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Willits News Contact: editorial willitsnews.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #10 posted by kaptinemo on July 19, 2009 at 07:41:41 PT:
The shock waves are spreading
The explosion and meltdown of the financial system is having ripple effects everywhere, and drug prohibition is amongst the most noticeable aspects of it. The writing is on the wall in red ink: the DrugWar is toast. It's an economic black hole that has only served the interests of two classes, and they are LE and the cartels...and that's all. And people will need that money just to survive, much less spend it on cosmically failed social experiments such as a 'drug-free' Utopia.So, now, here it is. The financial dice, no matter how they're rolled, keep coming up snake eyes. In truth, they were loaded from the beginning, but now the money isn't there anymore. Printing up more currency won't help, only add to inflation. The party's over, time to tighten the belts, whether those wearing them want to or not. And those leaked memos are proof of that reality. 
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Comment #9 posted by observer on July 17, 2009 at 23:11:59 PT
Govt Admits Pot Use Victimless
According to Lintott's confidential memo, no new filings should be made for "no-victim" cases involving things like being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of small amounts of pot", etc.Ok, so here we have a rather interesting admission, an admission that cannabis use and selling are actually victimless crimes. There's no victim. We knew this all along (since common sense tells one there are as many "victims" of one smoking a joint as there are "victims" of one eating an ice-cream cone) -- but is it good to see documented examples of when government admits this, too. No prison for pot. Because, no victim, no crime. 
drug news bot
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Comment #8 posted by keydet46 on July 17, 2009 at 17:20:41 PT:
Lets see if this gets any support! I propose that every person that is for reform plant one MJ plant on public propery. Just plant it and leave it alone. It would overtax the eradication effort. Then, if we don't have reform by april 20 2010 we again do it, but this time plant2. One male and one female, side by side. The ones they miss would polinate and produce more at the same site. They couldn't get them all!!!!!!!!!
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on July 17, 2009 at 16:00:57 PT
wow, more
look at this.....
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on July 17, 2009 at 15:55:12 PT
Sam Adams Lol!
Thoughts (and actions) converge ...
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on July 17, 2009 at 15:41:29 PT
Dongenero that was my thought as well! I recently watched the movie "Gandhi" on cable, it was excellent, "overgrow" is precisly the Gandhi strategy.Gandhi's idea was to clog the system with non-violent protest. He figured that the British would eventually get tired of beating down all these peaceful people and he was right.It fits cannabis reform perfectly. What is the end goal of the prohibitionists? do they really want to arrest and jail every person that uses cannabis? every person that grows and sells it? No, that would way too much for the US to stomach. Too embarrassing, having tens of millions of people arrested and jailed. Would attract too much attention and cost too much. Not even possible logistically.Therefore peacefully overwhelming the criminal justice machine until it clogs is an excellent strategy. "National Turn Yourself In Day" could probably end prohibition in a week if we could actually pull it off and get every single cannabis user to go to the police station at once.
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Comment #4 posted by HempWorld on July 17, 2009 at 15:07:09 PT
dongenero Lol! 
I hope "Temporarily: changes to "Permanent" soon!
Let it grow!
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on July 17, 2009 at 13:46:23 PT
Sounds like the government has been overgrown.
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Comment #2 posted by duzt on July 17, 2009 at 13:32:34 PT
Angry part of California
Having lived in this area, I can say that this will make the antis completely freak out. It is about 50/50 there and both sides hate each other enormously. The forums will be very ugly in the ukiah daily journal, poor angry folks.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 17, 2009 at 13:31:06 PT
200 Plants or 20 Pounds of Processed Bud
That's nice to read. Little by little things are changing.
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