Juries are Giving Pot Defendants a Pass
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Juries are Giving Pot Defendants a Pass
Posted by CN Staff on December 26, 2010 at 13:56:27 PT
By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
Source: Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Seattle -- It seemed a straightforward case: A man with a string of convictions and a reputation as a drug dealer was going on trial in Montana for distributing a small amount of marijuana found in his home  if only the court could find jurors willing to send someone to jail for selling a few marijuana buds.The problem began during jury selection last week in Missoula, when a potential juror said she would have a "real problem" convicting someone for selling such a small amount. But she would follow the law if she had to, she said.
A woman behind her was adamant. "I can't do it," she said, prompting Judge Robert L. Deschamps III to excuse her. Another juror raised a hand, the judge recalled, "and said, 'I was convicted of marijuana possession a few years ago, and it ruined my life.' " Excused."Then one of the people in the jury box said, 'Tell me, how much marijuana are we talking about?  If it was a pound or a truckload or something like that, OK, but I'm not going to convict someone of a sale with two or three buds,' " the judge said. "And at that point, four or five additional jurors spontaneously raised their hands and said, 'Me too.' "By that time, Deschamps knew he had a jury problem."I was thinking, maybe I'll have to call a mistrial," he said. "We've got a lot of citizens obviously that are not willing to hold people accountable for sales in small amounts, or at least have some deep misgivings about it. And I think if I excuse a quarter or a third of a jury panel just to get people who are willing to convict, is that really a fair representation of the community? I mean, people are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers."The Missoula court's dilemma was unusual, yet it reflects a phenomenon that prosecutors say they are increasingly mindful of as marijuana use wins growing legal and public tolerance: Some jurors may be reluctant to convict for an offense many people no longer regard as serious."It's not on a level where it's become a problem. But we'll hear, 'I think marijuana should be legal, I'm not going to follow the law,' " said Mark Lindquist, prosecuting attorney in Pierce County, Wash. "We tell them, 'We're not here to debate the laws. We're here to decide whether or not somebody broke the law.' "Twelve states plus the District of Columbia have decriminalized possession of small quantities of marijuana. Led by California in 1996, 17 states have laws that allow medical use of marijuana.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times Published: December 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on December 27, 2010 at 11:14:06 PT
cannabis prohibition should be the 1 on trial,0,7011468.storyLANSING, Mich. 
Federal agents want the state of Michigan to turn over records in a medical-marijuana investigation of seven people in the Lansing area.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on December 27, 2010 at 11:02:49 PT
a good judge
"I was thinking, maybe I'll have to call a mistrial," he said. "We've got a lot of citizens obviously that are not willing to hold people accountable for sales in small amounts, or at least have some deep misgivings about it. And I think if I excuse a quarter or a third of a jury panel just to get people who are willing to convict, is that really a fair representation of the community? I mean, people are supposed to be tried by a jury of their peers."The sad thing is, most judges would have gone ahead with the anti-drug jury representing 30% of the population.  Judges and prosecutors routinely tailor the jury to get the exact result they desire.For example, a friend of mine recently got called to jury duty and was quickly dismissed - he said the prosecutor simply asked people if they had a college degree and dismissed everyone that answered "yes".
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Comment #6 posted by yoshi on December 27, 2010 at 10:03:12 PT:
Runruff vision
Good one. Makes me wonder about alcohol prohibition. Seems odd that the govt. was hell bent on digging old men out of the hills for making moonshine(alcohol fuel), can't have rednecks with guns making their own gas. Those locals might have even wanted to make their own laws as well, not ok big brother knows what's best.
No need to speak truth to power, power already knows the truth
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Comment #5 posted by b4daylight on December 27, 2010 at 09:17:51 PT
link's Drug Policy Pays Off; US Eyes Lessons
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Comment #4 posted by paulpeterson on December 27, 2010 at 08:21:46 PT:
Calling all cars, calling all cars, CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?We've got a 420 in progress here, and we need backup, fast.You see, this is ezacately what and how the world changes, and WE WANT THE WORLD CHANGING, DONNUT WE?So all good little boys and girls are hereby ORDERED to get this downloaded, and get down with it, and GET THIS TO YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS ORGANIZATION, and pronto, Tonto, eh? (that means fast, OK?)You see, Jimmy (as in Jimmy Olsen, Super's friend that would always give him the SCOOP), this is the scoop of the year, and that's that.You also see, Virginia (as in who'se afraid of Virginia Wolf, but don't get me started on her right now, OK?) that once this is seen by every prosecutor in Gotham, the city will just be crawling with bats all batty about bringing this story to a jury near you, and that's that.And scientists tell us, tell us, that jury nullification, you see, ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS, because the juries are "culled" immediately of all persons prone to nullification (and sleezy, sneezy, snide and snarly prosecutors, with their handlebar mustachio'd mugs CAN SMELL A NULLIFIER A MILE AWAY) and so the once in a mulligan there is a once in a million case, where bold cop cullers speak out, with enough force, to get their buddies to speak out, with enough force, to force the JUDGE TO ADMIT HE WAS OUTED, and isn't it fine that it GOT OUT OF THE FINE PRINT AND SAW THE LIGHT OF DAY, HERE, EH?First, a Montana daily picked this up, and now the LA TIMES, and they did a fine job of POLLING THE JURY, and now this is OUT OF THE FINE PRINT, this will next be in an episode of LA LAW or JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE, or PERRY MASON, or the YOUNG LAWYERS, or whatever the cop/lawyer or lawyer/cop shows or lawyer/lawyer shows are on the tube right now, you get the drift here, eh?And who knows, maybe this will be the next story line in a CHORUS LINE, or maybe the next weed case nullification case on Weeds, and by then EVERY PROSECUTOR IN GOTHAM WILL BE SCARED STIFF THAT THEY WILL BE THE NEXT CASUALTY in the rush to promotion to judge, eh (the next stiff stiffed because prosecutors will be dropping like flies, once their bread and butter don't get buttered any more by the drug war, that is, and that's that).And that, Bobby, is how the world changes, and it is a-changing, so DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THIS ONE, and get this to THE CHURCH ON TIME (That would be a line and a song from the DOLITTLE character in My Fair Lady) and if you want to DO A LITTLE yourself, to stop this drug war, here is your chance-and the song starts with a strong leadin, like "Dott-dott, dah-dah" (sequential major key notes in decending order, with a strong beat, easy to dance to, so get your feet tapping to 'dis show stopper, ok?)I'd give this one a "10" because it is a ten on a scale from 1 to 10, and hey, how about that PAT ROBERTSON GUY, on the 700 Club, that just became the 700 THOUSAND CLUB, because that is about the number of marijuana possession busts each year, and I'll get right on that guy's case, about ramping up his viewership, now that his GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP, just picked up a little bit of steam, now that he has rationally picked up the gauntlet, to stop these denizens of doom, from dooming people to busts, THAT NOW THE JUDGES ACCEPT THEY CAN'T FIND JURIES FOR, but now I am getting redundant, eh?End of story, it's a wrap, just get cooking, folks, eh?(Reprise of the leadin, ie: "CAR 54 WHERE ARE YOU?")HI-OH SILVER, UP, UP AND AWAY, just get those heavy bombers off the deck of the Carrier Hornet, bound for glory, in 60 SECONDS OVER TOKYO, and that would be a reprise of the DOLITTLE RAID, in April, 1942, where 18 heavy bombers, that were craned down on the deck of that carrier, and did that SORTIE, on Tokyo, that was a major morale booster, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor raid, that started us in WW 2, and all 18 of those babies cleared the decks, in high seas, about 450 miles off Japan, sure, they had to roar off premature, because a nip "picket ship" sighted the task force, and/but/yet they made it to Tokyo, and then most made it to mainland China, and most of the some 70 flyers made it back alive, and Spencer Tracy made good in the camp Black and White film, "60 seconds over Tokyo", and this inspired the camp WW 2 sitcom, "12 O'clock High", of course, by then Bogey had already popularized the use of prop-planes out on the tarmack in fog and drizzle, with dim, location lighting, in "Casablanca", and that was a DC-3 wasn't it? Those bomber babies in the Dolittle raid were B-17's weren't they? So, class, who can tell the viewers and readers, and dopers, here, WHAT WERE THE PROP-PLANES IN 12 O'clock High, eh?Some erstwhile observer will get extra credit for that one, or to find the 7 MISTAKES hidden in this HILIGHT episode of "who-done-it", AND/BUT/YET the real extra credit goes to the thousands, upon thousands, of readers, as far as the eye can see, that will grab the bacon here, AND GET THIS TO THE PRESS ON TIME, ok?Over and out, I'm done now, and thanks for listening here, OK? (Captain Billy Moonbeam now orders radio silence, NEXT STOP, TOKYO BAY-give 'em hell Harry). Can't you just hear those babies a'whirring, and a'waiting for clearance to roll off for a takeoff, my God, it's beautiful.And report back for further orders, once this we de-brief from another successful raid on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, EH? And that's an order, sir.(Radio silence)
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on December 27, 2010 at 06:37:41 PT
I have a vision!
George H.W.Bush is apart of the new world order. All the World org. are a part of it. World banks,etc.Pappy Bush was the point man for the complete eradication of cannabis/hemp on the planet. I at first thought it was to protect the family holdings in the legal pill trade, FDA approved garbage and such but it is much greater than that!We have discussed local trade and goods production here and elsewhere. We know that we as a little backwater burg in Oregon could be producing our own fiber and fuel, a lot of food and and other things? Pappy and his crew had figured this out long before us. Why wouldn't they when they spend 24/7 plotting how to get more control and more stuff. It is completely pathological to be this way. It not simply a choice but and obsession with them. To control the world they must not allow the production of hemp.The Guy at the United Nations who is equivalent to the world drug czar said that the black market drug trade and it's billions of dollars, kept the world banks solvent during the financial crisis as of late. He said a steady stream of illegal drug money being laundered by world banks kept them solvent during this time and he has documented proof!We want legalization? We want our freedom? This is what we are up against and this is Pappy's real agenda 
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on December 26, 2010 at 19:37:24 PT
A good laugh.
This website: -Pot Couture is a women's pot site (i think) and there is a link that is funny:6 Things You Won't Believe Are More Legal Than Marijuana 
-By Robert Evans Sep 16, 2010  2,487,989 views
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on December 26, 2010 at 19:16:25 PT
Washington state billboard
Legalize in 2011: Sensible Washington Puts Up Marijuana BillboardBy Jeremiah Vandermeer, Cannabis Culture - Tuesday, December 21 2010 the way, the race to legalize cannabis 1st may be won right there since they're looking at crossing the finish line in 2011 and other states including Cal and Colo are trying to cross the finish line in '12.
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