Judge Seizes Marijuana at Government's Request

  Judge Seizes Marijuana at Government's Request

Posted by FoM on May 23, 2001 at 18:04:16 PT
By David Kravets, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press  

A federal judge said Wednesday the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision barring medical marijuana prompted him to order that an ounce of cannabis seized from a California man be forfeited. It is believed to be among the first such forfeiture since the nation's highest court ruled last week that sick and dying patients cannot claim a medical necessity defense to marijuana possession in a case testing California and eight other states' medical marijuana laws. 
At the government's request, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Legge ordered forfeited one ounce of marijuana seized two years ago from a Humboldt County man who was arrested during a traffic stop. Under California law, Christopher Giauque had a doctor's recommendation to smoke marijuana to relieve chronic back pain. County prosecutors seized the marijuana but did not charge Giauque for any drug-related offense. A county judge ordered Sheriff Dennis Lewis to return the marijuana. Lewis refused, citing federal law that prohibits him from dispensing marijuana. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson ordered the sheriff held in contempt of court and the sheriff sued the federal government, asking it to intervene on his behalf. Mark T. Quinlivan, the Justice Department's main lawyer in the case before the Supreme Court, flew from Washington to California to argue for the seizure of Giauque's marijuana. He declined to say whether the government's position on Giauque's case or his appearance here was an indication of whether the Bush administration is going to begin cracking down on medical marijuana use. Even so, he said the judge's decision was correct in light of the high court's ruling. "You presume a U.S. district judge is aware of the current state of the law," he said after the brief hearing. The high court said there is no exception in a federal anti-drug law for the medical use of marijuana. Some patients say the drug eases their pain from cancer, AIDS and other illnesses or pains. The court ruled that clubs formed to distribute the drug to approved patients cannot claim "medical necessity" as a reason to break a 1970 law regulating the drug as a controlled substance, and said patients cannot claim that as a defense. Giauque's attorney, J. Bryce Kenny, said he would ask the judge to reconsider his decision. He added that the high court's ruling hurt his case. "Let's put it this way, the U.S. Supreme Court certainly hasn't helped our position," Kenny said. Voters in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington have approved ballot initiatives allowing the use of medical marijuana. In Hawaii, the Legislature passed a similar law and the governor signed it last year. The case decided Tuesday is Humboldt County v. Giauque, C01-1279 CAL. Complete Title: Judge Seizes Medical Marijuana at Government's Request Source: Associated PressAuthor: David Kravets, Associated Press WriterPublished: Wednesday, May 23, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Associated Press Related Articles:Sheriff's Contempt Charge Waits Until Trial Rejects Judge's Order To Return Pot Orders Return of Marijuana 

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Comment #7 posted by motavation on September 05, 2003 at 14:50:55 PT:

Well Chris is now missing...I just heard a few days back...anyone please email us with updates MedicalMJ or please his family and friends help us find CHRIS! we can help eachother with pot, seeds, ect later...just help chris now~! 
Still missing...:( CHRIS with other California NEWS!
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on May 24, 2001 at 06:52:39 PT:

US PA: PUB LTE: UnconstitutionalURL: Jane MarcusPubdate: Wed, 23 May 2001Source: Tribune Review (PA)Copyright: 2001 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.Section: Opinion & CommentaryContact: letters tribune-review.comWebsite: Scott MuellerReferenced: You are correct in saying that the Controlled Substances Act "makes absolutely no provision for medicinal marijuana use" and you are also correct in saying "the judicial branch isn't supposed to make law" ( "Timely civics lesson," May 16 ). However, the judicial branch is supposed to void bad laws when they appear. Now, I don't claim to be an "expert" on the Constitution, but I have studied it extensively, and I can find no place where the Constitution gives the Congress the authority to dictate what medicine the American people can and cannot use. Do a quick review of the enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 ( the part that lists the powers of Congress ) and you'll find that nowhere is the power to regulate medicine given to the federal government. Since the powers listed in the Constitution are the only powers we the people gave to the Congress, and regulating medicine is not one of them, then you have to conclude that the regulation of medicine is a power "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people" ( 10th Amendment ). This is the only logical conclusion that can be made. The Controlled Substances Act is an unconstitutional act, and it is the Supreme Court's duty to point that fact out to Congress. If teachers everywhere are to teach this case to their students, I hope they start with a lesson on the limited powers granted to Congress, and who granted them. Scott Mueller, Lawrence, Kan.  
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Comment #5 posted by Steve Tuck on May 23, 2001 at 23:58:27 PT:

Sheriff Lewis and the 'Majic Ounce"
This is going to sign my death warrent. Now Lewis will think that it's open season on patients and the gestapo have stamped him with approval. My case was ignored but I tried to sue Lewis at same time for 4 false "arrest",perjury, and many civil rights violations arrising from me producing medicine for our ( HRI )  500+ patients here in Humboldt Co., well they always broke in with no warrent and seized all our meds and refused to press charges( i even got the most bizzare letter fom DA last year saying there would be no charges against me for 837 plants for 298 patients(FOR FREE). Now they are charging me with 6 felonies and I go to court this week. Bush done sic'ed his dog for 1 oz. then they are going to kill me because I am a botanist and disabled vet, who is dying and has no need of money. HELP anyone, I will die in jail as I have had 13 spinal surguries and need another. Don't let Lewis kill me in silence. Thanks, steve tuckhumboldt research institute, mckinleyville,Ca. 
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Comment #4 posted by CongressmanSuet on May 23, 2001 at 23:12:23 PT:

I keep hearing...
   all these positive, we are winning, it's getting better, we are making a difference type of positive offerings from many posters here, and while I admire your rose-colored glasses approach to all this madness, I feel like I need to remind you of something. The gov. just spent THOUSANDS of YOUR dollars to make a point. The machine we are up against is awesome. I see zero-tolerance when just 20 years ago it was ALOT better. I see young cops getting nazi youth corp like haircuts. I see DARE trying to get kids to rat out their parents, I see the concept of God being hoist up into places it doesnt belong, immorality as something we should wipe out in any manner possible, and I see a whole generation of kids being legally drugged because their parents suck! I like Charlie's idea about sending a joint to certain people, Abbie Hoffman Lives!!! But, Doc's repulsion of these events is the same that bothers me. Canada is still at least 2 years away from anything, and we are probably 20 years behind them. This is a bigger battle than we ever imagined, Im hopeful, but, c'mon....
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Comment #3 posted by Charlie on May 23, 2001 at 19:24:39 PT

Civil Disobedience
What if we obtained the judge's address and everyone sympathetic to those in need of mmj mail the judge an additional joint...? Of course, leaving out anything incriminating and a return address of your choice, use your imagination...
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 23, 2001 at 18:59:05 PT

Federal judge plays along with the ruling. Ho hum. Yawn!!!All is changing my friends.
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on May 23, 2001 at 18:21:21 PT:

Petty, Ridiculous and Mean Spirited
This is enough to make one's blood boil. We have a government in Amerika that believes that it is worth thousands of dollars of expenditure to steal a lid from a person who is sick, all for the sake of ideological purity and propaganda value. I will fight these fascists in every non-violent way that I know. Everyone who is disturbed by this should do the same. Endeavor that your legislator hears from you once a week. Letters, phone calls, E-mails are all fair game. It might even help to be there in the morning when he goes out in his bathrobe to pick up the paper. Say hello. Ask him when he will help to end the madness. If he doesn't come on board, make it your mission to ensure that he's looking for a real job after Election Day. Maybe he can work as a mercenary in Peru or Colombia.
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