Saturday, June 07, 2003

In the fight over whether states (like Oregon) have the right to allow medical marijuana comes word of a HUGE victory for the pot-smokers down in California:

In a dramatic blow to the federal government's campaign against medical marijuana, a federal judge spared pot advocate Ed Rosenthal from a prison sentence Wednesday for his conviction on cultivation charges, saying Rosenthal reasonably believed he was acting legally.

Rosenthal, 58, a prominent author, columnist and authority on marijuana growing, faced at least five years in prison under federal law for his conviction of growing more than 100 plants for the Harm Reduction Center, a San Francisco dispensary operating under California's medical marijuana law. A federal prosecutor asked for a 6-year sentence.

But U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said the "extraordinary, unique circumstances of this case," were not covered by the usual sentencing law and imposed the lightest term possible -- a day in jail, which Rosenthal served after his February 2002 arrest. He also fined Rosenthal $1,300 and put him on supervised release for three years, with orders not to violate any criminal laws and to submit to searches.


"Today marks the beginning of the end of the federal war on medical marijuana patients," said Robert Kampia, executive director of the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C.

"It sends a very strong message to the Bush administration that they had better focus their law enforcement resources on serious and violent crime, especially terrorism, and stop arresting patients and caregivers in the nine states that have legalized medical marijuana," said Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

This is wonderful news. The next step is to get the Feds offa our backs about doctor assisted suicide, which passed here in Oregon overwhelmingly.