Paralyzed Man OK'd To Grow Pot at Home 

Paralyzed Man OK'd To Grow Pot at Home 
Posted by CN Staff on February 01, 2006 at 06:11:17 PT
By Scott Smith, Record Staff Writer 
Source: Stockton Record 
Stockton, CA -- A man paralyzed from the neck down may continue to cultivate and grow marijuana at his home northeast of Stockton under a plea deal he reached Tuesday with the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.Prosecutors dropped felony drug charges against a Aaron Paradiso, a 27-year-old quadriplegic who uses marijuana to treat muscle spasms. Paradiso was injured in a 1998 traffic accident.
Paradiso pleaded guilty before Superior Court Judge Richard Guiliani to a lesser misdemeanor count of possessing an illegal weapon and will have to spend three years on informal probation, under the plea deal."I think it was encouraging for medical marijuana patients in Stockton and San Joaquin County in general," Paradiso said. "It makes it easier for the next person, I hope."The district attorney's office charged Paradiso three years ago with three felony counts that included cultivating marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to sell. He also faced a felony count of possessing a firearm despite a juvenile conviction that barred him from being around guns.Sheriff's deputies found 52 marijuana plants and guns at his house in August 2003 when they responded to reports from neighbors of shots being fired. Prosecutors filed charges saying the number of plants Paradiso cultivated was in violation of state law. Under the plea agreement, Paradiso has to give up the guns and plants deputies confiscated.Deputy District Attorney Phil Urie said the outcome was good for his office and Paradiso alike. Urie said California's ambiguous medical marijuana laws frustrate both law enforcement and those who want to use cannabis as medicine.Winning the case would have been tough considering Paradiso's physical condition, Urie said."It has zero jury appeal," he said. "When the defendant goes into spasms, that looks terrible."Urie said Paradiso's misdemeanor plea was the most important part of the case.Mill Valley attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach said the long trial would have drained his client both financially and physically. It may have shortened Paradiso's life, he said."Regardless of the outcome, neither side would have won," Schwartzbach said.Related charges filed against Paradiso's mother, Debra Paradiso, and their friend Robert Turano also were dropped under the plea deal.Source: Record, The (CA)Author:  Scott Smith, Record Staff Writer Published: February 01, 2006Copyright: 2006 The RecordContact: editor recordnet.comWebsite: Article:Supporters Rally for S.J. County Man Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #11 posted by mai_bong_city on February 11, 2006 at 16:47:29 PT
i went back to regular coke, but i get those lil' half-cans, and only drink one a day - i get my caffeine from coffee and i was on nutrasweet for ten years, i never realized it was likely contributing to my sickness.....once i gave it up and just used sugar in moderation, i didn't gain any weight, in fact, i probably lost more weight than when using aspartame - it really is horrid stuff, our friend was part of the monsanto division lab that created it, and gave me tons of complimentary packs....egads - i wouldn't let my child drink any diet sodas as a teen, anything but aspartame....but i think maybe your body gets hooked on it or something - i use the carbonation in the soda to settle my stomach - i remember the days of coke syrup at the fountains, and in the pharmacy for the same use.....
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Comment #10 posted by whig on February 02, 2006 at 08:11:20 PT
Coke Zero isn't much better, I know, but its primary sweetener is Acesulfame-K. (There's still aspartame too, but it's a lot less than in Diet Coke.) Yeah, I still consume poisons, I know it. But at least I quit tobacco.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on February 01, 2006 at 19:24:28 PT
Max Flowers 
I have heard about it not being good for us but sugar isn't good either. I'm afraid I am hopelessly addicted. Did you ever hear of a coca cola detox center? I'll need one! Thanks for the concern.
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Comment #8 posted by Max Flowers on February 01, 2006 at 19:19:38 PT
Oh man, FoM
I sure wish you didn't drink diet anything... aspartame (NutraSweet) is SO bad for you... it's neurotoxic, this has been shown in studies. I hope you will read these
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Comment #7 posted by whig on February 01, 2006 at 13:54:09 PT
Diet Coke (I prefer Coke Zero now, actually) still has plenty of caffeine, which is a stimulant and addictive in its own right.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on February 01, 2006 at 13:49:46 PT
Max Flowers 
I'm a diet coke only person. I think the sugar is a waste of calories and I don't like buzzing around with a sugar high. I wonder if all the coca leaf properties are removed from Coke because I sure don't like it when I don't have any. 
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on February 01, 2006 at 13:44:33 PT
Things go better without Coke
- Pepsi and Royal Crown and all the other cola makers cannot replicate Coke's formula because Coke has an exclusive contract. -It hardly matters anyway, as all that crap sugar water tastes the same anyway! The difference between Coke and other colas is so slight as to be irrelevant in my opinion (not that anyone asked).
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Comment #4 posted by whig on February 01, 2006 at 12:23:54 PT
Yes it does
"Jorge Casimiro, a Coca-Cola Company spokesman, called Coca-Cola's formula "the world's best kept secret" and wouldn't comment on reports that it still includes decocainised coca leaves."I actually had dinner with a Coca-Cola executive and asked about it. They won't say it publicly, but it's really an open secret. There is one company that the US government licenses to import coca leaves from which it extracts cocaine for scheduled medical purposes. Coca-Cola gets the decocainized leaves. Pepsi and Royal Crown and all the other cola makers cannot replicate Coke's formula because Coke has an exclusive contract.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on February 01, 2006 at 06:31:34 PT
Related Article from The Stockton Record
It's No Time for Reefer Madness ***Michael Fitzgerald, Record Columnist Wednesday, February 1, 2006 San Joaquin's highest-profile medical marijuana case went up in smoke Tuesday, and the futility of prosecuting it suggests Stockton's leaders better rethink any legally shaky resistance to California's medical marijuana law. 
 After three long years, possible aerial surveillance, a raid, "safe access" demonstrations at City Hall, celeb attorneys, news at 11 and who-knows-what costs to taxpayers, the DA on Tuesday dropped all pot-related charges against Aaron Paradiso.Paradiso, a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic - a poster boy for Proposition 215 if ever there was one - and his harmless "co-op" of his mother and a friend or two had been charged with cultivating marijuana and possessing it with the intent to sell.Paradiso was paralyzed in a 1998 car crash. He hurts. He suffers muscle spasms. Marijuana eases them, he says. So he grew it.Authorities knew. He called them to ask how much was OK under Proposition 215. They couldn't say. Then coppers raided Paradiso's rural Stockton home in 2003 and seized 52 pot plants. Thanks for calling.Admittedly, 52 plants is much more pot than one medical marijuana patient needs, even if the patient is Tommy Chong. But remember, Paradiso had a co-op of several users. All had a doctor's OK.And there were no guidelines. Proposition 215 didn't say how much was too much.There may have been more to Paradiso's cultivation than met the eye. Prosecutors, however, never produced evidence of marijuana sales - records, pagers, stacks of cash - nothing of that sort. So it sure looks like it was for his co-op's legal use.Paradiso did admit giving surplus pot to a dispensary.Deputies also seized, according to prosecutor Phil Urie, "enough guns to choke a horse." The guns complicate the picture.In the plea agreement, Paradiso pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possessing an illegal weapon. He committed some offense as a juvenile and was not supposed to own a gun until age 30.He says his mom owned them. The DA's office says he did. But even if the DA is right, the gun charge still seems overblown. Paradiso can't lift a finger to hold, let alone fire, a gun. It's unclear what the horse was choking on.Guns could support a prosecution theory of sales. But the plea agreement casts light on the gravity of the gun offense: Paradiso gets no jail time, no fine, informal probation.Yet Paradiso says he spent six figures defending himself. Taxpayers spent a chunk of change, too. All on a case that just did a Houdini.Pardon me if - in a city with the highest rate of major crime in the state - that seems like a waste.Nathan Sands, leader of Sacramento's Compassionate Coalition, said Paradiso's victory on the marijuana front has broader implications."Clearly, Phil Urie originally intended this case to prove that patients could not cultivate their medical marijuana in this county," Sands said. "And in the end, he had to admit he was wrong on that point."And that means the council should re-evaluate Urie's arguments against medical marijuana dispensaries, Sands said.Urie did not return a call for comment. He previously has expressed legitimate concerns about dispensaries' potential for corruption and violence.But legitimate concerns don't justify legally iffy decisions. First the council declared a one-year moratorium on dispensaries. Now leaders contend zoning laws prohibit one.The way is clear for anybody to apply for a dispensary permit and, when denied, to sue the city, probably with the financial backing of the pro-access groups. It's happening up and down California. The Paradiso case suggests it is high time to take legally realistic positions on medical marijuana issues.Copyright: 2006 The Record
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 01, 2006 at 06:24:34 PT
I think it's a good thing to legalize coca leaves. Dr. Andrew Weil said a coca leaf chewing gum would help take the edge off of people who use cocaine and it has healthy properties in it's natural form.
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on February 01, 2006 at 06:19:34 PT
ot - kinda 
It's a plant too...
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