They Can't Send 'Guru of Ganja' To Jail 

They Can't Send 'Guru of Ganja' To Jail 
Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2007 at 05:55:08 PT
By Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- Federal prosecutors brushed off a judge's suggestion that they not retry a prominent marijuana advocate on cultivation charges and said Friday they would press ahead, even though he cannot be sent to prison if he is convicted. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan made the announcement at a hearing in San Francisco before U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, who presided over the first trial of 62-year-old Ed Rosenthal of Oakland. 
When Bevan said last month that the government intended to retry the self-described "guru of ganja," Breyer urged him to reconsider, suggesting that federal resources might be used more productively in prosecutions that result in imprisonment.Bevan said Friday that prosecutors had reached their decision after a "thorough and careful review'' and that the final word had come from Scott Schools, the interim U.S. attorney in San Francisco. When Breyer asked if Justice Department officials in Washington had been consulted, Bevan said he didn't know. The retrial, scheduled to begin May 14, will be limited to the cultivation charges of which Rosenthal was convicted in 2003, verdicts that were overturned on appeal last year. Prosecutors have said they would not seek additional imprisonment for Rosenthal, beyond the one day in jail he has already served, if he were convicted again. Rosenthal was arrested for growing marijuana that he said was intended for medical patients. After he won his appeal on grounds of juror misconduct, prosecutors secured a new federal grand jury indictment in October that included additional charges of tax evasion and moneylaundering related to his marijuana cultivation. The new charges could have resulted in a prison sentence of 20 years, but Breyer dismissed them last month, saying they had been added vindictively in retaliation for Rosenthal's successful appeal and his public statements disputing the fairness of his trial. Bevan said Friday that his office would not appeal Breyer's ruling. After the hearing, defense lawyers criticized the retrial decision. But Rosenthal's response was: Bring it on.  Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, April 14, 2007Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles Says To Retry Ganja Guru Ed Rosenthal Prosecutors Will Retry 'Guru of Ganja'
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on April 20, 2007 at 18:06:19 PT
BCN: Update on Ed Rosenthal
SF: Judge: No Medical Marijuana Defense in Rosenthal Retrial***April 20, 2007SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- A federal judge in San Francisco ruled today that for a second time, Oakland marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal would not be able to claim before a jury that he was growing medical marijuana for patients. Rosenthal, 62, faces a second trial in the court of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on May 14 on marijuana cultivation and distribution charges. He was convicted in his first trial in 2003, but a federal appeals court overturned the verdict last year on grounds of juror misconduct. Breyer said at a pretrial hearing today that he was standing by a ruling from the first trial in which he barred Rosenthal from presenting evidence that he was growing marijuana plants for patients under California's Compassionate Use Act. Breyer said the the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that evidentiary ruling as part of the same decision when it ordered a new trial for Rosenthal because of juror misconduct. The judge said, "I cannot refuse to follow the law of the case." The U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts have ruled that federal drug laws make no exception for California's medical marijuana law, a 1996 voter initiative that allows seriously ill patients to use the drug with a doctor's permission. Breyer also turned down a request by Rosenthal's lawyers to delay the May 14 trial date to give them more time to prepare. Rosenthal, the author of more than a dozen books about marijuana, faces five counts in the upcoming trial. They include two counts of conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana at an Oakland warehouse and a San Francisco dispensary; two counts of manufacturing and distributing marijuana at those locations; and one count of manufacturing, possessing and distributing marijuana in Oakland in 2001 and 2002. In the first trial, he was convicted of three counts of conspiring to manufacture marijuana by growing plants for the dispensary; growing plants at the Oakland warehouse; and maintaining marijuana cultivation premises. Breyer sentenced him to just one day already served in jail, saying that Rosenthal honestly believed he was immune from federal prosecution because he was helping the city of Oakland carry out its medical marijuana program. Prosecutors have told the judge they won't seek an additional sentence if Rosenthal is convicted in the second trial. Copyright: MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 15, 2007 at 10:01:04 PT
Overwhelm Sam
You're doing a wonderful thing, in my opinion. It will help. 
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on April 15, 2007 at 08:10:54 PT
political thing
This is a political thing. The judge said himself for the Feds to drop it. This guy, Scott Schools, the interim U.S. attorney in San Francisco is most likely a “loyal bushie” and is part of the on going U.S. attorney scandal sweeping D.C. now. I suspect his orders come from the White House. Funny, isn’t it that they (the White House) don’t have anything better to do with their time? I’m not a lawyer or anything, but I would think that if you were prosecuting a case in court it would not be a good strategy to make the judge angry with you before the trial began.
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on April 15, 2007 at 04:27:40 PT
I want to thank you and let you know you are doing the absolute best thing you could be doing by not financing the Anti's. The men you help with those contracts are, guess who? ME. US. CANNABIS. TRUTH. GOD. COUNTRYMEN. I'm glad you told us that. Thank you very, very much.Toke.
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Comment #4 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 15, 2007 at 02:45:52 PT
Conviction Qualifies Rosenthal for FBI Work
Even the FBI is hiring candidates formally convicted of marijuana crimes. It's getting to be like a badge of honor to have been arrested for marijuana possession. Two can play the government's game. I sub-contract out work all the time, but as soon as I learn that a contractor is anti-marijuana, they don't work for me anymore. I know it sucks, but I can't support people who want me to be put in jail for a purely private recreational activity. It's the government's policy in reverse.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 14, 2007 at 16:04:44 PT
 Paul told Titus
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on April 14, 2007 at 15:59:25 PT
They're publicly "Flogging" Mr. Rosenthal.
Mostly in the pocket book. And I know it's very stressful when he could just be living a good life and minding his own business. Like we all want to do.They are showing their outrage and "righteous" indignation at him. 
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Comment #1 posted by Max Flowers on April 14, 2007 at 15:08:51 PT
What is the point?
What is the point of prosecuting someone when you know you can't sentence them to any time? Just to hang a conviction on him, on his record? Just to saddle him with it and cause him inconvenience and negative stigma? That is a belligerent abuse of the system, aka malicious prosecution. This prosecutor is the one people should be considering charges against. 
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