Ed Rosenthal: Opening Statements Set for Today 

Ed Rosenthal: Opening Statements Set for Today 
Posted by CN Staff on May 15, 2007 at 05:44:51 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
California -- Opening statements are scheduled for today in the retrial of marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal. The self-described "Guru of Ganja" is being retried in San Francisco federal court on five charges of marijuana cultivation and distribution.Of the ninety members of the jury pool, 60% were dismissed because of strong feelings in support of medicinal marijuana.
Rosenthal was convicted of 3 felonies in 2003 for growing hundreds of plants for a city of Oakland medical marijuana program. He was sentenced to one day in prison on grounds that he reasonably believed he was immune from prosecution because he was acting on behalf of Oakland city officials.A federal appeals court overturned his conviction last year because of misconduct by a juror. It also ruled against the government and said the 1-day prison sentence was fair.Rosenthal doesn't face any more prison time even if he's convicted again.Complete Title: Opening Statements Set for Today in The Retrial of Marijuana Advocate Ed Rosenthal Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published:  May 15, 2007 Copyright: 2007 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles Guru's Retrial Set for Next Week Asks Judge To Dismiss Charges
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Comment #16 posted by Celaya on May 16, 2007 at 10:05:45 PT
Dr. Gangi
I believe your idea has tremendous merit and is something I have often thought about. But I believe it should be fine-tuned. Everyone is not in the position to fight a marijuana charge on the basis of an unconstitutional law. It requires special individuals who could weather the consequences of years of jail time, and highly competent backing. It is a project that should be taken on by NORML, MPP or some other well-funded marijuana reform group. They should look for the right candidates, the right venues and then back them to the hilt.Not only would it throw a monkey wrench in the persecution machine, these cases would draw tremendous public attention to the government's insane witch hunt of innocent cannabis consumers. If done right, I believe the project would bring marijuana prohibition to a grinding halt.
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Comment #15 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 16, 2007 at 05:34:09 PT
The People Who Love Jury Duty
I am aware of people who go for jury duty repeatedly. My thinking is these people acquire some kind of perverted pleasure from voting to put someone in jail. However, there are twelve people on the jury and it only takes one vote to hang the jury, no judgment is better than bad judgment. I know I complain about the corrupt court system in America, but those twelve powerful citizens in the jury box are responsible for the conduct of the judges and the prosecutors. And they control these entities with their power of nullification.I don't know about anyone else, but I would never convict a citizen if all the prosecution had was circumstantial evidence. They are required to prove by facts beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. Yet there are many in jail today in spite of reasonable doubt due to these jury hogs.
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Comment #14 posted by Dankhank on May 15, 2007 at 22:29:34 PT
educating jurors ...
I like the juror's handbook, and have put some in the courtroom seats a couple of times here in town.I like the trifold pamphlets, and can now produce some pretty slick looking pams.Got a duplexing color laser and some colored paper ... sweeeet ...I'm thinking of doing it again, soon.  ;-)
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Comment #13 posted by gloovins on May 15, 2007 at 20:26:08 PT
Yeah Dankhank I've been telling people for years about nullification for years but there is always an ignorant - defiantly ignorant -- sect of our population, say, 40%, that are happy to be dumb. That is, they listen to the judge when he/she spouts off the old "you are only here to try the facts of this you understand?" & with this Judge sitting higher & mightier, on a throne paid for with ours tax dollars - the 40%er is fooled into thinking inside the box of injustice that the DA's & judges have created ever so conviently so, great now we've got ourselves a "fair & impartial jury", see...? & most people (60%) don't even want to go to "jury duty" as they call it because it sucks...they say in one form or other. Apathy to the core. Anyway, I'm pretty sure there is one juror who was smart enough to play the voir dire mindgames & now is sittin' & waiting to *nullify* ... but I won't hold my breath...
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Comment #12 posted by Dankhank on May 15, 2007 at 19:06:20 PT
nullify ...
yes, nullify ...
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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on May 15, 2007 at 18:10:07 PT
If the Jurors Don't Know the Compassionate Use Act
where have they been hiding for over 10 years?!Nullify.Katrina victims are still awaiting funding. Schools try to teach without books. People are starving, ill and/or homeless. What a waste!!!
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Comment #10 posted by charmed quark on May 15, 2007 at 17:09:12 PT
60% pruned
Since medical marijuana won't be allowed to be mentioned in the trial, it seems to me that a juror's attitude about medical marijuana is irrelevant. So why are they pruned? On what grounds?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 15, 2007 at 15:16:53 PT
Related Article from The Associated Press
Medical Marijuana Guru Back in Federal Court for Retrial***May 15, 2007  SAN FRANCISCO: A medical marijuana guru returned to court Tuesday for opening arguments in a case U.S. prosecutors are retrying, even though he will face no prison time if convicted of growing marijuana.Ed Rosenthal, 62, grew and distributed thousands of plants out of a warehouse to supply medical marijuana dispensaries, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan told jurors.His case has drawn attention as a symbolic battle between federal and state authorities over medical marijuana, which California voters legalized in a 1996 referendum but the federal government still considers illegal.A lawyer for Rosenthal argued that her client was a prominent scientist, author and marijuana reform advocate who is being targeted by prosecutors over his support for medical marijuana."This is an attempt by the U.S. government  by the federal government  to censor Mr. Rosenthal," defense attorney Shari Lynn Greenberger said.Outside court, Rosenthal mocked the prosecution for trying him on charges for which he had already served his time."Sort of like Alice in Wonderland," Rosenthal said. "Off with his head, and then the trial."Rosenthal was convicted of running the operation in 2003, but the conviction was thrown out last year because a juror committed misconduct by consulting a lawyer on how to decide the case.Before Rosenthal's conviction was tossed, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced him to just one day in prison, saying Rosenthal reasonably believed he was growing the plants for a city medical marijuana program.Breyer urged prosecutors last month to drop the case against Rosenthal, who cannot be sentenced to prison again after an appeals court upheld the one-day sentence he had already served.Prosecutors charged Rosenthal with money laundering and tax fraud along with the marijuana counts when they re-indicted him in October. But Breyer dismissed the non-marijuana charges last month, saying they were part of a "vindictive prosecution" against Rosenthal for complaining that the government treated him unfairly.In jury selection Monday, nearly two-thirds of prospective jurors were dismissed after saying they could not be impartial in a trial involving marijuana.Among them was ousted Sharper Image Corp. CEO Richard Thalheimer, who told the court he believed the case was "an unfortunate scapegoating" of Rosenthal for political reasons."I think it's tremendously unfortunate that my time is being wasted and our taxpayers' money is being wasted," Thalheimer said, according to a court transcript.Copyright: 2007 Associated Press
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Comment #8 posted by Dankhank on May 15, 2007 at 14:19:46 PT
The practice of pruning the jury pool is called "Voir Dire."While the idea may have been a good one it has been perverted by prosecutors ... and defenders, as well to try to get a sympathetic group on the jury.The USA may be the only western country that still does this.and it's a FRENCH concept ...Oh My ...
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Comment #7 posted by OverwhelmSam on May 15, 2007 at 12:03:10 PT
The Power Is In The Hands Of The People
Now would be a good time for Rosenthal to sponsor some public service announcements informing the public of their right to jury nullification. I'm sure some on his jury are bound to see or hear the ads. It's the jurors right to nullify any law.
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Comment #6 posted by museman on May 15, 2007 at 09:24:01 PT
double standards
If you are rich, conservative, and in favor with the regime of the monkey king, laws do not really apply to you. You will only get into trouble if the monkey needs a scapegoat -but he'll pay you well. If you are someone like Ed, all the kings horses and all the kings men wil spare no expense or lack of truth to go after you. I think there is a relationship between this and the thread about borders. If Ed is convicted, even if he does no jail time, the felonies will keep him from being able to leave the country. He won't be able to escape the persecution from the staus quo - his credit will be destroyed, and his credibility with any conservative institution as well. He won't be able to run for office -if he chose, and the label of 'felon' will make him unable to do what he does best. In short, the 'double-jeopardy' style prosecution -which is supposed to be unconstitutional, and illegal will severely mess up his life, and those around him. Ed can probably handle it, and he has a hell of a lot more support than the ignorant justice system thinks. The crime is still glaring, and in our faces- it's the big bully backing us into the corner with overwhelming force saying "What you gonna do about it?"
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Comment #5 posted by Dr Ganj on May 15, 2007 at 08:16:06 PT
Take Them To Trial!
Wow, a million dollars! Now I knew these trials were costly, but golly, that's a lot of dough.
So imagine if everyone who got busted for marijuana took their case to trial. Let's say 1000 cases at a million dollars a piece, that would be one BILLION dollars! Wouldn't that cause enough pressure to change their current policy? I bet it would.I'll tell you this, if I get arrested, you can bet the farm (pun intended) I'm going to take my case to jury trial, and I'll drag it out as long as I can. This will cost time, and it will make them spend MONEY on me! 
I think this is the best way to finally put an end to this rotten drug war. Hooray for Ed!See you all in court.... 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 15, 2007 at 07:52:52 PT
Is there not some way to control
the wastrels behind this? Wastrelism with public funds shouldn't be taken so lightly.There getting some sort of personal prohibitionist's jollies from this. They should be stopped.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on May 15, 2007 at 07:50:24 PT
Is this just? The true "peers" dismissed.
"Of the ninety members of the jury pool, 60% were dismissed because of strong feelings in support of medicinal marijuana."This is purely political. I thought we weren't supposed to have crap like purely political prosecutions and persecutions in this country. The government people who are behind this debacle should be prosecuted as traitors and embezzelers.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 15, 2007 at 07:29:53 PT
Related Article from KRON 4
Some Wonder About Costs of Medical Marijuana Activist's New Trial 
 May 14, 2007 SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- Even if medical marijuana activist Ed Rosenthal is found guilty in a federal trial underway this week in San Francisco, he won't be going back to prison. Prosecutors are moving ahead with a retrial of Rosenthal accused of violating the federal government's ban on marijuana cultivation and sale. This is the second trial for Rosenthal who was convicted and then sentenced to one day in jail after a previous trial. An appeals court ruled juror misconduct required a new trial.Jurors won't be allowed to know Rosenthal was working for the city of Oakland when he was growing the pot federal agents caught him with. The judge also won't let the jury consider California's Compassionate Use Act which allows people to use marijuana to treat illnesses.Judge Charles Breyer refused to throw out the charges last week but has made it clear he won't send Rosenthal to prison no matter what the jury decides. The judge threw out money laundering charges against the former High Times columist saying they amounted to vindictive prosecution.The new trial is expected to last three or four weeks. Rosenthal's supporters say they expect the proceedings to cost as much as a million dollars. Federal officials refuse to speculate about the price.Copyright: 2007 KRON 4
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on May 15, 2007 at 07:21:21 PT
your tax dollars at work...................
don't you feel safer???..........I would say that constitutes malicious prosecution."Rosenthal doesn't face any more prison time even if he's convicted again."...and whatever happened to trial by a jury of your peers??....If you have to dismiss 60% of the jurors because they are sympathetic to the cause.......maybe it's an indication you should rethink the outdated law.
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