'Guru of Ganga' Wants New Trial

'Guru of Ganga' Wants New Trial
Posted by CN Staff on June 23, 2007 at 14:47:30 PT
By Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA  -- Ed Rosenthal, the self-described "Guru of Ganja" convicted for a second time last month of violating federal drug laws by growing marijuana for medical patients, wants a new trial. The 62-year-old cannabis cultivation expert, former High Times magazine columnist and steadfast advocate for legalizing marijuana claims U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco wrongly prohibited him from telling jurors his goal was helping the sick, not selling drugs.
"The court erred in excluding all evidence regarding the scientific value of medical marijuana," Rosenthal's attorney, Robert Amparan, said in court papers filed earlier this month. Responding to that motion in papers filed Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan said Rosenthal received a fair trial and the evidence showed the Oakland resident had grown thousands of marijuana plants. "None of the defendant's allegations have any factual or legal merit," Bevan wrote. On May 30, after a two-week trial and a day of deliberations, a federal jury convicted Rosenthal of growing marijuana, conspiring to grow and distribute marijuana and maintaining a building for illegal cultivation at the Oakland warehouse where federal agents seized more than 3,700 plants in February 2002. Jurors acquitted him of maintaining another pot-growing operation at the Harm Reduction Center, a San Francisco medical marijuana dispensary. The panel deadlocked on a fifth charge of conspiracy to grow and distribute marijuana there.  Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff WriterPublished: Saturday, June 23, 2007Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Ed Rosenthal's Pictures & Articles Jury Convicts Guru of Ganja on Charges Advocate Convicted on Three Charges
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 19:00:02 PT
`Ganja Guru' Sentenced To ... Nothing
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 16:51:45 PT
Convicted Med Pot Grower Avoids Prison Sentence
The Associated PressJuly 6, 2007SAN FRANCISCO -- Ed Rosenthal, the self-described "Guru of Ganja," will not spend any time in prison despite a conviction for growing and distributing hundreds of marijuana plants, a federal judge ruled Friday.A jury convicted Rosenthal, 63, in May of three cultivation and conspiracy charges after U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer prohibited his lawyers from telling the jury that Rosenthal was working for a pot club sanctioned by the city of Oakland.On Friday, Breyer said the one-day prison sentence was still punishment enough for Rosenthal, who once wrote the "Ask Ed" column for High Times magazine and has written books with titles including "The Big Book of Buds" and "Ask Ed: Marijuana Law. Don't Get Busted."Nonetheless, Rosenthal said he still planned to appeal his conviction."I should not remain a felon," he said.Rosenthal was previously convicted of the same charges four years ago. Breyer sentenced him to one day in prison because Rosenthal reasonably believed he was immune from prosecution because he was acting on behalf of Oakland city officials. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned that 2003 conviction and ordered a retrial because of juror misconduct.The U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that marijuana is still an illegal drug under federal law even in states like California that have legalized the plant for medicinal uses. Copyright: 2007 Associated Press
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 06, 2007 at 11:52:47 PT
Update on Ed Rosenthal
I read in my e-mail that Ed Rosenthal will be sentenced at 3 today. I hope it goes well for him and his family.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 26, 2007 at 11:10:41 PT
Thank you for the link. I admire Ed Rosenthal's persistence.
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Comment #7 posted by MMA on June 26, 2007 at 11:02:45 PT:
In depth reports by Vanessa
"Court Reports from Vanessa Nelson which make you feel like you are right there, with me, fighting for medical marijuana." -- Ed Rosenthal, May 2007 
U.S. vs. Ed Rosenthal 2.0 by Vanessa Nelson
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Comment #6 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 09:43:34 PT
If you want to save taxpayer money, don't go after Ed Rosenthal in the first place.Please.
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Comment #5 posted by mykeyb420 on June 24, 2007 at 07:23:19 PT:
If Ed wants a new trial,who is going to pay for it, I hope that the tax payers are NOT going to have to pay for the FEDERAL lawyers time. How about the court reporters, legal assistants,and all of the BS over-spending that is related to this mess. Ed was given his day(s) in court. I hope he wins,,,but the losers are the taxpayers,,they only lose the $$$ that can go to better use somewhere else,,,like schools,hospitals, and of course,,the war in iraq
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Comment #4 posted by Storm Crow on June 23, 2007 at 21:01:39 PT
Thank you, Treeanna!
That news is kind of local for me. I had posted a link to it on another site, but hadn't gotten around to posting it here, yet. Thank you for beating me to the punch- I wondered if I'd be the only one who saw that article. I am a "legal" MMJ user, but I don't have a card. I am forced to act like I am still "illegal". I don't trust my local government- for some pretty obvious reasons. It sucks, but I survive. It's beautiful country up here- I just keep my head low and avoid trouble. Change will come! 
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Comment #3 posted by JustGetnBy on June 23, 2007 at 19:59:27 PT
I can't believe 
the citizens of Siskiyou County can sleep at night. 
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Comment #2 posted by Treeanna on June 23, 2007 at 17:51:53 PT
Good article that got missed
Check this out: am one of the victims of these people.At trial, they kept my doctor from testifying! I've had 5 back surgeries, and yet the jury didnt get to hear about it.I wrote an LTE, but they limit you so badly it is hard to respond to all the things in the article :(
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Comment #1 posted by Taylor121 on June 23, 2007 at 14:55:54 PT
Medical Marijuana Permanent in RI
We shouldn't take this for granted. They could have voted against it:PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island lawmakers permanently extend a program allowing the chronically ill to possess and smoke marijuana for pain relief. Lawmakers in the House and Senate easily mustered the three-fifths majority needed to override Governor Carcieri's veto. Rhode Island became the eleventh state in the country last year to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Until the vote, the program was set to expire June 30th.It allows patients with cancer, AIDS and other debilitating illnesses to possess up to 12 marijuana plants and two-and-a-half usable ounces of the drug. Carcieri says he vetoed the bill because patients are still subject to arrest under federal law and must buy the drug off illegal dealers.
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