Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | February 03, 2003

Ashcroft bags his "marijuana guru"

It's amazing that in a time of war, Ashcroft has been zealously pursuing medicinal pot growers in California despite that state's legalization of the process.

Ashcroft's latest coup: his prosecutors got a jury to convict Ed Rosenthal.

The man some see as the Mother Teresa of medical marijuana was convicted Friday of three felonies, a verdict that could send him to federal prison for the rest of his life.

Supporters wept and chanted outside federal court while Ed Rosenthal's defense attorney wore defeat heavily. Rosenthal himself, meanwhile, stood in front of a cluster of news cameras and continued to indict the federal government's pursuit of California medical marijuana dispensaries and those who support them.

The best part of this article, however, and another sign of the hubris that infects almost every corner of this administration, is this quote:
Drug Enforcement Agency spokesman Richard Meyer said he was pleased with the verdict.

"We feel that the people of California have spoken," Meyer said. "We're pleased with the verdict. We're happy with what happened today."

The "people of California" voted solidly to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The feds now swoop in (what happened to states rights?), force a jury to convict based on federal law, and declare victory on behalf of the people of California? The jury itself doesn't buy it:
Jury foreman Charles Sackett III spoke to reporters after the trial.

"We had no legal wiggle room," said Sackett, who added that he hopes the verdicts are overturned on appeal, according to The Associated Press.

Posted February 03, 2003 09:10 AM | Comments (62)


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