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

Tuesday | February 04, 2003

More on Rosenthal case

Yesterday I wrote about Ed Rosenthal -- an Oakland man licensed to provide medicinal marijuana to ill patients in accordance to state law. Ashcroft has gone hard after Rosenthal and many of his peers, and his drug warriors gleefully netted a prosecution under federal drug laws. And when I say "gleeful", I mean gleeful:

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."

Except that the people of California had not spoken. As TalkLeft notes, the jury itself feels that it didn't have the right information to make the proper decision.
"I feel like I made the biggest mistake in my life," said juror Marney Craig, a 58-year-old Novato property manager. "We convicted a man who is not a criminal. We unfortunately had no idea of who he was or what he did."

Another juror: "Some of us jurors are upset about the way the trial was conducted in that we feel Mr. Rosenthal didn't have a chance and therefore neither did state's rights or patient's rights. I would have liked to have been given the opportunity to decide with all the evidence."

After the verdict, the prosecutors pushed hard to jail Rosenthal pending his appeal. The judge rejected that request today. (SF Gate link also via TalkLeft)

Incidentally, I have never smoked marijuana in my life. But I do have a low threshold for pain, and whether it's medicinal pot or euthanasia, I expect the government to stay away from decision affecting my body, and my body only.

Posted February 04, 2003 01:49 PM | Comments (18)


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