ASA in the News

Feb 042003

Pot case jurors call for new trial - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 04, 2003 7:00 PM

By Claire Cooper -- Bee Legal Affairs Writer,

SAN FRANCISCO -- Seven jurors who convicted a prominent medical marijuana activist called for a new trial Tuesday, rebelling against what they said was a misleading case and intimidating atmosphere. At an unusual rally outside the federal courthouse here, several jurors, defiant and shaken, expressed solidarity with defendant Edward Rosenthal four days after convicting him of running a massive pot-growing operation in West Oakland. Rosenthal is the author of a dozen books about marijuana and a how-to column for pot magazines.
Feb 042003

Medical Marijuana Goes Up Against Federal Law - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 04, 2003 7:00 PM

Jacob Slauson - LA Times - Letters to the Editor,

I found the details of Rosenthal's trial and conviction on federal marijuana cultivation and conspiracy charges sickening. It read more like a Stalinist show trial than American justice. According to a federal government spokesman: "There is no such thing as medical marijuana." Californians overwhelmingly disagree with his statement. It has become abundantly clear that the so-called war on drugs has in fact become a war on Americans and our civil liberties.
Feb 042003

Jurors: We've Been Had - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 04, 2003 7:00 PM

J.K. Dineen, SF Examiner,

All landscaper Charles Sackett really wanted to do was go home to Sebastopol and prune his roses. But the soft-spoken foreman of the jury that convicted marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal last week said he couldn't sleep at night if he had. So he joined four jurors Tuesday in front of a bank of cameras to apologize to Rosenthal, and to blast the federal judge and prosecutors Sackett said misled the jury by not allowing the defense to raise issues of state and local medical marijuana laws. The federal government does not recognize state medical marijuana laws.
Feb 042003

Angry Rosenthal Jurors Call For New Trial - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 04, 2003 7:00 PM

Ann Harrison - Alternet,

In an extraordinary condemnation of federal drug war tactics, five jurors who convicted medical cannabis grower Ed Rosenthal of federal marijuana cultivation and conspiracy charges, held a press conference yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 4) to apologize and to call for a new trial. The jurors said they were outraged to discover that Rosenthal had been deputized by the city of Oakland, Calif. to grow medical cannabis for patients under California's Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215).
Feb 032003

San Diego Council to Debate Legal Use of Marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 03, 2003 7:00 PM

H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer,

SAN DIEGO -- A proposal to be taken up today by the San Diego City Council would make marijuana use legal here for as many as 3,000 seriously ill people. Although advocates say pot would ease the pain and suffering of the sick, opponents say the measure is merely a dodge around federal laws that forbid medicinal use of marijuana. Members of a task force that studied the issue for almost two years say the city needs an ordinance so patients can use as much as 3 pounds of cannabis a year without fear of arrest.
Feb 032003

Misguided Marijuana War - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 03, 2003 7:00 PM

New York Times - Editorial/Ok-Ed,

Administration officials annoyed at California's support of the medical use of marijuana have found someone on whom to vent their frustration. Last week, at the urging of federal prosecutors, a judge convicted Ed Rosenthal of charges that carry a five-year minimum sentence. Mr. Rosenthal is a medical-marijuana advocate who grows the drug for use by the seriously ill. His harsh punishment shows that the misguided federal war on medical marijuana has now escalated out of control. Mr.
Feb 032003

Pot-trial jurors express anger - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 03, 2003 7:00 PM

J.K. DINEEN, SF Examiner,

Questions surrounding the controversial conviction of medical pot advocate Ed Rosenthal continued to swirl Monday as jury members expressed outrage over how the trial was conducted and a prominent legal scholar said the case belongs before the U.S. Supreme Court. Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz called the Rosenthal case 'a great issue for the Supreme Court' and predicted the justices would overrule federal Judge Charles Breyer, whose brother is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
Feb 032003

Jurors Say Key Information Withheld in Case of Pot Grower - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 03, 2003 7:00 PM

From Associated Press, printed in LA Times,

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jurors who convicted marijuana guru Ed Rosenthal of cultivation and other drug charges said Monday they would have acquitted him had they been told he was growing medical marijuana for the city of Oakland. "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." Other jurors reached by the Associated Press agreed.
Feb 032003

Jurors Denounce Their Own Verdict - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 03, 2003 7:00 PM

By Ann Harrison, AlterNet,

After she and her fellow jurors found Ed Rosenthal guilty of federal marijuana cultivation and conspiracy charges in San Francisco last week, Marney Craig discovered that that she had made a terrible mistake. Instead of the "businessman" she thought she had convicted, Craig learned that Rosenthal, was, in fact, a widely published marijuana advocate who had been asked to grow medical cannabis for critically ill patients.
Feb 022003

Jury left in dark at marijuana trial - Americans for Safe Access

  • February 02, 2003 7:00 PM

MICHAEL COIT, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT ,

North Bay residents made up nearly half of the jury that found a marijuana advocate guilty in a high-profile federal medical marijuana trial -- and several are angry about the outcome. Jurors said pot grower Ed Rosenthal never had a chance with U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer blocking defense attempts to show Rosenthal was growing marijuana for dispensaries and clubs serving seriously ill people. The only evidence left was that Rosenthal was guilty of conspiring to grow more than 100 plants.