Jury Convicts Rosenthal on Three Marijuana Counts, Acquits on One

May 29, 2007

Julie Cheever, Bay City News Service

Oakland marijuana activist Ed Rosenthal was convicted in federal court in San Francisco today of three counts of conspiring to grow marijuana and growing marijuana at an Oakland warehouse.

He was acquitted of a fourth count of growing marijuana at a non-defunct San Francisco dispensary. Prosecutors dismissed a fifth count of conspiracy after jurors in the court of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said they were deadlocked on that count.

Breyer will sentence Rosenthal, 62, on June 6. Prosecutors have said they won't seek a sentence greater than one day in jail that Rosenthal already served in connection with an earlier trial.

In the earlier trial, Rosenthal was convicted of three similar counts in 2003, but a federal appeals court overturned that conviction last year, thus paving the way for a retrial.

Rosenthal's attorney, Robert Amparan, said he will ask for a new trial and if necessary appeal the verdict.

Rosenthal said outside of court, "The jury was not allowed to hear valuable information it needed to make an informed and fair decision."

Rosenthal was barred during the trial from arguing his claims that he was growing plants to help patients under California's medical marijuana law and that he was deputized to help the city of Oakland with its medical marijuana program.

Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, the prosecutor in the case, declined to comment outside of court.

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