Blog Voices from the Frontlines

Jan 312003

Reluctant jury convicts medical pot grower - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 31, 2003 7:00 PM

Claire Cooper -- Bee Legal Affairs Writer,

SAN FRANCISCO -- The man who has been called the Martha Stewart of marijuana was convicted by a reluctant federal jury Friday of supplying hundreds of pot seedlings to patients through Bay Area dispensaries. Edward Rosenthal, 58, the author of a dozen books on marijuana and an advice column that runs in two national marijuana advocacy magazines, faces at least five years in prison and steep fines for violating U.S. laws on marijuana cultivation and conspiracy. The jury refused to convict him of growing more than 1,000 pot plants, as the government had charged.
Jan 292003

Medicinal pot grower's case goes to jury - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 29, 2003 7:00 PM

By Josh Richman , Oakland Tribune,

SAN FRANCISCO -- A lawyer for pro-marijuana author and activist Ed Rosenthal of Oakland closed his case Thursday by implying jurors should base their decision on conscience, not federal law. 'Send a message about what you expect and demand from the U.S. government when they prosecute a case like this,' said attorney Robert Eye. But Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan and U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer reminded jurors they have vowed to put their feelings aside to judge the facts and follow the law.
Jan 292003

Medical Marijuana Activist Rosenthal's Federal Drug Trial Turns Surreal - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 29, 2003 7:00 PM

By ANN HARRISON | AlterNet 01/30/2003,

Former High Times columnist Ed Rosenthal appears beside a puppet of Attorney General John Ashcroft outside a courthouse where Rosenthal's marijuana cultivation trial is taking place, in San Francisco. - AP | Ben Margot * They viewed the glossy color photographs of meticulously tended marijuana mother plants flourishing under timed lights inside an Oakland, Calif. warehouse. Then they watched a videotape showing DEA agents uprooting nearby marijuana cuttings to determine which had roots, and could thus be considered 'plants' under the federal sentencing guidelines.
Jan 292003

Judge keeps tight rein on pot trial - References to medical uses quickly squelched in federal court - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 29, 2003 7:00 PM

S.F. Chronicle ,

The Bay Area's first federal medical marijuana trial ended Thursday witha bizarre touch that symbolized the entire case: The judge took overquestioning of a defense witness to make sure he didn't refer to themedical use of marijuana It started when Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley mentioned that hehad met defendant Ed Rosenthal 'in the context of Proposition 215,' the1996 California medical marijuana initiative Without prompting from the prosecutor, U.S.
Jan 232003

U.S. judge questions marijuana indictment - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 23, 2003 7:00 PM

Denny Walsh -- Bee Staff Writer,

A federal judge has found there is evidence of vindictiveness on the part of the U.S. attorney's office in obtaining a marijuana and weapons indictment against a former Rio Linda couple. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd ordered the U.S. attorney's office to turn over to the defense documents reflecting its communications with the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office regarding the referral of the case for federal prosecution. U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. on Wednesday denied a request by prosecutors to overturn Drozd's decision.
Jan 212003

Medical Marijuana Groups Post Billboards - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 21, 2003 7:00 PM

San Francisco (AP),

Medical marijuana advocates Wednesday began a billboard campaign that features the 8-year-old daughter of a man in prison for cultivating pot. On 30 billboards across California, Ashley Epis holds a sign that reads, 'My Dad is not a criminal.' Her father, Bryan Epis, is serving a 10-year federal sentence for growing cannabis for a Chico medical marijuana club. The billboards, sponsored by a host of marijuana groups, also read, 'Medical marijuana, compassion not federal prison.
Jan 212003

Marijuana grower's trial under way - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 21, 2003 7:00 PM

Josh Richman,

SAN FRANCISCO -- The criminal trial of a renowned pro-marijuana author and activist from Oakland began Tuesday, a microcosm of the conflict between state and federal laws on whether the drug can be used legally as medicine. Ed Rosenthal's lawyer, Robert Eye, repeatedly tried to elicit testimony to show that the marijuana Rosenthal grew was destined for Bay Area cooperatives and clubs, which in turn provided it to patients bearing doctors' recommendations. But U.S.
Jan 212003

Billboards promote medical marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • January 21, 2003 7:00 PM

Ventura County Star,

Along with roadside advertisements for beer, liquor and fast food, California motorists will now see billboards promoting medical marijuana. The 30 billboards, which began appearing Wednesday in San Francisco and across the state, feature an 8-year-old Chico girl whose father, Bryan Epis, is serving 10 years on federal marijuana cultivation charges. 'Medical marijuana, compassion not federal prison,' read the billboards, which are sponsored by a host of marijuana groups. They also show young Ashley Epis holding a sign that reads: 'My Dad is not a criminal.
Dec 312002

Feds pose challenge to use of medical marijuana - Americans for Safe Access

  • December 31, 2002 7:00 PM

Ian Ith and Carol M. Ostrom. Seattle Times,

BREMERTON - When Monte Levine and Marc Derenzy planted marijuana in the garage loft behind their Bremerton home, they thought they had the blessing of Washington voters. All they wanted, they said, was to quietly grow enough pot to help Levine cope with the pain of a fatal liver disease, and to give lifelong friends Shawn Doyle and Woody Wines something to ease their slow journey toward death from AIDS. The four men say they never expected to get a letter last month from the office of U.S.
Dec 132002

Statement of Steph Sherer Executive Director, Americans For Safe Access - Americans for Safe Access

  • December 13, 2002 3:00 AM
In a time of unprecedented intimidation from the Federal Government, Medical Marijuana patients and their providers won a hard fought victory today in the California Supreme Court. In a unanomous decision, the court held on Thursday that medical users who are arrested may have those charges dismissed without a trial if they are acting under the documented advice of a doctor. The decision reasserts what California voters decided when they passed proposition 215—that patients in need should have safe and legal access to medical marijuana.