CA Representatives Announce Medical Marijuana Defense Bill

February 19, 2003
Sacramento: Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) will be honored in Sacramento by the families of medical marijuana growers convicted under federal law for his efforts in the struggle to decriminalize medical marijuana. Rep. Farr, along with Reps. Lynn Woolsey (CA-06) and Dana Rohrbacher (CA-46), will introduce legislation this year that will create two legal categories of marijuana - medical and criminal. The bipartisan legislation will allow growers who can prove they grow their product for medical use only to use that fact as a valid defense in a federal trial. As of now, federal judges do not allow any evidence of justified growth and distribution of marijuana, even in any one of the eight states and the District of Columbia with medical marijuana statutes.

'In states such as California, which has a medical marijuana statute allowing for its growth and distribution, growers are still subject to raid, arrest and prosecution from federal agencies,' remarked Rep. Farr. 'We have seen this happen time and time again. These federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Justice Department have no respect for the laws we here in California have established to allow patients to live pain-free lives.

'The purpose of this bill is to allow defendants in federal criminal trials to introduce evidence that their marijuana-related activity was performed for a valid medical purpose under state law. If a jury finds that a defendant was following state medical marijuana law, then the defendant should not be sent to prison. It's as simple as that,' he said.

The families of Bryan Epis and Ed Rosenthal, along with several of the jurors from Mr. Rosenthal's federal trial will be on hand to thank the Congressman for sponsoring this legislation and his work over the past several years on this issue.

“Thank you Sam Farr, Lynn Woolsey and Dana Rohrbacher from patients, providers, and their families and all of your constituents who voted for proposition 215. This bill will ensure that the will of the voters of California will be upheld” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans For Safe Access, the organization responsible for tomorrows events.

WHAT: Press conference to thank Rep. Sam Farr for his work on decriminalizing medical marijuana

WHO: Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel), Asm. Mark Leno, Steph Sherer, Executive Director, Americans for Safe Access, Cheryl Epis and Ashley Epis, wife and daughter of Bryan Epis, Jane Klein, wife of Ed Rosenthal, and Jurors from the Rosenthal trial.

WHERE: State Capitol, Governor’s Press Office 1190
Sacramento

WHEN: Wednesday, February 19th, 3:00 pm


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