Medical Marijuana Provider Ed Rosenthal Appeal Decision Expected Anytime

December 19, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ed Rosenthal, the renowned author, activist and cultivation authority whose case focused the nation’s attention on medical cannabis, is expecting an imminent decision on his appeal arguing he never should have been convicted of three marijuana felonies. The government claims he not only deserved conviction, but also appealed his one-day, time-served sentence, and is seeking to send him to prison for a minimum of five years.

WHAT:  The appeal of the Rosenthal case will be decided anytime between now and the end of January by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A media teleconference call will follow to explain the decision and what it means for medical cannabis patients. To be put on the conference call list, please contact Hilary McQuie at hilary@riseup.net or 510-333-8554.

WHO: Mr. Rosenthal and his family, his attorneys, and advocates with Americans for Safe Access, the largest medical marijuana rights organization nationwide, will be available for interview.

WHEN: Immediately following the announcement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Mr. Rosenthal’s appeal.

WHY: Mr. Rosenthal argued that his conviction on three felony counts should be overturned because Judge Breyer erred by not letting him mount an "entrapment-by-estoppel" defense —that is, that he was misled to believe that his conduct was protected from federal prosecution through a federal statute that immunizes local officials, such as Rosenthal, who are lawfully engaged in the enforcement of a municipal ordinance relating to controlled substances.

The appeal gives additional grounds why the conviction should be overturned:

·         - Federal prosecutor George Bevan committed misconduct by falsely telling the grand jury who later indicted Rosenthal that federal agencies were not aiming to shut down medical marijuana clubs;

·         - Rosenthal wasn't allowed to rebut the government's claims that he grew the marijuana for profit;

·         - Judge Breyer erred by instructing the jury it could not bring its "sense of justice" to bear on this case;

·         - Two jurors committed misconduct by seeking the advice of an outside attorney who erroneously told them that they would get into "big trouble" if they strayed from the judge's instructions; and

     - Breyer erred by refusing to exclude evidence from the Oakland warehouse based on Rosenthal's claim that the warrant lacked probable cause.

     FOR MORE INFO: More information can be found at http://www.green-aid.com/ Briefs may be seen at http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Appellants_Opening_Brief.pdf and http://www.safeaccessnow.org/downloads/Appellants_Reply_Brief.pdf

 
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