Indictments Thrown Out by Nevada Judge, Who Said the State’s Medical Marijuana Law “Makes No Sense”
September 15, 2011 | Kris Hermes
A Nevada trial court judge threw out an indictment Monday against Leonard Schwingdorf and Nathan Hamilton, two medical marijuana dispensary operators arrested in federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement raids on several Las Vegas facilities last year. This was the first legal disposition since the Obama DEA raided at least 5 area dispensaries on September 8, 2010, indicting 15 people as a result.
When dismissing the indictments, Nevada District Judge Donald Mosley called the state’s law “mind boggling.” Judge Mosley further questioned the legislature’s failure to craft a law that benefits patients:
[W]hy don't they (the Legislature) make up their mind if they want to make it legal or not…I can't make any sense out of this law.
Judge Mosley also asked about the law:
Are people supposed to give it away? I mean it just makes no sense.
Although all 15 indictments stemming from last year’s raids were initially filed in federal court, only 7 remain as federal cases. The rest of the indictments, two of which were tossed earlier this week by Judge Mosley, were transferred to state court.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, defendants have called the state law “paradoxical because it allows patients registered with the state to possess the herb, but makes it illegal to obtain it.”
Mosley agreed with defense attorneys in their allegations that prosecutors withheld important medical-related information from the grand jury that indicted Schwingdorf and Hamilton.
Seven federal prosecutions are still pending as are another state case, which will be heard Friday by District Judge Doug Smith. An indictment against multiple operators and the vagueness of Nevada’s medical marijuana law will again be at issue this Friday.