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Oakland, CA -- Medical marijuana edible producer Michael Martin, 34, will be sentenced on Wednesday at the Oakland Federal Courthouse at 1301 Clay Street. A press conference at 2pm will precede the sentencing hearing, where Mr. Martin, his attorneys, Sara Zalkin and Tony Serra, and Americans for Safe Access Chief Counsel Joe Elford, will address the media. The sentencing hearing comes after a plea agreement was reached in March, stemming from a September 26, 2007 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raid on Tainted, Inc. Mr.
Martin was charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute items containing THC (the main compound found in the marijuana plant).
What: Lively demonstration and press conference around the sentencing of medical cannabis edible producer Michael Martin
When: Wednesday, September 3 at 2pm
Where: Oakland Federal Building at 1301 Clay Street
Who: Statements by defendant Michael Martin, his attorneys Sara Zalkin and Tony Serra, a local patient who relies on cannabis edibles, and ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford
"Enforcement actions against people like Michael Martin, who are trying to produce edible, non-smoked medicine, is a travesty," said Rebecca Saltzman, Chief of Staff with Americans for Safe Access, a national medical cannabis advocacy organization based in Oakland. "With the release of official guidelines by the California Attorney General, these harmful measures will hopefully come to an end. The DEA won't be able to kick down the doors of the sick and the compassionate much longer."
Tainted, Inc. provided clearly labeled baked goods and other marijuana edibles to medical cannabis patients and collectives all over California. Edible cannabis products are an alternative to smoking cannabis and are preferred by many patients. The products made by Tainted, Inc. are available only through medical cannabis dispensaries and carry prominent warning labels. Several local jurisdictions have adopted ordinances, allowing for the sale of edibles by dispensaries, such as the County of Los Angeles, the County of Alameda, and the City of Oakland, where the recent federal raids occurred. A majority of the more than 300 medical cannabis dispensaries across the state provide edible products to their patients.
However, Martin could face many years in federal prison for his role in supplying medical cannabis to qualified patients. Because federal law does not recognize medical uses for marijuana, Martin chose not to go to trial where he would be prohibited from telling jurors that his company supplied medical cannabis products through licensed dispensaries to qualified patients. Defense attorneys are prevented from raising state law, local regulations or the vast amount of medical cannabis science in federal marijuana trials. Jessica Sanders, a co-defendant of Mr. Martin, will also be sentenced on Wednesday.
Studies in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Denmark, involving the ingestion of cannabis by hundreds of patients, have shown statistically significant benefits, ranging from improved appetite for Cancer patients to a decrease in pain for those with chronic neuropathy, and from a reduction in spasticity and pain for people with Multiple Sclerosis to improvements in motion and quality of sleep for those living with arthritis.
For further information:
Tainted Defense Website: http://www.freetainted.com/weblog/topics/about
Photos of Tainted products: http://american-safe-access.s3.amazonaws.com/img/original/Compassion1.jpg; and http://american-safe-access.s3.amazonaws.com/img/original/Compassion4.jpg
Photo of Martin and his family (wife Elinor, and two sons Tyler, 3 years, and Lucas, 5 months): http://american-safe-access.s3.amazonaws.com/img/original/Martin_Family.jpg
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With over 30,000 active members in more than 40 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.