#259 Speak Out For Ed Rosenthal!!

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003
Subject: # 259 Speak Out For Ed Rosenthal!!


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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #259 Wed, 22 Jan 2003

One of marijuana reform’s greatest pioneers and allies is of course Ed
Rosenthal of California.

The jury has been selected and the trial of Rosenthal in federal court
began on Jan 21. A federal judge in San Francisco is blocking a jury
from hearing evidence that could exculpate him. Rosenthal is thus
facing 20 years in prison on federal drug charges, though he believed
himself to be immune from prosecution when he was deputized by the
nearby city of Oakland in 1998 to cultivate cannabis for chronically
ill patients.

Rosenthal, 58, is now facing charges of cultivating more than 1,000
marijuana plants at a San Francisco medical marijuana club, conspiracy
to grow marijuana, and maintaining a place to grow marijuana at an
Oakland warehouse. The warehouse reportedly contained several thousand
tiny starter plants that Rosenthal says were intended for distribution
to medical marijuana patients who want to grow their own cannabis.

During two weeks of hearings prior to jury selection, Rosenthal’s
lawyers engaged in a bitter legal struggle with Judge Breyer, who
sought to block Rosenthal from using Prop. 215 as a defense against
federal charges. Breyer denied defense motions to dismiss the charges
based on selective prosecution, lack of jurisdiction, official
immunity, and 9th and 10th Amendment arguments.

In short, prior to trial, Judge Breyer effectively denied any and all
rational and reasonable defense that Rosenthal’s lawyers might offer,
all of it based on the federal government’s view of medical marijuana
being the sole arbiter with regards to legal defense on medical
necessity grounds.

Now a jury of 12 Californians, eight of whom (based on the 68% yes
vote in S.F.) likely voted for Proposition 215, are forced to decide
his fate subject to this heavy legal instruction.

PLEASE WRITE A LETTER TODAY to the local area newspapers of San
Francisco. A short list of links follows below. If you write a letter
to more than one outlet, please send them individually and do not use
the CC feature of your email. It is also helpful to create unique
messages for each paper due to the tight market. This further
increases your chances for being printed. But remember that
regardless of your being printed, it is URGENT that the media in the
area be kept fully alert to the injustice that is being served in
their own backyard. We need newspapers and readers to editorialize
and express outrage against the federal government is directing its
heavy power of the Justice Dept on Californians who honestly believed
themselves to be respecting state law. And that further, these people
were doing no harm to anyone whatsoever.

Thanks for your effort and support.

It’s not what others do it’s what YOU do

(Letter, email messages, etc.)

Please post a copy of your letter or report your action to the sent
letter list (sentlte@mapinc.org) if you are subscribed, or by
E-mailing a copy directly to MGreer@mapinc.org if you are not
subscribed. Your letter will then be forwarded to the list so others
can learn from your efforts and be motivated to follow suit.

This is _Very_ Important as it is one very effective way of gauging
our impact and effectiveness.

Subscribing to the Sent LTE list (sentlte@mapinc.org) will help you to
review other sent LTEs and perhaps come up with new ideas or
approaches as well as keeping others aware of your important writing

To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm
and/or http://www.mapinc.org/lists/index.htm#form


You can get a continually updating link for stories about this trial
that are being printed nationwide by going here:




A good summary of the past week’s events along with some historical
background relating the facts of the case and related rulings can be
found in the following stories. Note that a portion of the
introductory text above was taken from the first article below,
written by Ann Harrison and posted at Alternet.

US: Web: The Trial Of Ed Rosenthal
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n087/a04.html
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jan 2003
Source: AlterNet (US Web)

US: Clash on Medical Marijuana Puts a Grower in U.S. Court
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n095/a03.html
Pubdate: Tue, 21 Jan 2003
Source: New York Times (NY)

(Please note: If you choose to use this letter as a model please modify it
at least somewhat so that the paper does not receive numerous copies of the
same letter and so that the original author receives credit for his/her work.)

Dear Editor:

Federal Judge Charles Breyer may be able to keep all mention of
California law out of his courtroom in the case of medical marijuana
activist Ed Rosenthal (cited article), but he cannot silence the press
and Americans who find the charges against Rosenthal to be

The Bush administration’s top lawyers know full well that over 75% of
Americans support legal access to marijuana under a doctor’s
direction. Yet in their misguided and Quixotic attempt to rid the
world of any marijuana use whatsoever, they are now expending huge tax
dollars in trying, convicting and then imprisoning Rosenthal for up to
twenty years mandatory. More importantly they are charging a man who
was operating completely within California state law and who had the
support and endorsement of the City of Oakland, local law enforcement
and of course the 68% of San Franciscans who legalized marijuana for
medical use in 1996.

Our federal resources are needed to protect us from real enemies, not
from those who provide medicine to the sick and dying.

PS: Please keep this story on your radar and consider providing
critical editorial comment.

Stephen Heath
Clearwater FL

(Always include your address and phone number for newspaper verification. Most papers will not print your letter otherwise.

ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing efforts, Please See:

Writer’s Resources http://www.mapinc.org/resource/

TO UNSUBSCRIBE SEE http://www.drugsense.org/unsub.htm

Prepared by:
Stephen Heath, Drug Policy Forum of Florida http://www.dpffl.org
Focus Alert Specialist for MAP