#267 D.E.A. Suffers Setback With Breyer Ruling

Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2003
Subject: #267 D.E.A. Suffers Setback With Breyer Ruling

D.E.A. Suffers Setback With Breyer Ruling

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DrugSense FOCUS Alert #267 9 June 2003

Over fifteen months after his arrest and being charged with violation
of federal marijuana laws, Ed Rosenthal of California walked out of
his sentencing hearing a free man. Federal Judge Charles Breyer
weighed all of the relevant evidence related to Rosenthal’s conviction
this past Jan. 31 and then sentenced him to one day in jail and gave
him credit for time served.

This ruling gave a strong smack to the federal government who have
relentlessly worked to counter the effects of California’s Prop 215,
which legalized medical use and access to marijuana for qualified
patients. Rosenthal ardently worked for 215’s successful passage. He
then worked hand in hand with the patient communities of San Francisco
and Oakland to implement their medical marijuana programs.

This continuing commitment and exposure resulted in the Feds targeting
Rosenthal. They hoped that his conviction and expected sentence of 10
years or more would intimidate other supporters of the California law.
Because juries have no way of knowing otherwise, Federal prosecutors
accuse and convict patients and good Samaritans like Ed of being “Drug
King Pins.”

Newspapers around the country have carried coverage of his arrest, his
trial and conviction, and now the sentencing story. Please use the
handy MAP shortcut to such stories http://www.mapinc.org/people/Ed+Rosenthal
and send letters to the editor expressing your support for the
ruling and your desire to see a cessation of such law enforcement
priorities by the federal Justice Department.

Thanks for your effort and support.

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

(Letter, email messages, etc.)

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See this link for recent coverage of the Rosenthal case

(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:

It was great to see the ruling from federal judge Charles Breyer in
the Ed Rosenthal medical marijuana case in California June 4. With 80%
of Americans believing that medical marijuana should be legally
available to qualified medical patients, it seems the only ones who
still find it a priority to resist are the shrinking group of
anti-marijuana zealots and George W. Bush’s Justice Department led by
John Ashcroft.

Nine states have passed laws legalizing medical pot and twelve more
have laws recognizing medical use as a defense against possession.
The federal government quite obviously targeted longtime California
activist Rosenthal in hopes his conviction and expected lengthy jail
sentence would dissuade Americans who are trying to exercise their
medical rights under state laws. Federal prosecutors used their
ability to exclude relevant testimony as the key tool in getting their
conviction. Those citizens who disagree with such tactics and believe
the Feds should respect states’ laws on marijuana should contact their
federal representatives. Ask for their support of H.R. 2233, the
States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act, which would require federal
law enforcement to defer to state laws on medical marijuana. And to
support H.R. 1717, the Truth in Trials Act, which would end the
federal government’s gag on medical marijuana defendants in court.

(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:

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