May #91 : Pot Shot - by Denny Lee

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May 2003

Pot Shot

by Denny Lee

Is Ed Rosenthal the Rosa Parks of pot-smokers? Deputized by the City of Oakland to grow medical marijuana under California law, Rosenthal was busted by federal drug cops and convicted of pot-growing in January. The trial judge barred mention that Rosenthal was growing pot for patients, so jurors saw him as only a two-bit drug-dealer. When they learned the med-marijuana truth, five of the 12 jurors recanted their verdict and took the media by storm. “We were part of a travesty,” said juror Marney Craig. “I helped send a man to prison who doesn’t belong there. No jury should ever have to choose between the law and justice.” In fact, Rosenthal is not  yet behind bars, and the case is being appealed. “It will be more difficult for the feds to get 12 votes in the future when there’s any whiff that the case is about medical marijuana,” said Daniel Abrahamson, head of legal affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.      

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