TalkLeft has the info on a federal judge in California who has allowed defendants to raise medical marijuana use as a defense to cultivation charges.
Here’s some background if you haven’t been following:
- When Congress restricted marijuana through the Controlled Substances Act, they placed it in Schedule 1, which is defined in part as having no accepted medical use. This is just a definition by Congress and has no actual reality, but it has had legal authority.
- Because of this little fact, judges in federal courts have consistently not permitted defendants to even mention 1) their medical condition, 2) why they had the marijuana, or 3) the fact that medical marijuana is legal in their state. With these, their only arguments, denied to them, many had no choice but to plead guilty. This resulted in numerous miscarriages of justice, including the death of Peter McWilliams, the flight of others to Canada for asylum, and an angry jury (in the case of Ed Rosenthal)
- In December, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made a major controversial ruling to prevent the Federal government from interfering with non-commercial medical marijuana activities in states where medical marijuana is legal.
- Now a federal judge is using that ruling to allow defendants to attempt to use medical marijuana as a defense in a federal trafficking charge.
For real progress, encourage Congress to pass the Truth in Trials act. Send a letter easily here.