Federal gag

‘Kettle Falls 5’ case tests marijuana laws

Clearly the feds are not done going after people in states where marijuana is legal. Now, I don’t really know the specifics of this case, what all the charges are, or which of them are true.

But it’s this passage in the article that really makes my blood boil:

The five defendants won’t be allowed to argue they were obeying state laws on medical marijuana, or even mention it to the jury, U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled last week, citing several precedents.

The continuing use of this federal gag order, still pretending that marijuana doesn’t have a medical use simply because Congress once said so, and preventing defendents from defending themselves with the truth… that is a blight on our justice system.

Five times since 2003, the “Truth in Trials Act” has been introduced in Congress. It would simply allow for an affirmative defense in federal court, allowing defendants to show that what they were doing was in full compliance with state law.

The fact that we have to pass a law to allow defendants to tell the truth in their trials is absurd. The fact that the bill has never progressed beyond being introduced and referred to a subcommittee is unconscionable.

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20 Responses to Federal gag

  1. Howard says:

    From the linked article;

    “If they take the stand, they can’t tell the jury they had the marijuana for medical use, not for sale. Suggesting they were following state law and thus shouldn’t be convicted under federal law “would be plainly improper … unfairly prejudicial to the United States and confusing to jurors,” [trial judge] Van Sickle said. It could “tempt the jury to disregard federal law.”


    Is it not “unfairly prejudicial” to not even be allowed to present their case with the most relevant facts? The fact that they were within medical marijuana guidelines set forth by Washington state? I really don’t think the jurors will be “confused” if all the relevant information is presented to them. How in the world does Judge Van Sickle think — by restricting the very foundations of their case — that a fair trial is even possible? Obviously he doesn’t. As the Kettle Falls 5 defense attorney suggests, “Why even have a trial at all?”. Great question.

  2. DonDig says:

    Our beloved government has obviously come to believe that the citizens of this fair land are expendable when they don’t agree with the standard dogma, or even otherwise. This, and congress using taxpayer donations legally for their own enrichment, (as pointed out on 60 minutes last night), as well as the UFO technology exchange allowing aliens to use citizens for hybrid breeding projects as long as they don’t remember what happened, (so our military can have anti-gravity and free energy technology) which they keep hidden and won’t allow society to benefit from. How many times must we accede to their wishes before we realize that they really don’t have our best wishes at heart at all. The citizenry of this country is too often branded a nuisance that must simply be kept in the dark or neutralized. It sucks.

    • primus says:

      UFO Tech? If you wish to be taken seriously, you would leave that part out. What’s your game?

      • DonDig says:

        No ‘game’ here: Yeah, sorry, I know it’s way off topic, except that the gov is pulling the wool over our eyes in so many ways, it’s really incredible.

        “If you wish to be taken seriously . . .” just proves that they’ve brainwashed us all about that as well. The F.U.D. factor. (fear, uncertainty, doubt) If you want more info read “Intruders” by Budd Hopkins, “Abduction” by John E Mack, some of the “Millenial Hospitality” series by Charles James Hall, and the comments of Paul Hellyer on Youtube. Those would be a good start.
        Otherwise, again I apologize. but just had to vent a little.

        Beyond all that, I love this board and all who are trying to get the truth across: Pete and you all have truly created an oasis in an arid desert of disinformation.

  3. NorCalNative says:

    I witnessed this SAME judicial B.S. in a S.F. Federal court during Ed Rosenthal’s trial for organizing the cultivation of baby clones for the City of Oakland, California.

    It’s not a fun day to learn that the Feds can say fuck you to your rights to a fair trial. I did enjoy the fact that I was sucking on a hash-oil lollypop while in the courtroom though.

    In Ed’s case when the jury found out they had been duped the fuss they made caused the judge to let Ed go after serving ONE DAY.

    If the feds are going to shred decency then someone needs to bomb that part of the country with plane-loads of leaflets explaining JURY NULLIFICATION. Juror’s have power that they can use despite the instructions of the judge.

  4. Servetus says:

    The federal courts’ rules of procedure involving medical marijuana testimony disregards justice in favor of creating public show trials aimed at taking down marijuana dissidents, especially in cases involving minorities and America’s poor.

    Due to the federal restrictions on presenting evidence for medical marijuana cultivations, the trials emerge as purely political in scope. The true motive behind the manipulative court procedures is to prevent American juries from challenging the injustice of the drug laws, which they have every right to do. The jury’s compulsory ignorance thus becomes a political weapon benefiting the powerful.

    Without such unconscionable safeguards as a rigged system of federal-level drug law enforcement, implementing marijuana prohibition and other anti-drug laws wouldn’t stand a chance in the courts. Nothing could be more clear that such questionable federal restrictions promote tyranny, and are in no way motivated by the needs of public health, nor any desire for justice. Federal officials owe a duty to citizens, and they’re not providing it by turning the U.S. court system into a sleek and efficient production line for drug felons.

  5. DdC says:

    Clearly the feds are not done going after people in states where marijuana is legal.

    No, but they are going after Cannabis that isn’t legal in any state due to the controlled substance act. Derogatory words and denial are no weapons against the feds controlled substance act. Incremental Illness pays the same as prohibition because it is prohibition. Now on three, everybody whine.

    Now, I don’t really know the specifics of this case,

    It is a schedule#1 controlled substance. That is all the specifics they need.

    what all the charges are, or which of them are true.

    If cannabis was discovered then those in possession are breaking the law making them all true. Bad laws are still laws that still cage people and until that tidbit is dealt with nothing changes. Not enforcing laws is not legalizing a substance. Incrementally giving states the right to bust people for what the feds have no budget to do is greed and still not legal.

    The five defendants won’t be allowed to argue they were obeying state laws on medical marijuana, or even mention it to the jury, US District Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled last week, citing several precedents.

    But it’s this passage in the article that really makes my blood boil:

    I’m not sure about boiling blood being possible but I am sure if it does then you must have been under a turnip bush the past 20 years. Peter McWilliams was killed for the same gag order. Along with the NRA bought mandatory minimum sentencing is why 95% of the trials end in plea bargains and more profits for Califono rehabs and Bensinger piss tests. It is why Charlie Lynch was doing time when partnered with the city of Morro Bay. Why Ed Rosenthal was facing large time except for the Breyer decision to grant mercy with a one day sentence. Not sure if that was legal but no one objected. Now Ed was appealing it to be a martyr for token ungrateful and naive.

    The continuing use of this federal gag order,

    Again, the time to stop miscarriages of justice is when they are being debated, not after they pass. The paranoid public didn’t cry out when Charlie Heston and the NRA paid for MM legislation. They continue because they can.

    still pretending that marijuana doesn’t have a medical use

    They are not pretending, the CSA states it clearly and all the antidotal evidence won’t overturn it. As long as it is on the books it is the law. Pretending it has medicinal value because it helps millions of people or was used for thousands of years medicinally is moot. White women couldn’t vote for Lincoln either. The drug worriers rely on widget laws. Doesn’t matter about physics or truth, like Jim Crow, it’s the law. These state cannabis laws are no different from Jim Crow or segregation laws. Not fair? Or quickly repaired by the Feds civil rights act. Indiana didn’t desegregate schools until the 1990s. Spousal rape was legal in the late 1980s.

    simply because Congress once said so,

    Actually Nixon said so in spite of his own commission saying it ain’t so. and his physician backing him up stated it was a temporary measure until further tests could determine it was medicinal, not highly addictive or a menace to society as alcohol is. Congress simply signed off on it and in 44 years no one has gotten off their asses to question it, let alone remove it. Gupta and others have naively stated what many uninformed reformers whine about, fairness and all the time going along with the DEA Gossip as Gospel. Doing obvious harm to people more as drug pushers than doctors. What’s reality got to do with it? Pete, tsk tsk. By now you should know better. This is not Mother Goose with happy endings. The money is in perpetuating the war and war profits. Not winning or losing ending the profits. Profits are the Prophets they follow.

    and preventing defendants from defending themselves with the truth… that is a blight on our justice system.

    Yes, but not a new blight. It killed Peter in 2000 and caged Todd and sent Rene’ running to Canada. Put 8 bullets in Tom and several in Rollie. Forfeiture and confiscations are the incentive to remain ignorant. Gag orders should have been a red flag clearly showing Injustice and UnConstitutional actions. But the money makes things fuzzy, like drug worrier propaganda. Muddy waters casting doubts or flat out lies are all tools of the trade. Getting angry over it or faking concern for justice while Incremental retardation spreads is an oxymoron. Can’t pick and choose what rights to fight for. It’s all or nothing. Can’t sit by 44 years riding the lie to fortune and fame and then when it gets personal start whining about rights or justice. As Vonnegut said, better to release 50 guilty before incarcerating one innocent. Tell that to the Libertarian Koch heads getting rich on piss tastes and private maximum capacity profit prison cages. The cops bloated budgets and the pharmaceuticals competition same as fossil fools not worrying about Hemp products taking their shelf space. Those in denial to make a few bucks or just go along with the self appointed moralists and reformer excerpts. Probably deserve what they get. Not for possessing cannabis but for being American and choosing to be a lapdog slave.

    What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

    Sanja Gupta knowingly or not stated the reality. Medical school doesn’t teach about cannabis. Those not questioning pass through the system, get their shingles and crawl into denial protecting their own vested ignorance. Academia dictates what the cops can do and until it is removed as a schedule#1, cops in CA won’t teach their rookies it is medicine. Catch 22’s and all of it for prohibition profits. Nothing much to due with Ganja or the dangers of smoking it. Then we have the lapdog reformers appeasing politicians to win bogus non-effective initiatives and state incremental laws with no teeth. Nothing is a surprise or hidden. Out in the open poppycock and cowards and greed protecting their own. I’m getting more inclined to believe it is the rest of the planet getting fed up with US imperialism that will remove cannabis from the CSA. Or decide to disregard us or attack us for the decades of harm done to them by us.

  6. US: Forced Guilty Pleas in Drug Cases – Human Rights Watch

    Truthfully, it has gotten to the point where there are almost NO TRIALS. The Federal courts have become a black hole of no return. Without being allowed a defense, taking a plea is the only recourse. The possibility of innocence has become an intrusive impediment to a plea bargain in the Federal Court system.

    Justice has become a memory.

  7. Tony Aroma says:

    So obviously at the trial the defendants can’t swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That would clearly conflict with the judge’s orders. I hope someone points that out at the swearing in. The most they can swear to is telling the part of the truth that supports the prosecution’s case.

    Another interesting issue is that it apparently doesn’t matter WHY they broke the law, only that they did. “The intent of the defendants is not relevant to the issues,” [Judge] Van Sickle said.

    But, it seems to me, that intent is always relevant. Isn’t intent the difference between murder and manslaughter?

    • allan says:

      just a thought… but if they had an extra, I’m-only-here-for-this type lawyer (or witness) that could start talking about the medical use and jury nullification and is willing to be thrown out… this case needs a big monkey wrench thrown in.

      It’s also how they killed Peter McW…

      • Tony Aroma says:

        Or even the defendants. What’s the worst that could happen, a mistrial is declared and they get charged with contempt?

        One bright spot is that the case is being tried in WA. It’s quite possible a jury might be hesitant to send someone to federal prison for MANY years for possessing something they can go down the street and buy legally at a dispensary.

        • tensity1 says:

          That’s exactly what I was thinking, Tony. The whole gag order could be there to force the defendants to plead out, but if they didn’t care and want the trial . . . really, a mistrial and contempt of court? Oh Noes! “I’m sorry judge, I’ll be good so you can give me 20 to life!”

          Also a good idea to say, when being sworn in, “I’m sorry, I can’t faithfully swear to tell the whole truth since I’m under a gag order to not tell the whole story, my intent in the actions that violated the federal law.” Technically, that probably wouldn’t be violating the gag order, though it might get a contempt charge slapped on (Oh Noes!).

  8. Tony Aroma says:

    One other thought, a bit OT: In this and other cases, the defendants are charged based not only on the number of plants police found, but on the total number they’ve ever grown. Which conveniently puts that number over 99.

    So, since you can be convicted of possessing marijuana in the past, I suggest picking a day (National Get Busted for Weed Day), and on that day everybody show up at their local police station or DEA office, admit to possessing a very small amount of marijuana in the past (or even a seed), and demand to be arrested. Of course, that would be followed up by demanding a jury trial. Not only would it clog the jails and courts up for years, but it would highlight the insanity of criminalizing half the population. That is, after all, the ultimate goal of prohibition, to arrest and imprison each and every drug user, isn’t it? I think it would look pretty bad if LEO refused to do their job. Or even worse, if they were to admit that arresting each and every pot smoker might not be such a good idea.

  9. When telling the truth to defend yourself becomes inadmissible in a court of law, what happens to public confidence?. When an individual cannot present his own defense in front of a jury of his peers something is wrong.

    How confident would you be in that court system?

    “THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.”

    I think that the ‘Kettle Falls 5′ is appropriately named. The “5” stands for the missing amendment that will send them all to prison without hearing their defense.

    We need a fifth amendment that the government can’t ignore. That was what I got on here to say. Like maybe we can write a new one.

    My second thought while writing this is:
    – since we already have one that the courts have found a way to ignore, I guess writing a new one wouldn’t do much good, huh? Am I missing something here, or do we have a government that is just plain out refusing to give due process to its citizens? I think any legal explanation at this point would just piss me off all the more. Not being able to say whatever they want in their own defense in front of a jury of their peers is just plain wrong.

  10. John says:

    I am unable to understand why it would be unreasonable for all defendants, in all trials, to be given, say, fifteen minutes to address the jury to say anything they care to while the judge and prosecutor be required to remain totally silent. If I was on a jury, I’d certainly be willing to listen for fifteen minutes to anything the defendant had to say before I took years away from their life. There’s your new law legislators, see if you can get something like that out of committee.

  11. DonDig says:

    So they’re possibly looking at prison time in the range of ten years, about the sentence demanded for voluntary manslaughter. Are the feds kidding?? Our congress has got to fix this crap. How does any farming and possession/distribution merit that level of punishment? How did the laws (d)evolve to this?
    I wonder if any stepping stone laws could simply be repealed?

    • Duncan20903 says:


      You seem to be forgetting that it was the lawmakers that set up this system in the first place. It isn’t as if this happened by accident, it’s working exactly as designed. If you give the jury any way out they’re very likely to take it. The goal is not justice. The goal is being the boss.

  12. Randy says:

    So does the DOJ issue train engineer caps to newly minted prosecutors and judges? That would seem to be appropriate given that rulings like the one mentioned here are done for the sole purpose of railroading the defendants.


  13. TrebleBass says:

    things that can’t be said in court are such an incredible thing for a justice system to have. it’s like little kids playing court and one of them says “oh no.. you can’t say that” “why?” “uhhhhmmm, cause that’s the rule, you’re not allowed to mention that” “what?! that’s not fair!” “you’re not allowed to say it!! that’s the rule!!!” Except in real life, at this point, the other kid can’t go “i don’t want to play anymore”. You have to play, and if you lose, you go to jail in real life.

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