Medical Marijuana: Federal Judge Dismisses Charges Against Ed Rosenthal

A federal district court judge dismissed money-laundering and tax evasion charges against Ed Rosenthal Wednesday, saying federal prosecutors had vindictively re-indicted the "Guru of Ganja" after he publicly criticized them in the wake of his successful appeal of his 2003 marijuana cultivation conviction. In that case, Rosenthal was convicted after not being allowed to present evidence he was growing for medicinal purposes, but was sentenced to only one day in jail after the jury protested upon hearing the rest of the story.

http://stopthedrugwar.org/files/edrosenthalcourtdate.jpg
Ed Rosenthal at courthouse, with supporters, September 2006 (courtesy indybay.org)
The same judge who presided over Rosenthal's first trial, US District Court Judge Charles Breyer, ruled that prosecutors illegally retaliated against Rosenthal by re-indicting him for the acts that were the basis of his original conviction, which was overturned last year, and piling on with the tax evasion and money-laundering charges over a sum that amounted to less than $1,900.

Federal prosecutors tried "to make Rosenthal look like a common criminal and thus dissipate the criticism heaped on the government after the first trial," Breyer said in his opinion. That perception, he said, "will discourage defendants from exercising their First Amendment right to criticize their prosecutions and their statutory right to appeal their convictions."

While he dismissed the two financial counts, Judge Breyer let stand Rosenthal's indictment for growing marijuana for medical patients. But that doesn't give prosecutors much to work with because Breyer also noted that even if he were convicted in a new trial, they could not seek to sentence him to more than the one day that he has already served. That leaves them with the equally unpalatable options of appealing the decision to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals -- the same court that overturned the original conviction -- or pursuing a conviction where they cannot punish Rosenthal even if they win.

Assistant US Attorney George Bevan, the chief prosecutor on the case, helped Judge Breyer prove the case for a revenge prosecution. While Bevan told Breyer he would not seek additional prison time on the marijuana counts, he said he was "committed to doing the retrial and seeing the case to a conclusion." That remark came after Bevan told the court in October that Rosenthal had complained about not getting a fair trial because he could not mention medical marijuana. "So, I'm saying, this time around, he wants the financial side reflected, fine, let's air this thing out," Bevan said. "Let's have the whole conduct before the jury: tax, money-laundering, marijuana."

In Wednesday's ruling, Breyer noted Bevan's candor but said his comments only "confirm the appearance of vindictiveness."

"The government was clearly out of line to bring this case forward against me," said Rosenthal in a statement released by his attorneys. "The court's ruling is reassuring, but my continued prosecution on the marijuana charges is still malicious. To make me and my family go through a second prosecution to obtain, at most, a one-day time served jail sentence seems personally motivated."

"We are gratified that the court has recognized the vindictive nature of this prosecution and has reigned in the prosecutor," said Joe Elford, chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access, and author of the successful vindictive prosecution motion. "The additional charges brought against Rosenthal were clearly in retaliation for his criticism of the government. Taxpayer dollars should not be wasted on a vendetta carried out by a prosecutor against a defendant."

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

George Bevans: Criminal, moral midget, fiscal idiot, despicable

Zealously pursuing his distorted and perverted vision of justice George Bevans again wanted to terrorize a brave, noble man & his beautiful family, and perhaps even more despicable, he willfully causes unneccesary pain & suffering to the sick & dying that are denied their medicine.

It's clear George Bevans as much as confessed to his crime(s) and criminal intentions... what's opaque is no mention of his imprisonment or pending charges... do they allow bail for such serious crimes committed by officials in the public trust? Silly question... chances are he probably won't even get bitch slapped or pistol whipped. You would think a serious crime like double jeopardy and malicious prosecution would be akin to perjury and carry at least a 5 yr. federal prison sentence & permanent felony record!

Eager to steal 100's of thousands of taxpayer dollars to satisfy his need/sickness for moral authority... pursuing another unlawful vendetta & federal prosecution of a victimless crime... all to recover $1900 in back taxes & 1 day in jail!

Please, lets stop treating these ass-holes as special... they' re special ass-holes for sure... but belong in prison... in the general prison population like any other dangerous criminal... if he survives 5 years in federal prison, and it's not important that he does, he may return to civilian life but must be watched carefully and never again be given a position of authority... these types of criminals... like politicians...have very high recidivism rates!

No lawyer, judge, politician, religious leader, moral authoritarian, constitutional criminal, etc should be allowed to attend a girlyman prison that's more like a day spa for men with hairless nuts... don't you just hate hypocritical hairless pussies like George Bevans... he and his ilk should be made to take it in the ass (repeatedly) just like the rest of us!

Unless George Bevans and largely religious shitheads like him are stopped he/they will continue to zealously incarcerate people for victimless crimes... which averages $35,000 per year per prisoner!

So lets see... fucks like George Bevans incarcarate 500,000 peaceful pot smokers x $35,000 per year = Ohmygod that's 17.5 bbbbbillion dollars... but wait that's just 1 year and the avg prison term is 5+ YEARS so 17.5 billion x 5 years = OHMYGOD THAT'S $87,5000,000,000 TO PUNISH POT SMOKERS FOR 5 YEARS?

BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER YET... THIS 87.5 BILLION DOLLARS IS NOT COUNTED AS A DRUG WAR EXPENSE... THE FUNDS COMES OUT OF THE JUDICIARY BUDGET NOT THE DRUG WAR BUDGET. THE DRUG WARRIORS ONLY ADMIT TO SPENDING around $40 BILLION ON ENFORCEMENT PER YEAR!

So lets review the real cost of the drug war for 1 year: 40 billion + 17.5 billion = ah heck that's only 57.5 billion wasted annually! Just the same... that would buy you a shitload of socialism... comrade!

George Bevans... hope you have a horrible life & painful death... your a despicable ass-hole... you should shot yourself and anyone that thinks like you... ASS-HOLE!

mj

hi i love u!

Medical MJ

you guys are all wrong. THis should be legal because I know u can use other medicene but this is the safest there is on ly a ten percent chance of getting addicted so get over yourselfs and stop being dicks over people who do have issues and nned to use this!

who ever wrote MEDICAL MJ

who ever wrote MEDICAL MJ needs to Fuck OFF on their momma!

Medical Marijuana Offical!

you guys or girls need ot watch your language lets keep it clean!!!!!!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <object> <param> <embed> <b>

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Safe Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School