Newsbrief: MS Sufferer Guilty in DC Medical Marijuana Case 2/2/01

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

A District of Colombia Superior Court Judge has found Michigan multiple sclerosis patient and medical marijuana user Renee Emry Wolfe guilty of possessing marijuana in then-Rep. Bill McCollum's (R-FL) Capitol Hill office in 1998.

Wolfe lit up in McCollum's office during a protest against a resolution he introduced in the House that day saying that marijuana is a dangerous drug and should not be legalized for medical use. Wolfe was part of a larger demonstration and carried a banner that said: "I use marijuana for medical purposes."

Wolfe's attorney, Jeffrey Orchard, told the court that Wolfe originally intended only to communicate her views about the issue to the congressman, but the tense environment in the hostile office caused Wolfe to believe she was about to suffer another episode of spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. She then lit up a joint to reduce the symptoms, Orchard said.

Orchard told the judge Wolfe had a medical necessity defense, but Judge Stephanie Duncan-Peters rejected that argument, ruling that there was little evidence that Wolfe was suffering a spasticity attack and that Wolfe had not exhausted legal alternatives.

"I do believe Mrs. Wolfe is guilty of possession," Duncan-Peters said. "I don't think a necessity defense has been made out in this case."

But Judge Duncan-Peters went easy on sentencing Wolfe. She will have to pay $50 court costs and do 50 hours of community service. The judge did not sentence Wolfe to any sort of judicial supervision, which could have sent Wolfe back before the court for smoking marijuana.

"I would prefer that (Wolfe) return to her home and deal with her medical condition in whatever way she and her doctor deem appropriate," Duncan-Peters said.

"If part of her purpose or all of her purpose is to educate, I certainly consider myself educated during the process of this trial," the judge said after sentencing.

Wolfe told the Associated Press she was encouraged by the judge's remarks.

Nearly 70 percent of District of Columbia voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in 1998, but successive Congresses have blocked the will of voters in the nation's capital.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #171, 2/2/01 Drug Arrests on New Jersey Highways in Freefall in Wake of Racial Profiling Scandal | Sen. Dodd Introduces Bill to Suspend Certification Process, Supports Move Toward Multilateral Drug War Evaluation Mechanism | Interview: Sanho Tree on Colombia | And the Meaning of Traffic Is...? | Drug Testing Declines Among Private Employers, but Testing Industry is Ready to Fight | Drug Bills in the Virginia Legislature: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly | Decriminalization and Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced in New Mexico Legislature | Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Court Tosses Out HUD "One Strike and You're Out" Eviction Policy | Newsbrief: MS Sufferer Guilty in DC Medical Marijuana Case | The Reformer's Calendar: Portland, Philadelphia, New York, DC, SF, Minneapolis, St. Petersburg, Fort Bragg, Miami, Amsterdam, New Delhi | Editorial: Moving Forward with Open Eyes
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]