California Healthline Rounds Up Recent Medical Marijuana Developments
California Healthline today rounds up recent actions in medical marijuana cases. Summaries of the developments appear below.
- The U.S. attorney's office on Thursday filed notice with the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco that it intends to appeal a decision by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer last month to forgo a prison sentence for medical marijuana grower and advocate Ed Rosenthal, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, prosecutors did not disclose the grounds on which they intend to appeal the ruling (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8). Breyer last month sentenced Rosenthal to one day in jail -- the shortest possible term -- and issued a $1,300 fine for marijuana cultivation. Breyer previously had upheld a February conviction of Rosenthal by a federal jury, which found that Rosenthal conspired to grow more than 100 marijuana plants. Breyer put Rosenthal on supervised release -- similar to parole -- for three years (California Healthline, 6/5).
- U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel yesterday said he would "soon" decide whether to issue a temporary restraining order preventing the federal government from acting against the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a medical marijuana cooperative in Santa Cruz whose farm was raided last year, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Beck, San Jose Mercury News, 7/8). During a Drug Enforcement Administration raid last September, agents seized 167 plants that patients were growing and arrested the collective's founders, Valerie and Michael Corral. The group said patients' medicine has been substantially decreased since the raid, causing pain and suffering and hastening the deaths of some of the collective's members (California Healthline, 4/24). During the hearing, medical marijuana advocates called the raid "illegal and immoral" (Konrad, AP/Fresno Bee, 7/8). Expressing "sympathy" for the group, Fogel asked medical marijuana advocates for a legal "hook" to grant the temporary injunction, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. However, Fogel warned that federal law and court precedents do not allow exceptions for marijuana use for medical purposes (Gathright, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/8).
- Despite a ruling by the Madera County Superior Court, the Chowchilla Police Department has not turned over nearly a pound of medical marijuana confiscated from Chowchilla resident Michael Celli, who uses the drug to treat chronic migraine headaches, the Fresno Bee reports. The marijuana, which will be seized by federal drug agents today, was taken from Celli during his April 25 arrest for marijuana possession. Police Chief John Robinson said he is refusing the Madera County court's order to return the marijuana to Celli because federal law, which prohibits marijuana use and possession, "takes precedent" over Proposition 215, the 1996 state ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for medical use (Aleman-Padilla, Fresno Bee, 7/8).