MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Jury Convicts Trinity County Man
A federal jury this weekend convicted a Trinity County man of cultivation and possession of marijuana, in what is "believed to be the first criminal marijuana trial in a California federal court involving a medicinal claim" since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. Smith claimed he needed the drug to curb his alcohol abuse. He made no secret of growing it for himself and others after the passage of Proposition 215, planting an 87-plant marijuana garden on land in Denny that he leased from friend Martin Lederer. The government seized the land in September 1997 and charged both men two months later. Prosecutors said Smith did not meet the state standards for medical authorization, noting that his prescription was written by a chiropractor. They also argued that federal law, which prohibits growth and possession of marijuana, supersedes state law. Sentencing is pending before U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. Lederer has already pled guilty and is also awaiting sentencing (AP/Capitol Alert, 5/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.