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Rosenthal witnesses refuse to testify - court transcript

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Hi All,
A while back, I was called as a gov't witness in the Ed Rosenthal trial, along with several other members of our medical cannabis community in California. We quickly became known as the "recalcitrant witnesses" by the court, and another track of the trial was started for the people who were refusing to testify.
Yesterday, we had our day in court. The following transcript is an amazing example of how citizens can enact their role in the important system of checks and balances set forth in our constitution. We all stood strong in support of our community and the truth, with amazing results.
Basically, you should start reading on page 21 (my appearance is on page 36), and read through page 66 where Judge Breyer comments very favorably on our efforts and points out the lessons to be learned from this.
You will also note that, in a very strange and awesome twist, we were all charged with civil contempt and then sent home for the weekend. The Court basically said that if going to jail for the weekend will make us change our mind about testifying, then they would send us. Otherwise, go home! (and this was Prosecutor Bevins idea!).
Next stop, court again Tuesday.
Definitely take the time to read pages 21 to 66 of this court transcript!
Sincerely, Debby Goldsberry

Trial Transcript - pdf


New Member
Agreed, this court is unconscionable!::17::17:

Saw this:

ASA SF Action Alert: Ed Rosenthal Trial Continues
by Americans for Safe Access
Tuesday May 29th, 2007 9:36 AM

WHEN: Tuesday May 29th at 8:30am
WHERE: San Francisco Federal Building 450 Golden Gate Ave Floor 19

ASA SF Action Alert:
Ed Rosenthal Trial Continues Tomorrow

Fellow Medical Cannabis Patients and Supporters,

Please come show your support for Ed Rosenthal and all the Heroes of our movement who have refused to do the government's job for them!!!

WHO: patients and supporters in the Bay Area

WHAT: Protest and Rally in support of Ed Rosenthal and the brave souls who refused to testify against him

WHEN: Tuesday May 29th at 8:30am

WHERE: San Francisco Federal Building 450 Golden Gate Ave Floor 19

WHY: On Friday, several ethical members of the local medical cannabis community refused to testify against "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal. As a consequence, these nice people may be held in comtempt by the court and held in custody for the remainder of the trail. This is unconscionable, as this would mean that the people who refused to testify would be in custody longer than Ed has or will even if convicted.

In solidarity,

Alex Franco

ASA SF Action Alert: Ed Rosenthal Trial Continues : Indybay


New Member

Pot advocate convicted on three charges
But 'ganja guru' won't face further punishment

Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

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(05-30) 13:59 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal was convicted for a second time today of violating federal drug laws by growing pot plants for medical patients, but he faces no punishment for the felony convictions, apart from the one day in jail that he has already served.

Rosenthal, 62, of Oakland, a well-known authority on cannabis cultivation, former columnist for High Times magazine and author of a recent book calling for legalization of marijuana, was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco of three charges of illegal cultivation and conspiracy after a day of deliberations. He was acquitted of a fourth charge, and the jury deadlocked on a fifth charge.

A separate jury had convicted Rosenthal of similar charges in 2003, but the verdict was overturned by an appeals court because of misconduct by a juror who called a lawyer for advice during deliberations. The charges normally carry a sentence of at least five years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer imposed only a one-day sentence, saying Rosenthal had believed he was acting legally because Oakland had designated him as its agent in the city's medical marijuana program.

Federal prosecutors tried to add charges of money-laundering and tax evasion for the retrial, but Breyer refused, saying the government was retaliating for Rosenthal's criticism of the case and his successful appeal. Prosecutors proceeded with the second trial, rejecting the judge's suggestion that they drop the case, but conceded that they could not seek additional punishment for Rosenthal.

Rosenthal was arrested in February 2002 after federal agents seized more than 3,700 marijuana plants at an Oakland warehouse. He was charged with growing marijuana for distribution by a number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Bay Area.

In both trials, Breyer barred evidence that the marijuana was intended for medical use under Proposition 215, the 1996 California initiative allowing patients to use the drug with their doctor's approval. He also excluded evidence about Rosenthal's designation as an agent by the city of Oakland.

Left without a defense, Rosenthal's lawyers called no witnesses at the retrial, and instead argued that the prosecution's case was tainted by the testimony of some of Rosenthal's former friends and business partners who had been granted leniency.

Because of the judge's rulings, "The jury was not allowed to hear valuable information it needed to make an unbiased and fair decision," Rosenthal said today after the verdict.

His defense lawyers said they would ask Breyer to throw out the convictions.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.
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