420 Magazine Background

Zach Zachary, Family & Friends - Victims Of The War Against Cannabis

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The marijuana laws ensnare good people like long time peace, environmental and civil rights activist Zach Zachary.

No one has mentioned whether Zach or his family member had a medical need, so I'm assuming neither had an MD approval. Is this correct?

If no one had a doctor's authorization, the government will claim it's all illegal. However, Measure G is a defense because a 25-plant limit for personal use was in effect at the time the gardens were planted, presumably in April/May before the June election supposedly repealed it. So defendants can assert they relied on Measure G, codified as MCC9.36, for guidelines in place at the time--25 plants per person for personal use.

If there were 300 plants for 3 people, that may be stretching Measure G beyond credibility. But if it was 100 plants, 3 x 25 plants = 75 plants, perhaps close enough. If anyone had a doctor's recommendation, they have the right to a Prop 215 defense. If not, they can use a Measure G defense.

On the weight of the processed bud, was it wet or dry? 100 pounds of wet weight equals 10 pounds of dry weight (10 to 1 disparity). So we don't know much until we find out was it really 100 pounds, or more like 10? Were leaf/trim/stem counted in the weight? What was the bud weight by itself? Nothing else is even potentially commercial-grade.

In case of a medical purpose, the definition of what can be counted in the weight is "mature flowering female"; nothing else is considered medical grade under law.

Guns don't have to be registered to be legal, as I understand it. Questions like whether the guns were loaded and in what situation may be more important.

For instance in the Philo case of Lester "Smitty" Smith, age 90, where his CD money and his wife's inheritance were taken ($29,000 + 52,000), Smitty & Mary were not arrested (growing 17 plants between the two of then for medical use), but the 2 granddaughters & their husbands were. CPS got all 5 kids while both sets of parents were taken to jail. Both granddaughters were charged with child endangerment (on top of cultivation for sale), due in part to being tied to Smitty's alleged loaded gun, kept in his house, separate from where his grandchildren live, having nothing to do with the great grandchildren, "where the kids never go", as one granddaughter put it.

Law enforcement morphed everything together by overcharging to pad the case to the disadvantage of the parents, forcing the lawyers to sort it out in court. Standard fare is to say, "We'll throw this child endangerment charge out if you'll plead to cultivation with intent to sell". Coercion is so intense and effective that when people's kids are involved, the government usually gets what it wants--any conviction without regard to guilt or innocence. The confession to sales reportedly gotten by the deputies through coercion is illegal by definition and may succeed in getting the whole case thrown out.

Child Protective Services has already moved on one of the mothers. In the case of Carla Ramirez, her 3 children were taken by CPS when sheriff's deputies arrested her & her husband for their medical marijuana garden. Despite their plea of innocence and despite having no conviction, law enforcement is already punishing Carla by requiring her to attend months of "parenting classes" to even have a shot at getting her kids back. The other granddaughter's 2 kids were returned three days after the arrest, since there was no evidence of endangerment.

Threatening parents with removal of their children is an extreme form of coercion bordering on torture that should not be allowed in a humane society. Coercion is illegal and so is torture. And yet this continues...

Just today we discovered that DA Meredith Lintott, in another baffling move, has filed criminal charges against 90-year old Lester 'Smitty' Smith for cultivation with intent to sell 17 plants he grew for himself and his disabled wife Mary, who has not been charged. She drinks bud tea to fight advanced arthritis, confined to a wheelchair/recliner. Their combined life-savings was seized at the gardensite, along with the 17 plants and two or three guns--including a Winchester rifle and a pistol, all legal. Smitty was a former Navy gunner in the Pacific during WWII. It would not be surprising to find out that he is a responsible gun-owner, as well as a responsible medical cannabis grower, despite these charges.

Medical Marijuana Patients Union has recently formed the Patient Innocence Project to receive phone calls, make referrals and help guide people through the prosecution process. We hope to be able to turn it into an efficient hotline, gathering data on medical cannabis arrests and prosecutions, in light of the astronomical increase in incidents of law enforcement abuse and intimidation of qualified patients. 707-964-9377.

Pebbles Trippet
On behalf of the Medical Marijuana Patients Union

Afterword: At the time of the Initial post, I didn't know that Zac was merely on the land where he and his brother were busted.

However over-charging is the m.o. of most prosecutors. Cookie-cutter Meredith is no exception. If nothing else, they do this to get one brother to agree to plead guilty to something like felony intent to sell or manufacturing (another word for cultivation), in exchange for charges being dropped against the other brother.

It's similar to--We won't take your kids if you'll plead guilty to felony maintaining a place for illegal activity.

The was a reprint of an e-mail I received from Pebbles today. She can be reached directly at:
Pebbles Trippet Secretary, Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board
707.964.9377 PO Box 2555 Mendocino 95460 pebblestrippet [at] sbcglobal.net

Earlier articles on this subject that may provide more context:
Elders Tell Their Side of the Marijuana Raid
Drug War Against Patients Continues in Philo

News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: IndyBay.org
Author: Pebbles Trippet
Copyright: 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center
Contact: Contact Us : Indybay
Website: Marijuana Raid on long-time peace activist Zach Zachary : Indybay
Top Bottom