Ed Rosenthal's trial was a damnable travesty of justice worthy of
the most tawdry police state. Denied the right to discuss medical
marijuana, Prop. 215, or Oakland's designation of him as an official
mmj caregiver, Ed was given no defense. The jury's verdict was in
accordance with Judge Breyer's explicit injunction to disregard
justice and enforce the law.
Ed's conviction stands as a monument to the bankruptcy of federal
drug policy. Six years after Californians approved Prop. 215, the
feds have come up with no better response than to arrest, prosecute
and imprison those who supply marijuana to the seriously ill.
The value of Ed Rosenthal's contribution to the community is
amply attested by the host of friends and patients, many in
wheelchairs, who attended his trial. His persecution is a disgrace to
the U.S. government, an insult to the people of California, and an
inexcusable misuse of American taxpayers' money to save face for a
decadent, morally bankrupt narcocracy that prays on Americans'
freedom.
One thing is certain: this is NOT the end of Prop. 215. Medical
marijuana is here to stay. Ed's case is one of several currently in
the federal courts that raise compelling appellate issues. When the
dust is settled, Prop. 215 will stand, Ed will be vindicated, and the
marijuana laws will go the way of alcohol prohibition. In the
meantime, we of the medical marijuana community will stand steadfast
in our support and best wishes for Ed and his lovely family.
- Dale Gieringer, Cal NORML

Statement of Ed Rosenthal on the Medical Marijuana Trial Verdict
January 31, 2003

"I am disappointed in this verdict for several reasons.

"This was an unconstitutional prosecution. It should never have come to=
trial.

"Once it did, I was not afforded a jury of my peers. They had to
bring in 80 people to come up with 12 who would agree to set aside
their beliefs on this issue.

"Even so, they would have acquitted me if they had been permitted to
hear my story. But I did not get the chance in this trial to defend
myself and explain my actions.

"Federal prosecutors made extraordinary efforts to block the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Because the truth is that
I was deputized by the City of Oakland to legally grow marijuana for
medicinal use by sick or dying patients under California's Prop 215,
the Compassionate Use Act, the law that is supposed to guarantee safe
and legal access to medicinal marijuana.

"The City of Oakland showed courage in working to come up with a
safe, open, and legal system to harmonize California=92s medical
marijuana law with federal law. And I was acting as an official of
the city, implementing their program to help patients.

"Had the jury known about the City's attempts to give immunity to
their people, including me, it would have acquitted me today.

"The other victims of today's decision are patients -- people who are
extremely ill or dying and who are soothed by medicinal marijuana --
because I am only one of many people that they are trying to put in
jail for helping sick people, as allowed under our laws.

"For these reasons, we will be asking for a new trial. This verdict
will not be allowed to stand.

"The federal government silenced my courtroom defense, but it can't
silence the court of public opinion. The opinion of the American
public is one of overwhelming support of medicinal uses of marijuana.

"The federal government needs to get this message.

"My case clearly demonstrates that it is time for a national debate
on the issue of medical marijuana. California voted to make medical
marijuana legal, but the federal government is trying to block that
law. The federal government is choosing to prosecute and imprison
individuals instead of working directly with the State of California
and local cities to resolve the conflicts in medical marijuana law.

"Our elected officials must have the courage to discuss this issue
publicly, and then resolve this conflict.

"Because helping sick people should never be a crime.

"For my entire family, thank you all for your support."

- --Ed Rosenthal



Pubdate: Sat, 01 Feb
(1) Statement by Dale Gieringer, Coordinator, California NORML,
Co-sponsor, Prop. 215 on Ed Rosenthal's Show Trial & Conviction
(2) Statement by Ed Rosenthal
(3) AP Story by David Kravets
www.sfgate.com