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(Reuters)   Jurors mad they weren't told that convicted marijuana grower was "officer" for Oakland's medical marijuana program   ( asia.reuters.com) divider line
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9264 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2003 at 9:55 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2003-02-06 12:14:10 AM  
How the hell do anti-sodomy laws have any relevance to either me or this post?

And yes, it is a cold analysis of law. The law by definition is cold and analytical, it has to be. A man that steals $50 in food to feed his family is guilty of the same crime as the man that steals a $50 VCR to watch porn tapes. You can say the man who stole the food had a necessary reason for doing it, but someone is still out $50 because of it. Thats why the sentencing is done by a human judge, to consider these factors, and there are also parole boards, sentence reductions, etc. A crime must be a crime, regardless of justification, or every damned criminal will have excuses of why they were justified and shouldn't be convicted. Sure, its unfortunate that the food stealing man would be arrested and charged because he had to feed his family, but damnit, he broke the law. Complaining about how a good man was imprisoned is useless, he broke the law, whether you think that he should be punished for breaking it isn't the point. If you don't like the fact that he was charged for breaking that law, than exercise your farking democratic powers and work to change it.
 
2003-02-06 12:14:51 AM  
Young_Fart:

Only if the bail bondsman sponsors a Little League team.

/possibly obscure
 
2003-02-06 12:15:24 AM  
Only if the bail bondsman sponsors a Little League team.
---
Chico's Bailbonds.

/tanner
 
2003-02-06 12:15:46 AM  
that being said, I think the judge did interpret the law correctly but I take issue with the law itself.
 
2003-02-06 12:16:03 AM  
Law has more in common with religion than it does with justice.
 
2003-02-06 12:16:39 AM  
Sex0r:

Yeah, anyway...not planning on the bling-bling and the 70+ hour work week. I have a wife and theoretical kids whose company I'd like to enjoy. Where'd you get the sheepskin?
 
2003-02-06 12:16:49 AM  
Schling, that official duty was bestowed upon him by a law which is not legally valid as a federal law contradicts it.
 
2003-02-06 12:17:21 AM  
Only if the bail bondsman sponsors a Little League team.


You stumped me. Bad News Bears ?
 
2003-02-06 12:17:52 AM  
Sex0r:

Yes, Chico's!
 
2003-02-06 12:17:55 AM  
Millay,

Ohio St.
 
2003-02-06 12:18:59 AM  
Young_fart, Sex0r:

We are keepers of the 70's flame indeed.
 
2003-02-06 12:20:28 AM  
Sex0r:

You want JoePa? You can have him. Does Ohio have bar privilege?
 
2003-02-06 12:20:37 AM  
BlobBrain, if you're referring to that anti-sodomy law as a crime that its absurd for someone to be convicted of, then I agree, and the law should be changed.
I never agreed with the federal law on this matter, I stated earlier that this is a matter better left up to the states to make individual laws on. I agree that the federal law would be better off abolished and the matter left up to the states. But until that happens, people like Rosenthal are guilty of crimes.
 
2003-02-06 12:20:48 AM  
Millay:

Most of my point centers around the fact that one ought to obey the laws of their city/state/nation unless they are immoral or unethical (meaning that the law is unjust or contrary to conscience). You simply cannot make this case for marijuana, just as I cannot make the case for speeding. Comparisons to slavery are very disrespectful; being forced to work for little or no pay is nothing like not being allowed to smoke you favorite plant. If you can argue why a ban on growing marijuana is unjust or contrary to conscience (either immoral or unethical) then you will prove your point to me (ergo prove that the law ought not be followed), but so far you (along with all the other posters) have only resorted to biased facts [though I would have to say I doubt there are many unbiased facts regarding this issue], no valid statistical proof, and a little conjecture. I am more against the standard argument of the possibility of wealth redistribution through marijuana growth and sale, because that will not happen, than against marijuana itself. Considering as even if marijuana was legalized, the restrictions placed upon it would be much more harsh than current tobacco restrictions.

Just prove that the law is unethical or unjust. That is all I ask. This thread was about a man being arrested for committing a crime. He should have been arrested, there is a law currently on the books that says what he did was illegal. One cannot pick and choose which laws to follow; if he or she does, the system will collapse.
 
2003-02-06 12:21:05 AM  
ZTigerX: "Complaining about how a good man was imprisoned is useless, he broke the law, whether you think that he should be punished for breaking it isn't the point."

And so they nailed Jesus to the cross, and then played dice for his clothes.

Right. I shouldn't complain about Ed Rosenthal being tossed into prison in violation of common sense and human rights. Screw him and his family. And f/uck Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and anyone else with the gall to break the law.
 
2003-02-06 12:21:40 AM  
Obviously this guy broke the law...what relevance to that does his occupation have? It's like showing special prefernce to a legal gun dealer when he goes off and breaks gun laws by selling outside the parameters of the law...nonsense. I don't think the jury should have known about his occupation, that knowledge could have worked either for him or against him depending upon the juror - either way that could lead to the intent of the law being obscurred = mistrial...Jurors should stick to evaluating the evidence before them and makeing decisions based solely upon that evidence presented; under the guise of the governing laws/statutes involved.


/*tosses 2 more cents into the change pot*
 
2003-02-06 12:23:46 AM  
Come on. Comparing people who were denied basic human rights to people who want to light up some doobie is ridiculous.
 
2003-02-06 12:25:09 AM  
Sux0r:

So, they teach which human rights are suitable for Joe Sixpack and which aren't at Ohio (lower bar passage rate than Cinci) St. Law School?
 
2003-02-06 12:30:11 AM  
theflyingdutchman -"Comparisons to slavery are very disrespectful; being forced to work for little or no pay is nothing like not being allowed to smoke you favorite plant."

What else could you call the process by which an otherwise law abiding citizen is reduced into a prisoner with few rights?

Justice implies fair treatment and proportional reward/punishment. The pot head has stolen nothing. He has hurt no one, save (perhaps... it is shaky, and pot compares quite favorably to alcohol and tobacco, two legal substances) himself. Why should his freedoms be taken away? Is the punishment in measure with the crime?

No.
 
2003-02-06 12:33:38 AM  
Best Book in the Whole World

The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice


Lotsa nice history.
 
2003-02-06 12:34:13 AM  
Pot can harm the user, but why should the law against pot be far more harmful to the user than pot itself?
 
2003-02-06 12:35:04 AM  
flyingdutchman:

Continuum argument: marijuana is less harmful than currently legal drugs. To punish a lesser harm than X with a greater punishment than X is unjust. This is why involuntary manslaughter is not as big a deal as premeditated murder.

Coercion argument: you yourself admit that facts on weed are murky and rarely unbiased. Given that the harm can't be ascertained, it is unjust for the government to fine and imprison people with no hard facts. You go to jail based on majoritarian fiat, and not the good kind of majoritarian fiat.

Slavery again: there's something about the human moral compass that makes it clear that if huge, huge numbers of people violate a law, the law is probably unjust or at best superfluous.

Contrary to conscience: conscience is personal and subjective. Once you posit that personal conscience is to be the guide to what laws are to be followed, it is unjust to disregard a decision of conscience one has made. Because if you do, what does one's conscience mean anyway?

Well, it's a start.
 
2003-02-06 12:37:34 AM  
SexOr:

Clearly, the Supreme Court has decided that drugs can be regulated under "interstate commerce", but that doesn't mean people can't question the logic or motives behind that reasoning.

As you mentioned, the SC has broadened the power of the federal government, but do not forget that these decisions can be reversed. So "end of story" is inappropriate.

What is so disturbing about the use of the interstate commerce clause to block people from growing a plant for personal use is that there is absolutely no "commerce" being interfered with. Since there is no sale, and for that matter no possibility of an opportunity cost to a licensed marijuana distributor. The use of "commerce" is merely a excuse for legislating morality.

Personally, I feel that the most important element in this debate (and one that is largely ignored) would be the ninth amendment. If someone is sick and in pain, or unable to eat, that person in my opinion has a fundamental right to take whatever reasonable measures necessary to feel better. Eating and relieving pain are rights that are so basic that they should certainly considered within the realm which Alexander Hamilton concerned himself when he drafted the ninth amendment. Taking medication and judging for yourself which medications are appropriate should be the right of anyone in a civilized nation. It shouldn't even be about the States' rights, it is a basic human right to take care of yourself. And the ninth amendment states that the list of rights in the constitution is not to be construed as all-inclusive. Hamilton knew exactly how the people running the government in this era would think, but the only amendment that clearly describes how the rest of the document should be interpreted is usually ignore, and typically (and ironically) by the people who believe in a "strict" interpretation of the founders' original intent.

The feds only seem interested in States' rights when it comes to putting something offensive on a flag, but when the voters overwhelmingly approve a measure protecting a basic human right (like the death with dignity act in Oregon), suddenly it's important for some bureaucrats to decide how cancer victims should suffer, and to which pharmaceutical company they write their final checks.

It's disgusting. Government doesn't belong there, but as you mentioned... looks like that's where we are today thanks to the Supreme Court.
 
2003-02-06 12:37:54 AM  
2 cents:

This pile-of-crap case is the reason why i distrust a lot of what the federal government does. The fact that a Federal judge instructed the defense that it could not use the evidence that this man was acting on the assumption (at least in this case) that what he was doing was perfectly legal as dictated by the city of Oakland. it DOES farking matter!
 
2003-02-06 12:38:22 AM  
It's a farking PLANT, for chrissakes....
.<
 
2003-02-06 12:38:27 AM  
ZTigerX - I agree that the premise of defederalizing marijuana laws sounds good...But what then happens to people who traffic marijuana across state lines? It is for reasons related to this and the 5th and 14th amendments that there are federal laws pertaining to marijuana.

The legislators felt that by cultivating or selling "large" amounts of marijuana, that person would not only be doing harm to the people of the state in which the offense occurred, but that harm had the possibility of being so prolific that the federal government could also be affected. They applied this info to the Constitution and found a way to squeeze it in...Do I agree with the cultivation aspect of federal marijuana laws?, nope; but that's the way it is.

/*4 cents total in the pot*
 
2003-02-06 12:41:14 AM  
ooops, did i miss the flamewar?

Alcohol does more damage to society than any other drug out there. Period.

*as i drink my Guinness with the little rocket-widged thingy*
 
2003-02-06 12:42:48 AM  
Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK all were punished for breaking laws. Not necessarily laws that were just, but laws nonetheless. Jesus practiced and taught Christianity. The Roman Empire which killed him eventually converted to Christianity themselves, and had ended persecution of Christians long before. Gandhi wanted independence from India from the British (at least, I'm pretty sure thats what Gandhi fought for, I must admit I never paid much attention to anything about him). India gained independence from the British. MLK wanted civil rights for blacks. Blacks now have civil rights and the necessary laws to protect them. (Now the issue is more with getting people to recognize that and act fully in accordance with these laws). Nelson Mandela wanted an end to apartheid and was imprisoned. Aparteid ended, and he because president of South Africa. Ed Rosenthal grew weed and will be imprisoned for it. What will happen in the future regarding growing weed is uncertain. My point is that where these people challenged laws that were truly wrong and suffered for it, the laws were changed later. If growing weed is an unjust law that Rosenthal is being punished for breaking, it'll probably be changed. I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this, I kinda wandered without ever making a clear point, but basically I maintain that Rosenthal did commit a crime and should be punished for it. If it's wrong that he's being punished then you should work to change it.
 
2003-02-06 12:44:24 AM  
Goodnight, everybody.
 
2003-02-06 12:47:28 AM  
um, tiger, i think it should be pointed out to you that JESUS WAS A JEW!
 
2003-02-06 12:47:54 AM  
Appreciate the kudos and/or flames folks, glad I could oblige.

Hmm, a National Fark Party? That works on so many levels.
 
2003-02-06 12:48:24 AM  
ZTigerX

..."Jesus practiced and taught Christianity. The Roman Empire which killed him eventually converted to Christianity themselves..."

I thought the Jews killed Jeebus?

Regardless your last two sentences in your last post were dead on...
 
2003-02-06 12:48:31 AM  
It is amazing what one Senator and a bunch of misinformation can do.

How much do we spend on the drug war, again?

I don't particularily like cocaine, opium, heroin, or pcp, but Weed is pretty damn mild. As for it being a gateway drug. Well hell, how many people had a cig before having a beer? OBVIOUSLY cigs are a gateway drug as well! So is Asprin!
 
2003-02-06 12:51:05 AM  
Theflyingdutchman
Most of my point centers around the fact that one ought to obey the laws of their city/state/nation unless they are immoral or unethical (meaning that the law is unjust or contrary to conscience).

I completely agree.

If you can argue why a ban on growing marijuana is unjust or contrary to conscience (either immoral or unethical) then you will prove your point to me

This is the point that I would make, and I am unawaree of any serious agency/firm etc. taking this tact (although this does not mean one exist). It's bloody time consuming, ergo - not likely to be pursued.

I would not argue the validity of the prosecution of said law, nor would I argue states rights. I would simply argue that the Federal law itself is invalid, because of the research relied upon to determine that Marijuana is a harmful "drug", and therefore as such poses such a threat to the public that it requires regulation, (federal intervention). I would also argue that the entire farce that is Marijuana regulation, is based on the same biased, moral/religious climate that inspired the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920's, and is thereby a self fulfilling prophecy that has resulted in the unjust imprisonment of millions of persons within the United States.

Then I would shred their arse, statistic by statistic, case by case.

I don't see that attacking the enforcement of the law is the way to go - I think attacking the research that causes the law to exist is the way to go.

But that's very big bucks.
 
2003-02-06 12:51:47 AM  
By jailing local growers, the gov't is forcing dealers to get their crops from shadier, violent cartels abroad... thus the gov't is supporting terrorism.

I hope this judge chokes on his own vomit. :)
 
2003-02-06 12:54:23 AM  
SeXor... you don't think it's a "basic human right" to choose what goes into your own body?

And logically, if the government has to right to tell you what you CAN'T put into your body, it has the right to tell you what you MUST put into your body. So, can we then conclude that you would have no problem if congress, in say a bizarre attempt to promote equal rights for gays, passed a law that says that all men MUST swallow human sperm at least once a week?

Of course this is absurd - but then again isn't outlawing a certain PLANT (something that nature if left alone would grow at times) absurd too?
 
2003-02-06 12:54:59 AM  
Chichomang

You have a valid point which I can agree with in some ways. Hell, thats why we have elected representatives who meet and decide whether or not the federal government will regulate drugs like marijuana.

I now officially withdraw from this thread before I waste more time on a futile argument that won't change anyone's opinion. I leave with a concise statement of what I belive regarding this case, rip it apart as you'd like.

1.Under the current interpretation of the constitution, Congress has the power to ban drugs like marijuana.
2.Because there is a federal law banning marijuana, California's state law is moot.
3.Therefore, it is illegal everywhere in the United States to grow, possess, etc. marijuana.
4.Ed Rosenthal grew marijuana, therefore he broke the law.
5.As he broke a law, he should be punished for the law.
6.The evidence regarding medical marijuana was irrelevant to the case, as the federal law prevents it from being legal, even in California under the state law, so the judge was right to not allow the defense to present it.
7.The government of California was stupid to pass a law which contradicted a federal law, and the City of Oakland was stupid to give a permit based on an invalid law.
8.You can argue all you want about whether Congress should really be able to regulate marijuana, or whether the punishment is just, or how Rosenthal was a good person. In the current state of the law and interpretation of the Constitution everything in the case went exactly the way it should. I emphasize current because the validity of the conviction or the federal law could well change in the future with different laws or constitutional interpretation.
 
2003-02-06 12:57:30 AM  
Chichomang,

Nope, Jews couldn't find an appropriate crime in thier lawbooks, so they turned him over to the Romans to deal with him. Which they did. a lot of Radical Jews got put down like that.

"Oh Jesus? You mean that nice young Jewish kid that got nailed to a board?"
 
2003-02-06 12:57:30 AM  
I apologize for my incorrect labeling of Jesus as a Christian. That was wrong, but the underlying point of the example I used him in is still valid.
 
2003-02-06 12:58:21 AM  
7.The government of California was stupid to pass a law which contradicted a federal law, and the City of Oakland was stupid to give a permit based on an invalid law.
8.You can argue all you want about whether Congress should really be able to regulate marijuana, or whether the punishment is just, or how Rosenthal was a good person. In the current state of the law and interpretation of the Constitution everything in the case went exactly the way it should. I emphasize current because the validity of the conviction or the federal law could well change in the future with different laws or constitutional interpretation.


points 7 and 8 contradict each other. Passing those laws is a very good way to start a push for national legalization.
 
2003-02-06 12:58:34 AM  
02-06-03 12:48:31 AM
Aias
It is amazing what one Senator and a bunch of misinformation can do.
How much do we spend on the drug war, again?
I don't particularily like cocaine, opium, heroin, or pcp, but Weed is pretty damn mild. As for it being a gateway drug. Well hell, how many people had a cig before having a beer? OBVIOUSLY cigs are a gateway drug as well! So is Asprin!


Don't forget Flintstone vitamins :)

Seriously though, I'm a little foggy on this one. Not reading the article will do that to ya...anyway; could the argument not be made that since his immediate government (state) ruled that he be allowed to grow, that he was under the impression that he was in the right? Should the feds not take issue with the state, as opposed to the individual following this states laws? Fill me in here...thanks
 
2003-02-06 01:02:29 AM  
Actually, the Civil war settled the issue of whether state laws could trump federal laws, but I just think that they might have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. There are some things that are best left up to the states...

I understand the arguments for Federal law covering interstate transactions, but if it is local, let it stay local (in my book).
 
2003-02-06 01:04:20 AM  
The funny thing about our legal system is that there are no imutable laws.... wack schite, yo.
 
2003-02-06 01:06:20 AM  
ehhh, easier to blame the jews.


/kidding...I swear
 
2003-02-06 01:09:16 AM  
Jikel_Morten - it is the citizens responsibility to know the laws which he lives under; the feds can't go around warning everyone everytime they are about to do something illegal...Words for the Day = Personal & Responsibility
 
2003-02-06 01:09:46 AM  
I hope all 50 states legalize medicinal marijuana before federal law makes it legal. Mainly because we will see the DEA, realizing its impending unemployment, become a bunch of raving loons.
 
2003-02-06 01:10:44 AM  
i go with your point just wanted the facts straight, in fact, aias it was the jews that killed jesus, the romans couldn't find anything wrong with him and tried to set jesus free, the jews wouldn't have it though.
 
2003-02-06 01:11:19 AM  
The DEA would still have plenty to do...been to Harlem or Brooklyn lately, and Columbia, Peru, etc. don't give a damn about medicinal marijuana
 
2003-02-06 01:12:01 AM  
I knew it!!!
 
2003-02-06 01:13:31 AM  
Ed should have just stood up in the court and yelled "I'm an officer for the city of Oakland's medical marijuana program". Seriously. The judge would have been pretty pissed off and maybe found him in contempt, but that's not too serious of an offense I think. Meanwhile, the jury would have been told to ignore this information, but hopefully their sense of fairness would have forced them to consider it when reaching their verdict.
 
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