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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amid cheers from supporters, marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal has been sentenced to a single day in jail for growing the drug in violation of federal law even though California allows its cultivation for medical use.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he handed down the light sentence because of the "extraordinary circumstances" of the case -- referring to the fact that growing marijuana for medical purposes was legal under a voter-approved California law.
But during the trial, the judge had not allowed Rosenthal, a 58-year-old self described "ganja guru," to present evidence that he had grown the marijuana as an officer of the city of Oakland, which had a medical marijuana program.
As a result, a jury found Rosenthal guilty of violating federal law with several jurors trying afterward to recant the verdict when they found out the circumstances of the case,
Breyer sentenced Rosenthal to a single day in prison but gave him credit for time served so he walked out of court a free man. He also fined Rosenthal $1,300 (815 pounds).
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