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Registered: 06/27/01
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Medicinal growers busted by trickery.
    #2250529 - 01/18/04 03:22 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Feds Bust Medical Pot Patients In Courtroom
By Ann Harrison, AlterNet
January 17, 2004

California medical marijuana activists are outraged over
the arrest last week of two medical marijuana patients who
face potential life sentences on federal drug charges
after being turned over by local authorities. David
Davidson, of Oakland, California and his partner Cynthia
Blake, of Red Bluff, California were arrested in a state
courtroom in Corning, California on January 13 as they
were seeking to dismiss state charges of marijuana
cultivation and distribution.

Davidson and Blake, both 53, have doctor's recommendations
to grow and consume medical marijuana under California's
1996 Compassionate Use Act (Prop. 215). While their
defense attorneys were meeting in the judge's chambers to
discuss the case with Tehama County assistant district
attorney Lynn Strom, Strom announced that she was
dropping the state charges because Davidson and Blake
were being arrested in the courtroom on a federal

One of the major flaws of California's medical marijuana
law is that it does not specify how many plants a patient
can grow or how much marijuana they can possess. Each
county or city sets its own guidelines and law
enforcement around the state has widely ranging
interpretations of how much marijuana patients should

The Sacramento U.S. Attorneys office did not return calls
seeking comment on the case. But Tehama County assistant
district attorney Jonathan Skillman argues that Davidson
and Blake were growing too much medical marijuana for
their personal use. Skillman said prosecutors came to
this conclusion after a raid on Davidson and Blake's
homes allegedly netted 1,803 plants and over 60 pounds of
"processed marijuana."

"He had plans to supply the entire West Coast," Stillman
claimed. "It is not in the realm of peronal use."

But Davidson says prosecutors inflated the number of
plants seized, which he says is reflected in the charges.
He and Blake have been charged with manufacturing more
than 100 marijuana plants and conspiracy to cultivate
more than 1,000 marijuana plants. The first charge
carries a five- to 40-year prison sentence. The second is
punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years
and a maximum of life in prison.

Davidson said Cynthia Blake was growing 33 plants when the
Tehama County sheriff's deputies raided her home in July.
Skillman acknowledges that the county has no official
plant limit for medical marijuana patients. But
prosecutors used this information to secure a warrant to
raid Davidson's house in Oakland, where he said he grew
about 400 plants, mostly single leaf cuttings. Oakland
patients are permitted by local ordinance to grow 72
mature plants and 32 square feet of marijuana garden

In last year's highly publicized federal case of Oakland
medical marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal, jurors declined to
include cuttings in the count of mature plants. As with
that case, Davidson and Blake will likely be barred from
arguing that their marijuana was for medical purposes
since federal law does not recognized Prop. 215.

'A Spiteful Investigation'
Davidson contends that his lawyers were winning his case
in state court, which prompted Strom to turn it over to
the federal prosecutors.
Skillman denies this charge and says there was nothing
improper about how Davidson and Blake were arrested.
Davidson disagrees.
"Our attorneys were lured into the judge's chambers and as
soon as the doors were closed, the deputies took us in a
car as fast as they could all the way to Sacramento where
we spent four hours chained in the county jail and held
24 hours before we could speak to counsel," Davidson
said. "Now I'm facing 10 to 15 years in prison and I'm 53
years old. It's unbelievable."

Steph Sherer, executive director of the national medical
marijuana coalition, Americans for Safe Access, disputed
the allegation that Davidson and Blake possessed 60
pounds of processed marijuana. Sherer says discovery in
the case indicates that prosecutors weighed sticks,
stems, leaf cuttings and even root balls to arrive at the
60-pound figure ? a tactic employed by some investigators
to inflate the weight of seized marijuana.
"This appears to be a spiteful investigation on behalf of
the DA, paid for by the taxpayers of California, and if
Strom would like to keep her job, she should respect the
laws of the state," said Sherer. "If she did not believe
this was a medical case she should have taken it to state
court, and not handed over two citizens of California to
the federal government for a 10-year mandatory sentence."

Sherer adds that Davidson and Blake's cases fall under a
recent ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,
which found that if the marijuana is not purchased,
transported across state lines, or used non-medically,
the federal government has no jurisdiction to prosecute
medical marijuana patients in California and other

Davidson, who says he's never been arrested or sold
marijuana, is currently free on a $50,000 federal and
$20,000 state bail, as is Clark.

"I've worked my whole life as a retail business owner and
I was set for semi-retirement and now I'm ruined,"
Davidson says. "I am nearly flat broke and I will be
before this is done."

Ann Harrison is a freelance reporter working in the Bay Area.

URL: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17591

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up it goes
 User Gallery
Registered: 01/02/03
Posts: 744
Loc: Cow field
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Re: Medicinal growers busted by trickery. [Re: windex]
    #2286974 - 01/30/04 01:56 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

poor guy this has to suck for him .

check my journal for my trade list

You see what you want to see not what it makes you see. I see said the blind man to the deaf women .

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Doctor ofShroomology
 User Gallery

Registered: 01/31/04
Posts: 4,130
Loc: florida
Last seen: 5 months, 1 day
Re: Medicinal growers busted by trickery. [Re: windex]
    #2295694 - 02/02/04 11:43 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

$70000 bail? It cost him a house just to get out... hope he's got some gange...

We got Nothing!
we're no longer selling jars.  :laugh:

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