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Mar-10-2013 23:59printcomments

Pot Grower Prosecution in Spite of Prop. 215: a White Elephant for California Taxpayers, or What?

Prosecutors in case against legal marijuana grower may be showboating on a sinking ship.

Supporters of Eric Salerno in front of the court house at the conclusion of Friday's hearing.
Supporters of Eric Salerno in front of the court house at the conclusion of Friday's hearing.

(MARYSVILLE, CA) - It was an interesting day Friday, covering a hearing in the case against Eric Salerno in Marysville, held in the courtroom of Yuba County Judge Julia Scrogin. It was Mr. Salerno's latest appearance in a long running medical marijuana case. Medical cannabis is legal under California's Proposition 215.

Representing Eric Salerno, attorney Michael Levinson, presented a 1385 motion to dismiss on the grounds of recent appellate court rulings including Colvin and Jackson. Yuba County Judge Julia Scrogin agreed to review the cases.

Levinson explained to the judge that an expert they will be using in the case, Chris Conrad, will be avalable to testify in the case during the first week of May. has interviewed Conrad in the past due to his extensive background in California with regard to cannabis. Among his milestones and achievements, Conrad served as editor for Jack Herer's famous book,'The Emperor Wears No Clothes', viewed for many years as the definitive history book of marijuana.

Salerno and other clients of Levinson are fortunate, because the fact that California has a legal medical marijuana program seems to have fallen on deaf ears in Butte County. However they're anything but mute in Butte when it comes to voicing their interpretion of California's landmark legislation that removed criminal sanctions against those who grow this plant called cannabis, or marijuana.

Eric Salerno and Tim King of

Let's face it, we live in a country where credible science is only observed when it fits the political protocol of those in charge at the time. People are addicted to potentially fatal legal pharmaceutical drugs by the tens of thousands, yet marijuana has never killed a single human being in four thousand years of documented use, and still remains the object of prosecutorial desire in places like Butte County.

Politicians opened the gate in 2008. Supervisors in Eric Salerno's district of Butte County enacted a moratorium on legal Prop. 215 patients' rights to access and grow their own medicine.

Eric, who is also a writer, has a professional background with State and Federal Agencies where he assisted in recovery efforts in disaster stricken states. Today he battles charges for a 'crime' that is not a crime at all under state law. For many observers, it is hard to view the case as anything less than a baffling, extraordinary and tragic waste of taxpayer money.

However this case is not entirely unique, and other counties in California are also influenced by politicians who are simply determined to find ways to not enforce or cooperate with a state law enacted by the will of the voters.

Daisy Bram

The courtroom Friday was literally packed with supporters of Eric Salerno, you get an idea from the photo of activists and reporters who covered the case shown in the above photo shortly after emerging from the courtroom. One of them is a person whose saga we have followed, her name is Daisy Bram. She and Jayme Jeff Walsh, the father of two of their small boys, were charged with felony child abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment in Butte County, where Daisy believes she was singled out for breast-feeding while using medical marijuana.

Incredibly, after getting her children back, she was again stormed by authorities who literally ripped her children out of her hands, for a second time, On January 22nd, 2013. Tehama County officials removed the children from Daisy Bram and Jayme Walsh's Red Bluff residence, where they moved to get away from Butte County's strict and harsh treatment towards Prop. 215 patients. Their children once again are in CPS custody, Daisy Jean Bram and Jayme Jeff Walsh were arrested. It is a sad story.

I watched this happen in Oregon with the state's assisted suicide measure, which was endorsed by voters like the state's medical marijuana law. The agents of federal authorities press their laws which state law are supposed to trump.

In the meanwhile, California's most valuable cash crop remains untaxed and the prosecutors and courts continue to tie up large amounts of time and paperwork prosecuting families for growing a natural plant that is expressly legal to grow in their state.

Tim King

10 March 2013


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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim King reporting from the war in Iraq

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.

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Dan Richeson April 6, 2013 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

RE: Daisy Bram

If this is true and there are no other mitigating circumstances then this should be considered an act of kidnaping with "special" circumstances, terrorism, and an outright act of war. There needs to be a CALL TO ARMS here and a FAST return of these children to their parents. Those who abducted these children should now be considered by all to be forfeit of any rights. I sure would like to think that the judicial system would be effective in this case but I believe them to be compromised and complicant. An appeal should be made to the local Sherriff to intervene however, if that fails, CALL IN THE MILITIA.

Although I respect the efforts of Green Aid, lets face it, the judicial system WILL NOT render a fast or just verdict.

Buy stamps, envelops, print out copies of: "Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users", get the names and addresses of your state and federal representatives including the president and governor and, if you want, local reps. (Don't forget the UN) Address the envelopes, Sign and date the declaration, fold it and seal it in the envelope, affix the stamps and mail them BEFORE 04-20-2013. I realize it's a lot of hassle and some expense but prohibition is EVIL, there have been too many people spending too many years in prisons, too much paid in fines, too much property confiscated, too many innocent people killed by overzealous authorities in "marijuana raids", all to enforce a law that is unconstitutional to begin with. Am I asking too much of you? If you were the one behind bars, paying fines, forfeiting property, mourning the loss of a loved one, what I'm asking would seem trivial, wouldn't it?


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

Whereas for too long now it has been observed that disregard and contempt for human rights has been allowed to exist in the body of politically motivated law that outlaws the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis by adults.

The signatories of this Declaration wish to live in peace in this society, have been engaged in constant communication with their elected representatives individually or as part of groups.

The actions of the government in this regards demonstrates continued contempt and disregard that we the undersigned feel that we have NO RECOURSE but to regard our government and some of our fellow citizens as hostile towards our declared rights and indifferent to the tyranny, oppression and terrorism that we have too long had to deal with.

Whereas by this declaration we provide the opportunity and impudence for representatives to engage in good faith negotiations which will lead to peaceful co-exisistance.

Whereas we the undersigned do hereby declare that IT IS OUR RIGHT to cultivate, possess and use cannabis AND that any law that says otherwise will be treated by us as the tool of tyranny.

Whereas we the undersigned in declaring our desire to realize our liberties and our desire to live in peace also recognize that the point is near where our rights and liberties will have to be defended.

Whereas we the undersigned are willing to do all we can to avoid conflict we hope that this WARNING also provides our fellow citizens and our representatives the impudence to also seek peace and understanding within our society.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.