Wednesday June 19, 2013
Pot Grower Prosecution in Spite of Prop. 215: a White Elephant for California Taxpayers, or What?Political Perspective by Tim King Salem-News.com
Prosecutors in case against legal marijuana grower may be showboating on a sinking ship.
(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.
Salem-News.com 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.
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 Salem-News.com 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.
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.
10 March 2013
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
You can write to Tim at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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 Salem-News.com'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'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 Salem-News.com 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 Salem-News.com, 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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