Thursday May 23, 2013
Jury Acquits Washington Man in Medical Marijuana CaseBonnie King Salem-News.com
After nearly two years of relentless accusations and threat of jail time, it is now all a matter of history.
(PORT ORCHARD, Wash.) - A Washington man who being prosecuted for marijuana in spite of the fact that he is a legal, registered medical marijuana patient in Washington, has been acquitted by a jury. His wife was also arrested in the May 2007 raid at their home, and she previously pleaded guilty over pressure from the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office in Port Orchard.
54-year old Bruce Olson had faced one count of "manufacturing" (growing) marijuana and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The trial lasted a full two weeks.
The prosecution's star witnessed according to trial attendees, was a drug addict who had to be brought out from Oklahoma.
Olson's case dates back to May 2007. That is when detectives with the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team made their arrest, contending that Olson had more marijuana than state law allowed. Unfortunately for the Olson's and others in Washington, the law was vague concerning the number of plants allowable, and so certain prosecutors took advantage of that by arresting legal patients.
The Kitsap Sun's Josh Farley reported that the jury spent between two and three hours deliberating both Monday and Tuesday, before returning the verdict.
Bruce Olson can breathe a sigh of relief, but the actions and motives of the prosecutor's office here have raked Mr. Olson through the mud. As a result of what now appears to have been a bogus arrest, he had to sell his home of over 20 years to fund his defense, and he and his wife, Pamela, now live in an RV.
To make matters even worse, the state of Washington decided that she can not use medical marijuana for her pain while she's on probation.
Regardless of all they've been through, the Olson's feel they've helped others.
"But it's worth it for the cause: Quit arresting medical marijuana patients," he said after the verdict.
This verdict is celebrated around the country, as medical marijuana patients (legal in 13 states) feel validation through the judicial system they entrust with their very lives.
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