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Feds arrest medical marijauna patients the moment State dismissed charges.
marijuana.com ^ | 1 -14 -03 | William Dolphin

Posted on 01/16/2004 7:47:17 AM PST by freepatriot32

Feds Grab Medical Marijuana Patients from California State Courtroom

Couple Arrested As Attorneys and Judge Meet in Chambers; State Charges Dismissed

Press Conference, Emergency Action at Sacramento Federal Building at Noon Friday

Sacramento (Wednesday, January 14, 2004) – In a stunning display of duplicitous double dealing, federal agents yesterday seized two medical marijuana patients from a California state courtroom after the local prosecutor lured the couple’s defense counsel into the judge’s chambers to dismiss the state charges filed against them.

David Davidson and Cynthia Blake were in state court on a motion seeking to have charges of marijuana cultivation and distribution dismissed, based on the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 which made medical use of marijuana legal in California. Both Ms. Blake and Mr. Davidson have doctors’ authorizations to use marijuana for medical conditions. Fewer than 30 plants, little more than a pound of dried marijuana and some cuttings were seized by the Tehama Sheriff’s Department during the July 29th raid on the Red Bluff home of Ms. Blake that resulted in her and Mr. Davidson’s arrest.

As Davidson and Blake’s attorneys, Omar Figueroa and Shari Greenberger, met in the judge’s chambers with prosecutor Lynn Strom to discuss the details of dismissing the charges, prosecutor Strom informed them that she was dropping the charges only because federal officers were at that moment arresting Davidson and Blake in the courtroom.

“These federal arrests are utterly outrageous,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, a national medical marijuana coalition. “The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already said they are violating the Constitution when they arrest patients. And now they are tricking defense attorneys to separate them from their clients. How many rights have to be trampled before we fix this?”

Americans for Safe Access has called for emergency actions on Friday at noon at federal buildings across the country. Demonstrations are currently planned in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Cincinnatti, and Spokane, with more in the works.

A press conference with Ms Blake, Mr. Davidson, attorney Tony Serra, and Steph Sherer will also take place in front of the Sacramento federal building at 5th and I. David Davidson and Cynthia Blake were released yesterday on $50,000 bond each, and will be arraigned Friday at 2 pm in Sacramento. The government alleges that they were conspiring to cultivate and distribute 1000+ plants (a 10 year mandatory minimum if convicted); and that they were in actual possession of 100+ plants.( a 5 year mandatory minimum if convicted)

Their lawyers are confident they will be exonerated. You may recall that Bryan Epis was convicted in this same court of conspiracy (based on some misrepresented computer files).

Please organize something locally for tomorrow if you can - sample press release, flyers, and Citation orders can be downloaded from: ASA

WHAT: Press Conference and protest of the federal arrest of David Davidson and Cynthia Blake.

WHO: David Davidson and Cynthia Blake. Attorney Tony Serra. Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access.

WHEN: Friday, January 16, 2004 at Noon

WHERE: Federal building in Sacramento (5th and I). Federal buildings across the country.

A grassroots coalition of 5,500 patients, doctors and advocates, Americans for Safe Access is the leading national organization working on medical marijuana. For more information, contact William Dolphin (510) 919-1498.

# # #

Hilary McQuie Campaign Director Americans for Safe Access 1678 Shattuck Ave. #317 Berkeley, CA 94709 510-486-8083 www.safeaccessnow.org


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aclulist; billofrights; california; constitutionlist; donutwatch; govwatch; libertarians; noteworthy; philosophytime
is it just me or is everyone having a hard time telling the difference from george bushs federal agents and bill clintons? Any day now i expect to turn on the news and see a religious compound burning down with women and children in it but the firestarters would have a (R) next to thier name so it would be peachy keen right ?
1 posted on 01/16/2004 7:47:18 AM PST by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32
The Federal government is fighting a rearguard action on this issue. I predict that, within a decade, marijuana will be legal for personal use in this country.
2 posted on 01/16/2004 7:52:59 AM PST by Modernman (Providence protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: freepatriot32
They pulled this same thing in Santa Cruz County about a year ago. The whole thing is like the Twilight Zone.
3 posted on 01/16/2004 7:56:01 AM PST by EggsAckley (...................Repeal the Fourteenth Amendment.......................)
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To: jmc813; **California; *ACLU_List; *libertarians; *gov_watch; *Constitution List; *Donut watch; ...
ping
4 posted on 01/16/2004 7:56:08 AM PST by freepatriot32 (today it was the victory act tomorrow its victory coffee, victory cigarettes...)
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To: freepatriot32; Admin Moderator
Why was this thread SBRed?

Is the site linked obnoxious?

The story itself certainly seems appropriate to this forum.
5 posted on 01/16/2004 7:58:25 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: freepatriot32
is it just me .......

Probably.

The issue here is the federal law and a general California reluctance to eliminate pot.

The federal law is being enforced in California. The folks in California are not being allowed to cherry pick which laws they will obey and which laws they will not obey.

If you can't differentiate Ashcroft from the the Clinton Alcoholic Lesbo Reno, there is a significant problem.
6 posted on 01/16/2004 7:58:26 AM PST by bert (Have you offended a liberal today?)
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To: Admin Moderator
Oh , short-bussed, not SBRed.

Same question.
7 posted on 01/16/2004 7:59:48 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: headsonpikes
Oops! NOW it's SBRed!

Pardon my French, but WTF?
8 posted on 01/16/2004 8:01:41 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: headsonpikes
Because the owners don't want you to know that busting patients is high on the Bush prirority list.
9 posted on 01/16/2004 8:22:36 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
Think they'll try this tactic with the Denver case?
10 posted on 01/16/2004 8:25:39 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36
They'll keep it up until local voters hold local elected officials responsible. The Feds busting patients who aren't violating State law is one thing, State law enforcment being complicit in the arrests is another.
11 posted on 01/16/2004 8:36:34 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: headsonpikes; Admin Moderator
thats a good question it cant be because of a flame war since there isnt one on this thread and this is definitly news that should be on free republic unless support of the tenth amendment has all of the sudden becomea liberal issue best left to the democrat underground forums ?
12 posted on 01/16/2004 9:33:06 AM PST by freepatriot32 (today it was the victory act tomorrow its victory coffee, victory cigarettes...)
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To: bert; freepatriot32
If you can't differentiate Ashcroft from the the Clinton Alcoholic Lesbo Reno, there is a significant problem.

I think that was what freepatriot32 was saying.

13 posted on 01/16/2004 10:46:05 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (The King of Cups expects a picnic. But today is not his birthday)
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To: philman_36; headsonpikes; freepatriot32; jmc813; No King but Jesus; Protagoras; William Terrell; ...
Found this little tidbit in another article.

When they did, Tehama County Sheriff's deputies -- acting on federal authority under a local-federal drug task force's auspices -- arrested the pair on the federal charges, issued last week by a grand jury in Sacramento.

So not only are the State's attorneys playing for the Feds, so are the local troops. National Police Force, anyone?

14 posted on 01/16/2004 1:48:05 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: bert
The issue here is the federal law and a general California reluctance to eliminate pot.

Query: Exactly how would you go about eliminating pot?

15 posted on 01/16/2004 1:57:45 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: Admin Moderator
I'm in agreement with these other folks. Why in the world did you move this article to the Smokey Back Room and out of the line of sight?

This is a rather egregious development in the tactics of the feds, don't you think? Is it your purpose to screen this kind of federal brutality, playing fast and loose with our justice system, from the rest of the forum?

Why would you want to hide it?

Do you condone this duplicitous, vile alliance on the part of our federal and state justice system? What if it occured in an area of regulation like firearms, which it could easily do, having established preecedent and become custom?

Let everybody in the forum see it. Let them consider its implications. I would have expected this sort of thing from DU.

16 posted on 01/16/2004 2:17:26 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: William Terrell
There is apparently no effective way to eliminate pot.

There are laws and they should be obeyed.

Otherwise it'll be open season on lawyers.
17 posted on 01/16/2004 2:50:47 PM PST by bert (Have you offended a liberal today?)
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To: William Terrell; Wolfie; jmc813; headsonpikes
good question, why move to the SBR, when this is very interesting case
arrest someone on fed charges as case is being dismissed on local level.
I guess they were guilty of violating the interstate laws.
18 posted on 01/16/2004 2:57:52 PM PST by vin-one (I wish i had something clever to put in this tag)
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To: vin-one
Any bets as to wheather the word "interstate" appears anywhere on the warrant?
19 posted on 01/16/2004 3:01:16 PM PST by tacticalogic (Controlled application of force is the sincerest form of communication.)
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To: tacticalogic
depends on the odds your offering, but they would have to be pretty darn good.
20 posted on 01/16/2004 3:14:28 PM PST by vin-one (I wish i had something clever to put in this tag)
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To: vin-one
For or against?
21 posted on 01/16/2004 3:17:34 PM PST by tacticalogic (Controlled application of force is the sincerest form of communication.)
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To: freepatriot32
Any updated news on this?
22 posted on 01/16/2004 11:37:35 PM PST by kingu (Remember: Politicians and members of the press are going to read what you write today.)
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To: kingu
yes there is this update i found

Feds Bust Medical Pot Patients In Courtroom

By Ann Harrison,
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 indictment.


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 have.


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 canopy.


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 states.


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
23 posted on 01/24/2004 9:06:45 AM PST by freepatriot32 (today it was the victory act tomorrow its victory coffee, victory cigarettes...)
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To: bert
The issue here is the federal law and a general California reluctance to eliminate pot.

Please tell me where in the constitution the feds are given the power to control something which happens entirely within one state.

24 posted on 01/24/2004 9:10:00 AM PST by CurlyDave
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To: CurlyDave
Now come on here... you KNOW they can't do that. So they always cite the "supremacy clause" as if ANY federal law trumps ANY State law, no matter HOW far afield the federal "law" is from Constitutional limitations. You will NOT get a good and honest answer from bert or any OTHER WODDIE about that.
25 posted on 01/24/2004 9:20:16 AM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.)
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To: bert
bert said "The federal law is being enforced in California. The folks in California are not being allowed to cherry pick which laws they will obey and which laws they will not obey."

Unless, of course, the laws in question deal with illegal immigration...right?
26 posted on 01/24/2004 9:31:06 AM PST by pdunkin
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