Now Playing at Reason.tv: Why California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner Charlie Lynch Was Found Guilty in Federal Court of Selling Drugs

reason has been reporting on the trial of Charles Lynch, who operated a medical marijuana dispensary in California that was fully legal under state law.

Two days ago, Lynch was found guilty in federal court on five counts of distributing drugs and, if given the maximum sentence, faces an effective life sentence. Read reason's take here.

In this latest reason.tv video, we talk to Lynch's lawyers and the forewoman of the jury to find out precisely how Lynch got convicted and what happens next. It's a disturbing, provocative video that should make even the hardiest drug warrior wonder just what the hell we're doing locking up businessmen who play by the rules and give aid and comfort to sick people. That Lynch's conviction was virtually guaranteed under federal law simply underscores how immoral those laws are.

Previous Lynch trial video updates can be found here and here. reason.tv's documentary short on the case, Raiding California, can be found here.

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  • ||

    Well we can't allow people to sell drugs in Federal court, now, can we?

  • ||

    Yes, and By Golly, the Public is Safer Now....We have a dangerous compassionate person behind bars! The rapists, ID Thieves, Murderers, Cons and Black Market Dealers have another day with No Worries as "they" pursue those God-Awful Cannabis People and the Sick and Dying suffer the consequences.

    Ahhh, we can be so proud of our Tax Payer funded "Paid humanitarians" (LEO) that are keeping US safe from the sick and the sick from the Medication that works for them!

  • ||

    So much for 'federalism'.

    Another reason to mandate fully informed juries.

    And eliminate DEA.

  • ||

    Why do the jurors have no idea the charges they are inflicting upon someone? She had no idea how long he would be sentenced for, not that she particularly seemed to care. Also, despite the fact that he was clearly guilty of whatever laws he was being charged of breaking, the jury still does not have to find him guilty.

  • h-dawg||

    I think I saw the forewoman choke for a moment when the interviewer told her that Lynch might face prison for the rest of his life. She tried to go all "if that's what you say. I have no idea," but I would guess that comment ruined the rest of her week.

  • ||

    How sad. This guy clearly stepped on the wrong toes. its all about WHO you know I guess.

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • Episiarch||

    Someone please kill the ultimate anonymity guy. Right now.

    I can't WTFV as I am at work but the callousness of the people on a jury that could convict this dude really creeps me out. I know that if I were on a jury I'd need to be absolutely convinced of the guilt of the defendant and I'd need to think what they did was an actual crime before I could even think of voting to send them away.

    I guess I'm rare.

  • The Reasoners||

    Well we can't allow people to sell drugs in Federal court, now, can we?

    Oog. Fixed.

  • ||

    I know that if I were on a jury I'd need to be absolutely convinced of the guilt of the defendant and I'd need to think what they did was an actual crime before I could even think of voting to send them away.

    Not really, but you'd have no chance of making it onto a jury. Especially if you also say that you believe that police are just as capable of lying as anyone else.

    I'd like to see a case like this go before the SCOTUS. If nothing else, it'd fun to hear Justice Scalia rationalize the DEA busting dispensaries that are legal in their home states as being the correct "originalist" viewpoint.

  • Ourobors||

    This is what jury nullification is for, folks.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_nullification#United_States

  • adrian||

    so where do we buy 'stop the lynching' shirts. can this guy be the martyr that ends the WoD?

  • ||

    Someone please kill the ultimate anonymity guy. Right now.

    Termination with extreme prejudice seems appropriate.

  • ||

    You won't end the war on drugs until millions of folks stop believing the bullshit about marijuana. Decades of indoctrination taught folks that if you smoke mj you will:
    a)turn into a murderer/rapist
    b)steal your aunt Mabel's false teeth to sell for more weed
    c)try to fly from tall buildings
    d) go to the outhouse and blow yer brains out
    e) all of the above

    Blind hatred of the ganja is very hard to overcome.

  • ||

    Why do the jurors have no idea the charges they are inflicting upon someone?

    When I was doing jury duty in Oregon, we were told by the judge that we were not allowed to find out any information about the case outside of the courtroom, and he specifically mentioned looking up sentence ranges online as something we'd be forbidden to do.

    It's pretty clearly another way they try to keep the jury from determining whether the law itself is just, along with the handout from the Oregon Bar Association all prospective jurors got, which plainly claims that jurors are not supposed to judge the law, but just whether the defendant violated it.

  • red green||

    What will the Fedpig do with the other 600 or so dispensers,in CA.? The next 3 or 4 months should be interesting, in a tragic sort of way.

  • ||

    We will send a brother to prison for a pocketful of herb and then go get dogassed drunk to celibrate. The good reverend was wright. God Damn america.

  • ||

    Good riddance! It is now time for hime to go to prison and repay his debt to society. Amen.

  • ||

    This is a good example of why jurors need to be informed of their right to nullify. The foreperson of the jury saying "they had no choice" but to convict. They had a choice. They didn't want to use it.

    I knew this was going to happen, but it still depresses me. Hopefully he gets a 1 day sentence at most, like what happened in that other case.

  • ||

    They had a choice. They didn't want to use it.

    I don't think they knew they had a choice. I'm sure the instructions they got that day were similar to mine.

    I'm a wacky libertarian who'd read FIJA materials before I was ever called up. But Joe Public? He's probably never even heard of jury nullification, and has no concept of the... concept.

  • ||

    I'm a wacky libertarian who'd read FIJA materials before I was ever called up. But Joe Public? He's probably never even heard of jury nullification, and has no concept of the... concept.

    And that's exacerbated by all the experts(the attorneys and the judge) effectively telling him that no such thing exists and issuing criteria for guilt.

  • ||

    The last time I had jury duty, while I was waiting with a group outside the courtroom waiting to go in for voir dire, I was explaining the concept of jury nullification to my fellow jurors. Shockingly enough I wasn't asked to be a part of the jury. :)

    But seriously, you're right. I shouldn't have said they chose not to use it. My point was more towards this being more evidence that as part of the judge's instructions to the jury before they begin to deliberate, the judge should instruct the jury of their constitutional right to nullify.

  • Colin||

    Someone please kill the ultimate anonymity guy. Right now.

    Where's Toby Keith when you need him? :)

  • ||

    I don't know if this is a ray of hope, but I thought that there was a scotus case that said that the federal sentencing guidelines were not mandatory...just....guidlines (god you have to fucking give it to the feds to be able to understand the plain meaning of a word).

    I wish the judge had the balls to sentence him to time served and fine him $1.00 per count. But I have complete faith that the judge will be nothing more than do what the DEA tells him to do.

  • Total BS||

    You're right, lets shut down all pharmacies!

  • Mr. X||

    He didn't have the names of any of the DEA agents he talked to? When those conversations are what supported his decision to open a dispensary?

    I'm not surprised the jury didn't believe him.

  • Paul||

    I can't WTFV as I am at work but the callousness of the people on a jury that could convict this dude really creeps me out.

    I haven't WTFV either, but it's possible that they had to convict him based on judges instructions. We'll let our lawyer friends weigh in on this. But if you have a federal law that says anyone caught selling x-quantity of marijuana is guilty of a class 'x' crime, and everyone on the jury agrees to the findings that he sold x-quantity of marijuana, not convicting him would be essentially legislating from the jury box. The federal jury can't really be expected to weigh the merits or his compliance with a California law (even though we know he was). That would require a seperate state trial.

    I don't agree with the federal law (obviously) but I'm not sure what the path of reform is when a federal law is in direct conflict with a state law.

    This can happen at lower levels of government, too: a city municipal code is in direct conflict with a state law, or reverse.

  • ||

    People tell me that the war in Iraq is a much more important issue than the War on Drugs. But the War on Iraq must end, sooner or later, as we simply cannot afford to keep waging it. The Drug War, on the other hand, can apparently go on forever, providing the excuse and laboratory for escalating tyranny at home.

    People also look down on the idea of political "litmus tests" as being both narrow-minded and naive. But if there ever were an issue that could serve as an ideal litmus test, the drug war is it. The ramifications of the Drug War go way beyond the question of dealing with the "drug menace." As we see in the Lynch case, for instance, the corruption inherent in the Drug War strikes at the heart of our rule of law and our national principle of federalism.

    The central issue of the Drug War is this question: "Who owns you?" If someone else owns you, that person is entitled to tell you what you can or cannot do with your own body, what you cannot (or must!) eat, drink, smoke, use as drugs, etc. Otherwise, such decisions are left to you.

    Please find out where every candidate you are considering for election or re-election stands on the "who owns you" question, and specifically the War on Drugs. Please defeat or dismiss anyone who doesn't believe 100% in your own self-ownership. Forget the Democrats and Republicans and who does or does not have a "majority" in Congress. Unless and until we can get a majority that believes in citizen self-ownership, AND HAS THE COURAGE TO ACT ON SUCH BELIEF, we will continue in effective slavery. Just because the master treats you well from time to time, doesn't mean you are any less of a slave. If you want to be the master, or at least not have one, I urge you to practice litmus test politics this year, and at every election thereafter until we win.

  • Bingo||

    as part of the judge's instructions to the jury before they begin to deliberate, the judge should instruct the jury of their constitutional right to nullify.


    Has anyone tried getting an initiative on their state ballot that would change the law to require this? Call it like a "Juror Information Act" and phrase it that the judge MUST tell jurors about all options available to them, including nullification.

    Seems like something that would be a huge step in the right direction.

  • ||

    It is a shame that the supposed peers which are deemed fit to judge us in our lowest hour are not given the tools and information required to make sound decisions. Seemingly the jurors in this case, who were conflicted about handing down their sentence, did not realize or more importantly were not informed that they hold the right to evaluate the legality and legitimacy of the law. Rather than convicting Lynch, a responsible jury should have informed the court and the nation that to convict Mr. Lynch is an illegal act.

  • ||

    "not convicting him would be essentially legislating from the jury box..."

    And what is the problem with that? I agree with someone who posted earlier: serving on juries and, if necessary, nullifying, is FAR more important and effective than voting. The jury system is not just there to determine facts, it is there as one of the checks and balances that are available to us to prevent the kind of tyranny that has been visited upon Mr. Lynch. By conducting trials and instructing juries as it does, the Federal government is attempting to distort, neuter, and abuse the jury system. In the Lynch case, it appears to have succeeded (so far). This is completely unamerican, not to mention just plain wrong, and we the people must put a stop to it.

    Don't worry about an explosion of legislation from the jury box. First, there aren't that many trials. Second, the jury's only extraordinary power to "legislate" is to let the defendant walk. The jury cannot strike down law or create new law. Third, juries take their service seriously, if my own experience as a juror and the stories of many others are any indication. They generally want to honor the law and issue just verdicts. As long as the laws are honorable, and defendants are truly guilty of breaking them, juries will continue to convict. But one of the most important functions of a jury is also to judge whether the law itself is just, or applied justly, in the case at hand. To the extent that our laws are unjust or applied capriciously, I think that "legislating" from the jury box is not only a good thing, but an example of how juries fulfill their duty to society.

  • Paul||

    I'm sure the instructions they got that day were similar to mine.

    I'm a wacky libertarian


    Jake, you're a libertarian and you got on a jury? What questions did you lie about to get on? I have it on good authority from multiple sources that if lawyers smell the 'l-word' they move to disqualify.

  • Paul||

    And what is the problem with that? I agree with someone who posted earlier: serving on juries and, if necessary, nullifying, is FAR more important and effective than voting.

    The first thing that comes to mind is the same thing we think when judges legislate from the bench: all fine and good when you agree with the judge. Really enraging when you don't.

    Also, speaking to this particular case, you might get a situation where you'd have the law being applied unequally. Two cases, both defendents on trial for selling x-quantity of marijuana. One is nullified, the other is convicted. What's the difference? One was a white business man selling in california, the other was a black dealer selling from his apartment in Detroit.

  • Black Market Paranoia||

    It is good that the federal government is ensuring that the Cannabis market continue to be dominated by Mexican gangs and other foreign organized crime families. I'm sure that the Ukrainian smugglers and Taleban hashish tax collectors rejoice at such convictions. Without the oppression of our domestic business people, there would be little money for the gangsters and terrorists to buy AK-47s and RPGs.

  • ||

    There's a reason why you are entitled to be tried by a jury of your peers - historically, juries were a check on the power of the nobility that made up the state.

    Jurors have every right to acquit for any reasonl, including disagreeing with the law. One of the fundamental distortions of our justice system is the idea that juries exist solely as "triers of fact." Finding the facts is just one of their functions. Applying the law to the facts is another. That's why they render verdicts, rather than just issuing a report on their findings.

  • ||

    One is nullified, the other is convicted. What's the difference?

    In one case, justice is done. In the other, someone goes to jail. I'd rather have disparate outcomes where justice is done at least some of the time, than uniform injustice.

  • Paul||

    It is good that the federal government is ensuring that the Cannabis market continue to be dominated by Mexican gangs and other foreign organized crime families.

    I'm curious to see what's going to happen to the California law. I see it like this: the state I live in passes a law allowing activity that has a federal law expressly forbidding said activity. Do you engage in said activity in the state?

  • ||

    I think the important thing for jurors to remember is that they are acting as arbiters of *justice* and not law.

    The distinction is very important! Law is a set code, and is the purview of legislators and lawyers. It is a *tool* of justice, a means to an end. It is not, however, the ultimate master, for it is cold, callous, and utterly inhuman.

    Justice is the balance point between cold, logical codified conduct, the human need for punishment, and the virtue of mercy and understanding. It defines the true criminal and determines his fate. No other should take that role.

    In our system, as it is, juries are given little power to determine what is just. They cannot pass lighter judgment on the virtuous fool than the ravening madman. They cannot dictate the terms and conditions that would best serve justice. They can only return a guilty or not guilty to the court.

    Thanks to harsh, life destroying sentences and unjust penalties disproportionate to crimes, a juror is oft placed in a sad position. He must choose to destroy a person in manner far beyond the scope of his alleged crime, or let him escape punishment unscathed. Either is a poor outcome, and both cause juror and defendant alike considerable harm. What man can sleep easy knowing he has condemned another to suffering a lifetime for a stolen loaf of bread?

    This situation is further inflamed by the myriad pressure of overzealous prosecutors, police officers, and judges. They have lost sight of Justice, and see only law. What has become priority to their ranks has become the clang of the gavel and jailhouse door - not the balance of upheld scales.

    I know not what remedy will halt the suffering of the alleged American Justice System. What panacea could there be to undo so much corruption and neglect? I fear that there is none but the slow march of time - perhaps, if we endeavor now, our children's children may embody the virtue our society demands.

  • Paul||

    I'd rather have disparate outcomes where justice is done at least some of the time, than uniform injustice.

    Many would argue that's what we have right now.

    Here's my problem with putting your bets behind drug war reform through jury activism: it'll never work. We'll never get 150,000,000 potential jurors to feel and think the same way we do. This has to be done legislatively. It's going to be easier to convince a few hundred legislators that the drug war is wrong (or unjust, or for chrissakes, just needs some reasonable reforms) than it is to convince millions of jurors to nullify certain verdicts.

    Felix:

    I think the important thing for jurors to remember is that they are acting as arbiters of *justice* and not law.

    Agreed. Except there are all kinds of places where a judge can simply call a mistrial if he feels the jurors didn't properly follow instructions. Eg: "you can't find the defendent guilty of the second charge if you don't find the defendent guilty of the first"

    I really think that some kind of grass-roots jury reform is a really, really long shot. Love to see it happen, but I just don't have faith in juries. See: current system.

  • ||

    Paul said, "The first thing that comes to mind is the same thing we think when judges legislate from the bench: all fine and good when you agree with the judge. Really enraging when you don't."

    But when a judge "legislates" from the bench, he or she actually compels behavior, strikes or declares the "proper" interpretation of the law, sets precedent for future cases, etc. Just letting a defendant walk, while perhaps enraging to some, doesn't mean that the law itself is stricken, that any precedent or policy is set, or that someone else won't be in court for breaking the same law tomorrow. This is why I don't get worked up over jury nullification, and don't think that the comparison to activist judges is all that apt.

    Paul also said, "...you might get a situation where you'd have the law being applied unequally. Two cases, both defendants on trial for selling x-quantity of marijuana. One is nullified, the other is convicted. What's the difference?" As RC Dean suggested in reply to Paul, the net effect is probably that less injustice is done. I do not accept the idea that the "unequal" application of bad law is something that we should avoid. Of course, we shouldn't stop there. We should repeal bad law outright. But until repeal happens, every defendant who walks, by whatever means, represents a victory for justice: a good thing.

  • Paul||

    James A. Merritt

    I don't take exception with your reply. I'm trying to make a larger point.

    Yes, if a law is agreed to be bad (by libertarians frequenting H&R) then an occasional jury nullification is reducing the amount of injustice is good (as seen by libertarians frequenting H&R). The problem here is that the world is a little more diverse than that. There are, for instance, marijuana legalization advocates who vote for draconian smoking bans. See how messy this can get if we just leave it up to juries to reform our drug war?

    But until repeal happens, every defendant who walks, by whatever means, represents a victory for justice: a good thing.

    Again, I don't disagree. How's that workin' out so far?

  • ||

    Paul wrote, "This has to be done legislatively. It's going to be easier to convince a few hundred legislators that the drug war is wrong (or unjust, or for chrissakes, just needs some reasonable reforms) than it is to convince millions of jurors to nullify certain verdicts."

    While I agree with Paul's general point -- repeal of the law is by far the preferable solution -- I would remind Paul and others here that jury nullification doesn't need to be a total success to do a lot of good, fairly quickly, for real people in trouble, whereas the legislative approach requires a lot of effort and patience, usually over many years, and often doesn't produce the full loaf of relief that is needed by the victims of the bad law. Plus, the success of jury nullification in one case and town can help educate and embolden potential jurors elsewhere. At some point, well before the 150 millionth potential juror is convinced, public opinion will move noticeably in the direction of repeal, which will in turn light a fire under the legislators that otherwise might remain unkindled.

  • ||

    Some of our presidential candidates are already on record as saying that they would halt DEA raids on dispensaries. I wonder if they would take the next step and use the presidential pardon powers to (partially) undo the rsults of previous raids. Clearly anyone who says they would halt the raids feels that they are unjust...why not go ahead and pardon those convicted as a result of previous raids? Were they any less unjust?

  • Paul||

    , public opinion will move noticeably in the direction of repeal, which will in turn light a fire under the legislators that otherwise might remain unkindled.


    And with this I tend to disagree. I feel that the case which this thread is about is more likely to do good. What we have here is a clear injustice. Let's hope that this case lights that fire. Because juries clearly aren't nullifying, and if they were, there's no guarantee it would change the legislative landscape.

  • ||

    Paul wrote, "See how messy this can get if we just leave it up to juries to reform our drug war?"

    But who is asking for this? The Drug War must be ended with any and all means at our disposal, jury nullification being only one tool, albeit one that can provide immediate relief to real people who are suffering from the government's addiction to prohibition. There is no silver bullet. In praising and recommending a monkey-wrench, we are not advocating that we toss our hammers in the trash.

    Also, while I acknowledge the contradictions and even hypocrisies that we often encounter in the real world of politics and law enforcement, and even personally know some people who hate the drug war but approve of smoking bans (apparently not seeing or caring about the connection), I point out that jury nullification offers relief to the law's victims regardless. If you are horrified that Joe Pothead got off scot free, and I am enraged that Susie Smoker avoided a "well-deserved" conviction for inflicting her filthy tobacco habit on others, so what? Two people avoided being victims of the system and the state is free to pick on others. On the other hand, if enough defendants walk, the authorities might lose their taste for enforcing the bad law, or you or I might begin to ask ourselves why juries are acquitting, and perhaps change our minds after investigating the situation, hearing or reading the statements of jurors, etc. One never knows.

  • NeonCat||

    I've heard (but haven't seen hardcore evidence for) that jury nullification during Prohibition ultimately discouraged prosecutors from charging some with alcohol possession offenses. It would be nice if this happened again in the WO(S)D.

  • DarkRail||

    In praising and recommending a monkey-wrench, we are not advocating that we toss our hammers in the trash.

    Amen to that!

    This case has caused me to spend a lot of time reading about history and purpose of the jury system. The whole fija.org site is great.

    It's unlikely, but if I'm ever called for jury duty on a case like this, I'm ready to be a very effective monkey-wrench.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I do not cut the jury one inch of slack on this. They simply could have said Not Guilty. Their hands were not tied, that is nothing more than a convenient cop out.

    Nancy Reagan was right. The jury could have JUST SAID NO. No to the judge, No to the prosecutor, and no to the law. Not one of them had the guts it takes to do that.

  • Paul||

    It's unlikely, but if I'm ever called for jury duty on a case like this, I'm ready to be a very effective monkey-wrench.

    Rest assured, you won't be. Unless you lie during jury selection.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Unless you lie during jury selection.

    Suggested steps outlined in Runaway Jury

  • ||

    It's no wonder, Richard M Nixon, Tricky Dicky invented the DEA. What a fine organization taking down dangerous people like Charles Lynch. Americans should be outraged and shamed.

  • ||

    Jury nullification for all drug cases is what is needed.

  • ||

    This guy clearly stepped on the wrong toes.

    No, the DEA agent lied to him, because it's so much easier for the DEA to pump up their arrest statistics by raiding legal dispensaries than by going after criminals. They knew damned well that when they arrested Lynch, they weren't going to be looking down the barrel of a shotgun.

    Those slimy bastards.

    -jcr

  • ||

    She tried to go all "if that's what you say. I have no idea," but I would guess that comment ruined the rest of her week.

    GOOD!

    She should feel guilty as hell for her part in fucking Lynch over. The whole reason we have juries instead of just letting judges try criminal cases is that the jury is supposed to act to limit the power of the state to fuck over peaceful citizens. To hell with that stupid, useless waste of space.

    -jcr

  • bob||

    Two bill have been introduced in the 110th Congress that should be discussed and debated openly and honestly by our elected representatives:


    HR 5842 is a bill that would prohibit the federal government from interfering with people who use marijuana on the advice of their doctor in states where it is legal to do so, leaving it up to the several states to handle the issue.

    HR 5843 is a bill that would prohibit the federal government from punishing anyone who possessed less than about 3 ounces of marijuana, or engaged in the non-profit transfer of up to an ounce. Again, states would be free to deal with other marijuana issues without federal interference.



    But it's more than likely that they'll die in committee. It would make our federal government look bad if the blatant lies of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Propaganda were officially debunked in the congressional record.

    Last week I emailed the campaigns of my incumbent democrat congress critter and his republican challenger and asked that if elected, would the candidate at least work to get these bill to the floor for discussion.

    Neither authoritarian dirt bag has responded, at all. Neither will get my vote, and I will do my best to embarrass both of them for not having the integrity, independence, or guts to even talk about restraining a federal government that is out of control.

    Numnahs. Both of them.

  • ||

    The federal government seems to only exists so that state's have fewer rights. Yea lets rely on the federal government to protect us from Charlie Lynch? Are you kidding I would give my left nut to put another dangerous man in prison than to send a man like lynch to jail.

  • Joel||

    A declaration that you believe the law is immoral or illegal will get you nothing but thrown off the jury and replaced by someone who will convict.

    Base your opposition on a finding that a prosecution witness (or witnesses) is/are not credible. End of story. There is not one damned thing that anyone can do about a finding of credibility. You can cite the witness(es) demeanor, tone of voice, any inconsistencies in the account, etc., then hold your ground.

    There is not one damned thing anyone can do about a juror finding of credibility. Sure, the state can reprosecute if it wants, but that will entail time, energy, money, etc., which, possibly, it will not want to expend on that particular case.

  • ||

    I am pretty sure, Juanita, that Charlie paid his debt to society when he paid taxes on all the jobs and business ventures he had up until he opened Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers. I am also sure he paid his debt to society by running a legit business with a payroll where all of the employees of the dispensary paid taxes on their pay checks.

    Charlie is an honest man with a college education that worked his way through college cleaning portable toilets. He then worked for several software companies, played the sock market and he always paid his taxes without complaint.

    And I know because I am his sister and my father owned the septic tank business he worked for.

  • palmspringsbum||

    I wish you'd asked the juror if they felt like what they did was right or wrong, moral or immoral, and if they cared.

  • ||

    It seems to me that the juror would have an opinion on whether it was right/wrong, moral/immoral since she was a nurse that had actually administered medical marijuana.

  • Johnnie||

    Yes, "medical marijuana" and only a moron would believe that marijuana has a medical use. I guess you people believe that it shrinks brain tumors and stops cancer. Go ahead, you can believe all you want while in prison.

  • T\'Surakmaat||

    >> And what is the problem with that? I agree with someone who posted earlier: serving on juries and, if necessary, nullifying, is FAR more important and effective than voting.

    > The first thing that comes to mind is the same thing we think when judges legislate from the bench: all fine and good when you agree with the judge. Really enraging when you don't.

    > Also, speaking to this particular case, you might get a situation where you'd have the law being applied unequally. Two cases, both defendents on trial for selling x-quantity of marijuana. One is nullified, the other is convicted. What's the difference? One was a white business man selling in california, the other was a black dealer selling from his apartment in Detroit.

    your statement makes several points:

    1) Lynch was found guilty of violating a federal law, but complied with state law;

    2) the guy in detroit could not have complied with (Michigan) state law, as Michigan does not allow for medical marijuana; and

    3) many people (myself included) feel the justice "system" is racially biased, but "comparisons" such as this do nothing to address the issue. when two guys are illegally selling pot, one is white and the other is black, they get busted and the white man gets off but the black man does time, then one can reasonably say that the law is biased. comparing a California businessman who is (based on state/county/city/local laws) legally selling pot to some guy in Michigan who is illegally selling pot does not make a convincing case in your argument.

    live long and prosper (and only sell to your friends)
    T'Surakmaat

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