Ed Rosenthal's Time in Advance


Federal prosecutors are proceeding with a second marijuana cultivation trial of California medical pot grower Ed Rosenthal, even though they know there's no chance he will serve any time. The first time around, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave Rosenthal a one-day, time-served sentence after concluding that the Guru of Ganja, who grew pot for patients in cooperation with the city of Oakland, believed he was acting within the law. The appeals court overturned that conviction based on juror misconduct but also gave its blessing to Breyer's leniency. The U.S. Attorney's Office tried to get around that problem by tacking on money laundering and tax fraud counts, but Breyer dismissed those charges after Rosenthal argued that they constituted vindictive prosecution, retaliation for his successful challenge of his conviction and his outspokenness in criticizing the government's handling of the case. But how else can we understand U.S. Attorney Scott Schools' decision to reject Breyers' recommendation and drag Rosenthal through a second trial on charges for which he has already received his punishment?