Criminal charges against 'Guru of Ganja' tossed
Jim Herron Zamora, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
(03-14) 13:12 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge threw out criminal charges today against an Oakland man accused of growing medical marijuana, ruling that authorities had vindictively prosecuted him because of remarks he made after he successfully appealed an earlier conviction.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco dismissed charges of tax evasion and money laundering against Ed Rosenthal, 62, an author and activist who has been dubbed the "Guru of Ganja."
Breyer declared that the government had improperly refiled the tax-evasion and money-laundering case last fall after Rosenthal successfully appealed his 2003 conviction for marijuana cultivation.
"The reasonable observer will interpret the government's conduct as demonstrating that if defendants successfully appeal, the government will ensure that they face more severe charges and more prison time the next time around," Breyer said.
"The government's deeds -- and words -- create the perception that it added the new charges to make Rosenthal look like a common criminal and thus dissipate the criticism heaped on the government after the first trial," Breyer said.
It's funny how sometimes I come across a bad-news article and then shortly thereafter come across a sorta balancing good-news article. In an age where the Executive Branch seems to think they run the show it is comforting when one of the other branches bitch-slaps them for being vindictive. Follow the link and read the whole article for some good news for "Ask Ed".