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Indybay Feature

Rosenthal/Watts Press Conference

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Clark Sullivan
415 424 0125
Location Details:
Phillip Burton Federal Building; 450 Golden Gate Ave.

In an incredible waste of limited federal resources, The U.S. Attorney's office, represented by "Mr. Marijuana for the government", Asst. U.S. Attorney George Bevan Jr., wants to re-indict medical cannabis guru Ed Rosenthal and Richard Watts, son of noted philosopher Alan Watts, in a mockery of the justice system by persecuting sick and dying medical cannabis patients.

Federal agents raided Rosenthal's Oakland home, his warehouse grow-op and the 6th St Harm Reduction Center in February 2002 and charged the pair with multiple cannabis felonies. Ed Rosenthal was convicted in 2003, after a travesty of a trial in which medical marijuana could not be mentioned. After the verdict was announced, nine of twelve jurors recanted their decision, saying if they'd have known it was about medical cannabis, they wouldn't have voted guilty.

Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Ed to one day, and concluded Rosenthal had "reasonably" but erroneously believed that he was acting legally because of his support from local officials, saying that "extraordinary, unique circumstances of this case" justified an exemption from the usual five-year minimum term . Rick Watts has spent the last five years in federal probation, in legal limbo, awaiting trial for the same offenses.

In April 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed Rosenthal's convictions and remanded his case to U.S. District Court for retrial, due to possible jury misconduct. The U.S. Attorney's Office has the power not to retry him or Rick Watts, yet they choose to squander valuable taxpayer dollars by prosecuting Rosenthal and Watts in an obvious miscarriage of justice and subversion of the will of California voters who voted for Proposition 215 in 1996.

We call on all outraged medical cannabis patients, their caregivers and supporters to phone or fax the U.S. Attorney's office [ph.: (415)436-7200 fax: (415)436-7234] to demand they immediately cease their prosecution of both cases, as well as all those currently awaiting trial for medical cannabis related offenses and for the federal government to release all medical cannabis prisoners currently in custody.
Added to the calendar on Tue, Sep 12, 2006 10:30AM
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