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United States v. Joe Kidwell (2002-2011, CA and KY)

posted Jan 29, 2013, 9:47 PM by The Editor   [ updated Feb 15, 2013, 6:31 PM ]

Completely disabled from a 1997 car accident, Joe Kidwell used marijuana to treat constant pain from his severe back injuries. While living in California, Kidwell got the doctor's recommendation required under state medical marijuana laws and began cultivating a small garden. After a bust and a trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, a jury found Kidwell guilty of cultivating 14 marijuana plants. The verdict came in spite of the presentation of multiple written doctor's recommendations and the fact that two doctors testified on Kidwell's behalf. He was sentenced to a term of probation that allowed him to smoke marijuana in his house but specifically forbade him from engaging in any marijuana advocacy. Done wrong in a state where medical marijuana was supposed to be legal, Kidwell looked for greener pastures elsewhere. He ended up in Kentucky, where his cultivation activities resulted in a federal indictment against him in August 2002. In his ensuing trial, Kidwell claims he was not permitted to represent himself, and that 17 of his 18 witness were denied an opportunity to testify. Kidwell was released in 2011.

Originally published Vanessa Nelson at (now defunct).