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Medical Marijuana Patients to be Re-arraigned July 23 in Orange County

posted Jul 19, 2014, 1:36 AM by The Editor   [ updated Jul 19, 2014, 6:52 PM ]

Citizens Outraged Over Four Years of Wasteful Prosecutorial Spending

WESTMINISTER, CA – On July 23rd at 9:00 AM, two Sonoma County medical marijuana patients will be re-arraigned on felony charges stemming from the seizure of seven hundred and twenty ounces of marijuana during a Orange County traffic stop.

The Los Alamitos Police Department reported arresting two men around 10:30 AM on March 17, 2010 after noticing their Ford Mustang parked outside a Howard Avenue apartment complex. Both were arraigned on felony charges of possession of marijuana for sale (H&S code 11359 violation) and sale or transportation of marijuana (H&S code 11360(a) violation), despite their status as legitimate medical marijuana patients under the California voter initiative Proposition 215 and SB 420.
 
The driver of the vehicle, Scott, was paralyzed from the waist down in a 2000 farm equipment accident. Due to sheer determination in physical therapy, he defied his doctor's predictions and is able to walk today. He credits cannabis (marijuana) for his ability to tolerate pain, digest food, and counteract the effects of the damage to his internal organs from the accident.

Both men, Scott and Jeff, entered “not guilty” pleas at their September 2010 arraignment. A preliminary hearing in the matter was held in January 2012. For the last year, the case has been unable to proceed due to witness unavailability. Both defendants have been offered a series of plea agreements by the deputy district attorney of Orange County, ranging from prison time to home confinement to community service. Any agreement would require the men to admit guilt, register as narcotics offenders, disengage from the medical marijuana community, and agree to the destruction of all property seized.
 
The purpose of The Human Solution International is to support each other through the trials we face as cannabis consumers and spread educational information about cannabis.
Scott is frequently hospitalized for chronic pancreatitis and other conditions stemming from his accident; he is fearful for his life if he is sent to jail or prison. His health has deteriorated during the four years he has been fighting the case, due to the immense stress of having to hire attorneys, contact witnesses for documentation, travel monthly for court appearances, all while being threatened with a long jail sentence for refusing to accept a plea deal. Both defendants have posted $25,000 bond in the case on two separate occasions, in 2010 and 2011. They remain perplexed at the Orange County district attorney’s continued pursuit of this case despite their medical marijuana patient and caregiver status.

“People all over the state are fed up with law enforcement and our elected officials ignoring the medical marijuana laws meant to protect patients and wasting enormous tax dollars in the process,” says Joe Grumbine, founder of the grassroots organization The Human Solution, which encourages court support for medical cannabis patients because “no one belongs in jail for a plant.” Members of The Human Solution and the Orange County chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have attended court hearings to demonstrate their support for these two men caught up in California’s deeply flawed justice system concerning medical marijuana.

On July 17, 2014, the four-year-old case was dismissed at the request of defense attorneys Allison Margolin and Christopher Glew, after the prosecution was unable to proceed without a witness who is unavailable until September. Charges were immediately re-filed and arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, July 23 at the West Justice Center (8141 13th St, Westminister, CA). The D.A. has again requested $25,000 bond and both defendants will have to retain attorneys for this new set of charges.

Scott is accepting bail fund donations via GoFundMe at http://www.gofundme.com/bqu5ms 

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