Legal consultant and cannabis expert witness Chris Conrad, author of Cannabis Yields and Dosage, offers advice and professional services for court cases, sometimes paid by a county’s indigent defense fund. Info at chrisconrad.com.
As the West Coast Leaf goes on hiatus, as announced in our previous issue, we would like to again thank our writers, advertisers, subscribers and helpers for making it possible for us to publish “the cannabis newspaper of record.”
These past five years have been among the most exciting in the history of reform, and we are glad to have played a role in informing and inspiring people to create change. See WestCoastLeaf.com as to our future plans
By Jeffrey Steinborn, Attorney at law, potbust.org
While everyone you know may think it’sfine to use cannabis responsibly, 750,000Americans get busted for it every year.Here are 10 keys to staying out of jail.
1. Break only one law at a time. If you’reholding or using cannabis — that’s one.Don’t break any more. Particularly in yourcar, all laws must be religiously obeyed.
2. Practice home hygiene. Sooner or later,someone is going to come to your housewho might turn you in if s/he sees somethingsuch as a pipe, a joint, a bud or agrow room. These things should alwaysbe kept where they can’t be seen.
3. Never invite trouble home, and don’tdo things that bring police to your house.Smoke out back, away from the frontdoor.
4. Protect the privacy of your home as bestyou can. Remember noise and odors travel.‘Private property’ signs, gates andfences give your lawyer a chance to arguethat
Read More: How to not get busted
A Question of the West Coast Leaf’s future…
This editorial poses a question to our readers as to how the West Coast Leaf shall proceed. When we launched this newspaper, long-time activists and publishers Chris Conrad and Mikki Norris agreed to produce it for five years and then decide what to do next. As this current issue is Vol. 5 No. 3, we are nearing the end of that cycle, and it is time for us to decide. The upcoming Winter 2012 edition marks the end of this arrangement.
One thing is certain, things will not remain as they are now. Some people say the Internet has displaced the need for authoritative print journalism. Others say that a credible newspaper of record has a singular place and purpose, and it’s time for others to step up to the plate to keep it going. We just know it’s time
Read More: SAVE THE LEAF
By Angela Bacca, Green-Aid.com
California patient and Vietnam vet Eddy Lepp was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in 2008 for cultivating marijuana. His attempt to appeal his conviction on religious grounds was denied and he is now on year four of his sentence.
Until recently, Lepp was at Lompoc Federal Prison near Santa Barbara, but he has now been transferred to FCI La Tuna in Texas. While the exact reason is unknown, he believes it is because he “witnessed a lot of corruption and scandal among the guards.” After serving 10 days in “the hole” (solitary confinement), he was abruptly transferred out of state.
In four years of lockup in CA, Lepp had only two visitors. He is likely never to have any visitors in TX. Readers can comfort and support Lepp by writing him at:
Charles Edward Lepp, 90157-011 FCI La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution Federal
Read More: Eddy Lepp update
By Sharon Letts
Photo submitted by BOP
Double mastectomy survivor and physician Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband, Attorney Dale Schafer, surrendered one year ago, May 2, 2011 in Sacramento on federal cannabis charges. The first physician in the country to decline a plea bargain on principle, Fry stated, “Cannabis is God’s medicine,” and stood by her oath as a physician to do what she feels is best for her patients.
While Fry has been held at minimum-security Camp Dublin in California, Schafer spent the first several months being transferred from one facility to another, as if the Bureau of Prisons didn’’t know what to do with one of the country’s oldest living hemophiliacs. Schafer went through agonizing withdrawal from morphine for his level-10 pain, formerly treated with cannabis.
Fry has turned to her faith and God to see her through. “This place is full of evil and ruined
Read More: One year of federal prison
By Cheri Sicard, CannabisCheri.com
“I’ve been convicted of 11 felonies but I’m still out of jail and that’s a good thing,” proclaimed a beaming Joe Grumbine after showing up for his Jan. 11, 2012 sentencing hearing only to have the judge recuse himself from the case.
Grumbine had expected to be taken into custody that day, along with former business partner Joe Byron, after being found guilty of 11 counts of marijuana sales in a bizarre trial presided over by the overtly biased octogenarian Judge Charles Sheldon. Byron was also found guilty of tax fraud and electricity theft
Sheldon’s antics included making and sustaining his own objections, coaching the prosecuting attorney and witnesses, publicly castigating the defense attorneys, Allison Margolin and Christopher Glew, and
Read More: Judge in Grumbine/Byron case recuses himself
By John Masterson
A medical marijuana law still appears in the Montana law books, but the program is a mere shadow of its original self, and patients and providers are reeling, numbed by the dramatic setbacks of the past year. Providers are disappearing across the state, and patients are reportedly returning to a newly thriving ‘black market’ to obtain cannabis for their ailments.
In California and Colorado, federal prosecutors have sent warning letters to dispensaries and landlords, giving them advance notice of a crackdown. But in March 2011, at the same moment the Montana State Senate’s judiciary committee was rejecting a bill to repeal the medical use law, the DEA and other agencies abruptly raided 26 separate groups statewide. That is equivalent to the Feds simultaneously raiding some 960 California locations — and it produced a chilling effect in Montana every bit as severe.
A month later, as its
By Sharon Letts, the-last-marijuana-trial.com
Hawai’i’s licensed Marijuana Minister Roger Christie and co-defendant Share St. Cyr were wed Jan. 6, 2012 at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. Christie has been held without bail since July 8, 2010 for failing to cease and desist distribution to ministry members of the THC Ministry’s holy sacrament, cannabis. A court date is set for Aug. 8, 2012.
Christie’s Hilo-based storefront ministry was first raided in March 2011, when Christie was arrested and released with its “Green 14″ ministry members. The raid hit a farm and residences where members were growing sacrament for the ministry in quantities well above state standards for medical use. Christie said the church was never a dispensary, nor did it fall under the state’s compassionate care laws, but was a true and legal religion operating under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
The couple rejected a plea bargain on
By William Dolphin, Americans for Safe Access
A California cancer patient has been denied a liver transplant for using the cannabis his oncologist recommended.
Norman Smith, 63, was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009 and put on the transplant list at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA in September 2010. After testing positive for cannabis in February 2012, he was removed from the list and told he has to test clean for six months before being reconsidered.
Oncologist Dr. Steven Miles at Cedars-Sinai had approved Smith’s medical cannabis to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery. Smith’s cancer was in remission but has recently recurred, and he is beginning radiation treatments.
Americans for Safe Access sent a letter in November to the Cedars-Sinai Transplant Dept., urging them to change their eligibility policy and re-list Smith.
“Denying organ transplants to medical cannabis patients is
Read More: Cannabis patient denied liver transplant
By Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, cmmnj.org
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patient John Ray Wilson sits in a New Jersey cell serving a five-year prison sentence for his medical use of marijuana after the state Supreme Court refused in January, 2012 to hear his appeal.
Wilson was arrested in August 2008 and charged with “manufacturing” the 17 cannabis plants he used to treat his MS. He faced 20 years in state prison. At trial, Superior Court Judge Robert Reed would not let the jury hear the reason Wilson was growing the plants, stripping him of his only defense. Many in the community felt this was an injustice and protested outside the Somerville court house. Wilson was acquitted of the most serious charge, but convicted of second degree manufacturing in December 2009, and sentenced to five years in prison in March 2010.
On July 26, 2011, an Appellate Court, agreeing with the
By Phil Smith, stopthedrugwar.org
A Malay court in Kuching, Sarawak Province, Jan. 31, 2012 sentenced a married couple to life in prison for possessing less than a half-ounce of marijuana and having a plant in their home. The husband was also sentenced to nine lashes of the cane.
Judge Afidah Abdul Rahman imposed the life sentence on Tajol Ashikin Tambi, 39, and wife Rozaimah Mat, 37. They were each convicted of two offenses under Section 6 of Malaysia’s Dangerous Drug Act of 1952, marijuana possession and marijuana cultivation. Each was sentenced to three years for possessing 20 grams of pot (less than an ounce) and to life in prison for growing a marijuana plant.
They were arrested a year ago. They claimed their elder child had planted the marijuana plant without their knowledge, and they brought it in the house because it was “dangerous.” Defense attorney Voon Lee Shan