Unity and Enlightenment blossom at the garden summit!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

Dr Chris Fichtner speaks on PTSD and Cannabis

It was the perfect autumn day at Willow Creek springs, “Team Grumbine”  had spent the previous week trimming and cleaning the botanic garden in preparation for the  Human solution’s latest “Know your rights” summit. folks came out in usual form… Late. This time we started at 11 sharp as Dr Chris Fichtner needed to leave early to catch a flight. As the panel assembled in the garden setting, a few vendors put the finishing touches on their displays of hand made items, skin care products and the like. A few informational booths offered guests opportunities to make real change in the movement. The smells fresh coffee and hand made lasagna wafted in the air and enticed the hungry up to the raised deck where a tasty meal could be found.

                                                   We began as guests streamed in from all over Southern California and Arizona. from San Diego to San Luis Obisbo


. Doctors, Lawyers, patients, growers, collective operators, activists, leaders  and all types of people seeking to learn about latest from the world of medicine, law and activism from some of the leading experts. Dr Christopher Fichtner,psychiatrist, and author of “Cannabinomics” lead a discussion of PTSD in veterans and victims in the “war on drugs” and answered questions continued until he had to run and catch a plane. He promised to join us for the next one and to stay for the duration.

Attorney,Jason Thompson gave a workshop on how to handle law enforcement in the case of a raid while the  group of participants listened attentively and engaged the panelists with an array of questions. Steve Baker and Tom Emmert photographed the event and CLSA’s Jenny Ezikian shot video. Later Cheryl Shuman arrived and shot test footage for her upcoming reality show possibly featuring some of the attendees. The soundboard and equipment was provided and operated by Tom Emmert.

         Willow Creek Springs,The Human Solution, OG Dankster, CLSA’s Buryldean Andrews,and CPA collective all donated opportunity drawing prizes to help offset the cost of the event. and quietly in the background, these organizations as well as Patient Med aid, a free medicine option for documented qualified patients offered goods and information to the guests.
     Stephanie Landa Moderated the discussion featuring attorney,Michael Levinsohn, Jason Thompson, Darlene Buenrostro, and Aaron Sandusky’s Mom,Terri as well as myself. The Fully informed Jury Association generously provided brochures for everyone and I took the opportunity to discuss the Power that every citizen possesses and the potential for each of us to help end prohibition by getting selected on our juries and using our power to refuse to convict defendants for “cannabis crimes.” In a bold move, Liz Mc Duffie, Director of the MCC training program got up and delivered an impassioned speech about “The power of one” and revealed her plan to create banners with the Jury nullification message and to encourage a powerful silent protest where participants would dress in funeral black and silently carry these powerful messages in public places especially courthouses! I forgot to mention at the summit that The human solution is actually sponsoring a contest featuring the best “Jury nullification” banner, placement and exposure.
      Aaron Sandusky’s Girlfriend, Darlene, and Mom Terri gave a compelling update and call to action regarding Freedom Fighter Aaron’s current state of incarceration. The Human Solution has stepped it’s prison outreach program to include family support. I reminded the group that “It’s on us” to end this war on drugs by joining together and speaking with one voice.
     The discussion continued with topics including collective activities, law enforcement, and activism. Michael Levinsohn and Jason Thompson offered legal expertise while I brought up a defendant activists perspective. We finished before 5 and costumed kids and adults prepared for evening parties. Inasmuch as this event was set on the same day as several other events, It was well attended with more than 100 guests participating throughout the day. The day was perfect, the company was engaged and well behaved. The food was wonderful. Inspiration and enlightenment shone brightly and we dubbed it a success!
     On a side note, I just wanted to thank everyone that made this and all of our educational projects a success. As our group has ebbed and flowed through the years, people have come and gone from the group formally but never from our hearts. With the latest tide, as some left, we have been blessed with such a rich swell of support from so many likely and unlikely places. Strong new alliances are growing like kudzu vines in Georgia and if this trend continues, we will be celebrating the end of prohibition before we know it and be sure all those that have participated have earned their place in the history book!! Thank you all for being the solution!
Blessings
Joe

The tipping point , which side are you on?

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I got another call today from another defendant. this time a federal indictment… actually I heard from two defendants in the same case. It’s a familiar story. a state compliant (as far as anyone involved) storefront collective and charges of conspiracy, money laundering and a host of others in federal court. A place by the way that completely disregards all state marijuana laws. I’ve heard the judges instructions over and over. Juries are told ” You will not consider any state or medical marijuana laws while deciding this case.“Montana medical marijuana provider Chris Williams on Thursday was found guilty on all eight counts related to his work at a state-licensed medicinal cannabis caregiver organization” Stephanie Landa and Tom Kikuchi both did federal time for cultivation of a state sanctioned grow. Steven and Joshua Burke had small backyard 215 compliant grows and 3+ years later face state charges. Aaron Sandusky was convicted last week and faces a 10 years to life mandatory sentence and it goes on and on….

All this is happening at a time in our nation’s history where 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing qualified patients to possess,transport, cultivate and distribute medical marijuana. In spite of this, the DA’s of of many states still persecute defendants with vigor,they continue to consider anyone involved drug dealers and cartel kingpens. Then there’s the Feds.  The President came out and told the good people of America that he would not prosecute individuals that were following state law. Then the Ogden memo came out and the Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in the nation reinforced the position. (neither of which have been allowed to be mentioned by a defendant in federal trials resulting in a mandatory 10 year sentence.) The US Attorney has made it clear that that the government’s position is that Marijuana is illegal and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In case you are unclear what that means please do some research and you will likely be shocked.

We are a low hanging fruit to law enforcement, we have assets to be seized and something to lose. Most of the time, plea deals are coerced and snitches are created all without the hassle of a trial or a chance of justice. When the brave ones stand their grounds, often the wheels of justice forget which way they are pointed. Kangaroo courts, denied defenses and sentences that in no way mirror the charges. Put this in the hands of a typically incompetent, uninformed jury and little to no press coverage and what do we get. We get a bulging prison population and no end in sight.

Law enforcement uses random raids, smash and grab swat style assaults on non aggressive targets such as ourselves to keep us hobbled and fearful. Unfortunately, we haven’t been much of a challenge thus far. We keep opening up and cultivating like nothing will happen (til it does) then when it does, we pay up and go away. The few of us that stand tall and take the fight to them are met with in most cases a formidable foe with the deepest of pockets. When the press gives these cases any attention at all, the worst possible light is cast at least most of the time. Terms like profit and sales are used in with the same offensive tone as rape or extortion. All of this over a plant! and not just any plant, one that has to this date not been responsible for even one death.

As government regimes becomes more oppressive the hearts of patriots come emboldened…. well they are supposed to and I guess one by one, the few and the far between gather their voices and passions and deepen their resolve to change the world to a place where freedom and justice and liberty can be had by all. We are the same nation that thought it wise to end slavery, allow women to own property and vote, let the citizens decide if they want to drink or what to do with their bodies, We are the same nation that topples dictators of other nations for their inhumane policies.

The truth is that we hold the keys to success in ending the failed policies of prohibition that keep putting our dads, and brothers and sisters and mothers in prison for a plant, a reprehensible concept by nature. First off if we stood by our fallen as law enforcement, the military and even the mafia does instead of running away like rats (sorry folks it’s true on it’s face with way too little exception.) If we pooled our resources and made sure that every defendant willing to risk his freedom had competent if not brilliant representation, more would stand up. that takes us to the next step. If everyone charged or indicted for cannabis related charged refused a plea deal and demanded a trial by jury, a constitutional right that far too many waive, the courts would soon overcrowd with these cases and judges would be forced to reckon with the reality of prioritizing and dismissal. Next, if the courtrooms were packed with well behaved supporters and protests happened every time our tax dollars were wasted on such petty pursuits the jury and the press would be forced to take notice. If the press reported on the real stories of the atrocities from this “War on drugs” the public perception would change as well. I Believe that if most Americans understood what was really happening to it’s citizens and with it’s tax dollars, they would be moved to act. Not just the
“stoner” culture that usually lives up to it’s reputation, but to the average and extraordinary American that just wants to see things be right. Finally, if the juries of America knew the power they wielded, to veto unjust laws simply by voting “not guilty,” More would decide that jury duty was worth taking time off work for even if it’s a sacrifice. If juries refuse to convict in cases involving drugs, especially cannabis, the tide would turn. Abraham Lincoln said “”He who molds the public sentiment…makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.” Never a truer statement was spoken. If we the people refused to accept these policies of prohibition and tyranny, they would be forced to change.

I urge everyone that has reached this point with me to decide right now, to make a difference, to join those of us that have decided to be a part of the end of prohibition once and for all. Decide to act with courage rather than fear and when one of our own gets taken out run to them rather than away. Act with empathy rather than apathy. When you hear about a defendant that needs support, just once decide to take a personal day or even a morning or an afternoon. Never a more grateful reception is found than from the face of a defendant looking back on friendly support. Join a group like the Human solution or any number of others, it’s a great way to share ideas with like minded liberty lovers and really make a difference. If these are just too much then at least donate to a group so that they can act on your behalf. Share the information. We live in a viral society and if we just shared the pertinent information of defendants and this persecution that goes on under our noses,instead of impotently “liking” it would force the mainstream coverage it deserves. Finally and this may be the most important, When the jury summons comes, take it up as a weapon of ultimate power. Remember, if selected to sit on a trial, you the juror hold the same power as a governor or even as the president, the power to veto an unjust law simply by voting not guilty, without any fear of punishment!
So here’s the challenge or offer (depending on how you take it) Simply show up at any of the events or activities mentioned above and share the story with me and recieve a gift for your effort! yep it’s come to this,  I have a gift for everyone that has read this diatribe and decided to once and for all become a superhero. I am easily reached and can be found in courtrooms around California supporting defendants. (although this is not limited in any way to California) send your story and a picture to [email protected] and I’ll get your gift to you!
thank you in advance all that step up your game and remember, NO one should go to jail for a plant. EVER


Blessings
Joe

The capable public defender and the scary jury pool

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

While we go about our busy lives, some struggle in the trenches on the front lines of the war on drugs. Yes that was sarcasm or candor as I prefer to call it. I often say that the courtroom is one of the best places to get an education that has real value and Monday Oct 22 was no exception.

The “Green team ” showed up after lunch as court began late and the initial screening process was still underway. Judge Janice Claire Croft smiled from the bench. Judge Croft has turned out to be possibly one of the most fair and pleasant judges I have ever witnessed. Now remember this is a case involving a small backyard grow more than three years ago. Judge Croft went over the witness list that included 9 cops,2 law enforcement photographers, and 12 civilians. I couldn’t help but think about the huge waste of time and fuel and $ that over 60 jurors that were ultimately disqualified spent not to mention the court and staff tied up over a plant that never hurt anyone.

The judge went on to say, “When you make your decision, it should be one that next week,next month or next year you should feel good about.” She also told the prospects to listen to fellow jurors and to tell them what you think. finally she referred to this as a serious lawsuit although I thought it was actually a criminal trial.

Then things started to get interesting

In an amazing display of aptitude, public defender Rodriguez began to question the jury prospects.He wasn’t the best speaker but had questions… great questions. He asked the prospects with regard to the presumption of innocence “if no evidence was presented, how many of you would vote not guilty?”

No one raised their hands!

The judge had a puzzled look on her face and again in an elegant way explained how our system was supposed to work. I looked at the blank expressions on the jurors faces and became troubled. Judge Croft asked the jurors, ” if the defense chose not to put on a case and said nothing in his defense, would any of you assume he was guilty?” 1 lady raised her hand.. the judge said, ” Even though the defendant has a lawful right to remain silent?”  The juror said ” I would just want to hear his side of it” and it went on…..

Rodriguez went on with a series of questions about medical marijuana and jurors feelings. He was able to expose many of their biases. ( a move that ultimately was able to eliminate said prospects without having to use his limited number of peremptory challenges.)  This and so much more can be learned in court school.

One Juror had never heard of Medical Marijuana in California. I thought I would explode and the judge seemed perplexed as well as these comments oozed out of the jurors mouths.

“Police and DA’s aren’t here to lie”

“The police aren’t going to wast their time on a case unless they have something ”

“I don’t believe in it”

“I’m against growing it”

“My father recently died of cancer and they never even offered it”

“Growing is out of control and I pay my taxes”

remember, this is a case of a prop 215 compliant grow with only a few members and no charges of weapons, sales or the like… To all those that spend energy attacking storefront operators, this is a state case!!  How about just standing against prohibition as a united front for once??

One juror when asked, ” If the judge instructs you that the law allows the activities the two defendants are accused of would you be able to acquit?” said, ” I would still have trouble saying not guilty”

Finally, there were two prospective jurors that clearly did not have any command of the English language yet did not request a translator.

I found it ironic that when a recess was called, several of the “biased” jurors went outside the courthouse to smoke cigarettes…..

I later spoke with the Rodriguez and learned that he has worked in the public defenders office for 18 years and has tried many many cases. I commended him on  his work and assured him that he was a minority and that most PD’s do nothing but try and settle cases with plea deals.

I can’t help but wonder how this would look if those that support the rights of patients and the will of the people would rather than try and get removed from jury duty, would try to serve…..

I was unable to make court yesterday but learned that 10 of the biased prospects were removed by the judge and a 3rd day of selection is continuing today! We’re heading out there and welcome anyone that wants to be or become a superhero to join us… We always make a difference Join the green team today! 

Stephanie Landa talks with Prosecutor in Burke case

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

I happened to have a long talk with the district attorney in the case in Pasadena….this is a small backyard patient grow…no guns no money no sales…the DA said he was not against medical marijuana and he added he was not against prostitution either…he just thought they both needed to have rules…He said this case was about not following the rules…I asked him if he thought people should go to jail for a plant…he said no that this case was not about jail it was about taking away their rights…the DA wanted to be able to take their search rights away…so as he said they would not be able to grow marijuana anymore…I said they are patients and need to grow their medicine…I could tell he really did not want anyone to be able to get away with hiding be hide medical…He said anyone can get a recommendation from a doctor and he thought that was wrong…I said how do you know there were too many plants he said he had a degree in horticulture and knew that the patients were making money growing from his degree in horticulture….I must have met the smartest DA ever he was an expert attorney and doctor and low and behold he was also an expert in plants…The government is sure doing their job….This DA so far has been laughing and taking this case as one big joke…we are fighting for our medicine and he is fighting for a conviction…There is something wrong with this picture…This case is amazing because it is a lot to do about nothing…There were too many seeded babies under one light which half are female…half die half are no good…I proceeded to tell him about white flies and spider mites and rust and mildew and mold and of course since he had his degree in horticulture he had to agree with me but his bottom line was that he knew they were making money…just to make sure I asked him if he was an accountant but he was not…Every DA’s position is that nothing is legal…somehow the DA’s job is to find something wrong with your grow…find some reason to take your freedom away…We must occupy the court rooms and not allow the government to run all over our rights…We have the right to vote not guilty on unjust laws with no consequence…Exercise your rights and tell your neighbors.