September 8 2011 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Joe Grumbine, 951-436-6312; www.the-human-solution.org
Citizens Outraged Over Wasteful Long Beach Trial
LONG BEACH, CA – Hundreds of medical marijuana advocates and activists from throughout Southern California will be holding a rally outside Long Beach Superior Courthouse on September 15th to protest the city’s wasting millions of tax payer dollars investigating, raiding, and prosecuting legal medical marijuana collectives while vital public services are being cut.
That is the day when Judge Charles Sheldon will decide which witnesses, if any, will be eligible to testify for the defense in the trial of Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron, the former operators of two legal medical cannabis collectives in Long Beach and Garden Grove. The city claims the collectives were operating outside of the law, yet ironically a Riverside County judge found Grumbine in complete compliance with California’s medical marijuana laws just 5 weeks before the city of Long Beach sent 120 armed SWAT officers, drug sniffing dogs, and helicopters to raid 17 locations. The December 2009 raid started the men on an entire new prosecution ordeal that’s been dragging on nearly 2 years.
Citizens have presented the Long Beach City Council with numerous FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests on the exact amount spent on what they consider to be a frivolous and unnecessary investigation and prosecution at a time when the city is cutting services and California has been ordered to reduce its prison population due to overcrowding. The requests have gone ignored and no actual figures have come from Long Beach officials, but activists estimate the amount to be upwards of 5 million dollars.
“I recently attended a town hall meeting with Long Beach council woman Rae Gabelich where citizens were complaining about their local police station annex being understaffed,” says Long Beach resident Madeleine Johnson. “Yet the city found it wise to send helicopters, dogs, and 120 SWAT officers after a man who had already been found to be following the law? It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Johnson was one of about 80 concerned citizens who filled the courtroom and hallways of Long Beach Superior Court during Byron and Grumbine’s August 16’th pre-trial hearing. At least 3 times that number is expected for their September 15th Jury Selection. Supporters from as far south as San Diego and as far north as San Luis Obispo have pledged to attend the rally.
“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 Grumbine.
Local chapters of numerous organizations including The Human Solution (a non profit organization founded by Grumbine), Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project (MAPP), the Landa Prison Outreach Program (LPOP), and Long Beach’s Committee of Patients (COP) are currently planning how to best show their outrage at the system and support for the two men caught in the crosshairs of California’s deeply flawed justice system concerning medical marijuana.
Those wishing to join the rallies, participate in court support, or donate to Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron’s legal defense funds can do so at The Human Solution’s website (www.the-human-solution.org) or phone 951-436-6312 for additional details.