Marijuana is known as a Schedule I substance in the United States. That means that it is completely worthless, harnesses ‘no medicinal value,’ and is evidently on the same level of heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. But marijuana can actually help treat numerous ailments, which is why the U.S. government has been juggling with its reclassification for decades.
Now, a legal dispute in California is shedding even more light on the issue in Washington, D.C., and could expedite its the plant’s impending reclassification.
Nine men were recently accused of growing marijuana illegally on private and federal land. The men are arguing that the charges of a $10 million fine and life in prison should be dropped because marijuana is inaccurately classified by the U.S. government.
Thankfully, judge Kimberly K. Muller is somewhat in alignment with millions of Americans’ views, stating that she is taking the defenses’ arguments very seriously and promising to deliver a ruling within 30 days. Could this be the case that finally reclassifies what is quickly becoming well known as a healing substance?
“If I were persuaded by the defense’s argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?” she asked prosecutors during closing arguments on the motion to dismiss the cases against the men.
Lawyer Zenia Gilg, who represented defense attorneys for the men, pointed to Congress’ recent decision to ban the Department of Justice from interfering in states’ implementation of their medical marijuana laws as evidence of her contention that the drug’s classification as Schedule One should be overturned.
Even the Obama Administration has unofficially made it part of their policy to neither indict nor raid medical marijuana dispensaries and growers.
“What you’re seeing now is Colorado, Washington through state referenda, they’re experimenting with legal marijuana,” the president said in response to a question from YouTube host Hank Green. “The position of my administration has been that we still have federal laws that classify marijuana as an illegal substance, but we’re not going to spend a lot of resources trying to turn back decisions that have been made at the state level on this issue. My suspicion is that you’re gonna see other states start looking at this.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Broderick said that it was up to Congress to change the law, not the court.
The defendants, he said, were illegally growing marijuana on federal land.
“They had weapons,” Broderick said. “These guys were not producing medicine.”
“We’re not saying that this is the most dangerous drug in the world,” Broderick said. “All we’re saying is that the evidence is such that reasonable people could disagree.”
There may be more to this case than meets the eye, but it doesn’t change the fact that marijuana does in fact possess what some might argue as exceptional medicinal value – as a plethora of research has showcased. That, coupled with our constitutional right to handle the drug, is argument enough to reclassify and legalize the drug. After all, at least 23 states feel this way – and that number is growing.
10 thoughts on “Key Marijuana Case may Lead to Nationwide Reclassification”
It seems like the government has become a schedule one organization,it’s only function seems to be to repress the people,take their rights away and control every facet of our lives while granting themselves immunity.
I agree that marijuana ought to be legalized, but lets stop pretending marijuana is a wonder drug. The vast majority of people using medical marijuana invented some ailment just so they could smoke with less fear of being busted. It may have some use in treating glaucoma. Even nausea for people getting chemo. But the ailment everyone is using it to treat is sobriety.
Actually… it IS a wonder drug. Forget the people who use it recreationally. That will fade away in time… provided we start to heal our culture. Don’t let rec users deter anyone from pursuing pretty much every other thing that it can help with. It’s useful for much, much more than just nausea and glaucoma. Topically, alone, it’s practically a snake oil that actually works.
How do you figure people who use recreation ally will fade away>? My ex is 63 and has been smoking daily for over 50 yrs. He still enjoys it daily I can count sick days in over 30 yrs on one hand, He is a roofer, works his old ass off.
He is not fading away, he is using to unwind and relax and function after day after day of grinding for most of his life.
He has never raised a hand or voice to me or his children. He has never passed out with puke running down his shirt or driven a car reclessly.
Hope they dont’ fade out..
We use any substance “recreationally”, because we are unable to achieve those results on our own… due to one set of circumstances or another. Myself very included in that statement. As we heal, the need to “alter to unwind” reduces… or fades away. As we heal our culture, we will be able to look to the plant more as nutrition and medicine rather than to fill certain unmet needs.
My comment wasn’t to say that mellow people will fade away, only to be replaced by less mellow people. It was to say that as we become more whole… we will no longer need these things.
Our bodies and minds need to escape. It is not healthy to deal with the realities of our modern world without the opportunity to relax and reload. In all of human history some plant or ale has been used for spiritial connections.
Drinking and beating your wife, or killing a family of four is not healthy and it is associated with death by liver and increases risk of lung cancer among others, cigarettes don’t even need to be explained. Pharmaceuticals are the evil amongst us.. so .. how do you get closer to your peace, your center.. some can meditate into it and that is great but how dare anyone condemn those who choose a God given plant.
You either didn’t read my comment, or completely misunderstood it… a second time now.
Nothing you’ve said contradicts what I explained, other than showing that you keep missing the nuance of it all.
Really? And you get your facts from what source? I live in AZ and have known hundreds of the thousands that are under the MMJ act Not one has made up symptoms. As a matter of fact many of us, like myself, don’t even bother because we cannot take advantage of this safe medicine or we will loose much needed pain or anxiety medication and be banned by all future doctors.
I think your OPINION is unjust. You don’ t have any fact behind your statement in all actually if these people as in AZ must show at least 6 months of permitted ailments and signed off by a doctor.
I hate getting high, on pot, wine or any other artificial means but yet if I could do what I should be allowed too, and use cannabis to help with some of my symptoms and side effects I would.
And if people choose go use it to relax and escape for an hour it is so much safer than alcohol, cigerettes, hell drivng, walking using stairs.. ZERO deaths,
My facts come thru experience and research. You appear to be rather young and therefore naive because you are buying into the huge disinformation campaign around marijuana that comes from both sides.
So what you are trying to tell me is that in your opinion, my opinion is…unjust? Well, iin my opinion, your opinion about my opinion doesn’t mean jack, What is your opinion about that?
You also sound naive if you believe that every one of the hundreds are not faking symtoms….(really? you know hundreds of sick people, and by some amazing coincidence, ALL of them just happen to be prescribed weed?) perhaps the symtoms they are exhibiting are the physical effects of withdrawl (yes, pot is physically addictive to some people despite all the bogus claims made by bong wielding stoners.
But the thing about stoners is they don’t relax and escape for an hour or two. The large majority of them smoke pot all day every day. I know this because I was one of them. I still smoke once or twice a year, but I don’t know that I would necessarily call it safer. I drive a lot better drunk than I do while stoned. Smoking pot fucks up your lungs a lot more than cigarettes due to the fact you don’t take all the smoke of an entire cigarette in your lungs at once then try to hold it as long as possible. You frequently hear people coughing smoking pot, but not cigarettes. All of the little factoids you think you know about how safe pot is for the lungs, and that it cures cancer? The truth is lots of people have tried to prove pot cures cancer, but none have succeeded. There are lots of liars claiming otherwise, and tons of anecdotes, but no evidence to support it. There is a good chance that pot is even more carginogenic than tobacco. There are so many chemicals, that the truth is we just dont know yet.
And finally, stop repeating zero deaths. That too, is a load of bull. My fucking girlfriend died due to complications that arose from smoking pot. She was type 1 diabetic, meaning she had to inject insulin every day. She got careless with measuring her blood sugar (probably because she was high). She was firmly convinced that pot helped her control her blood sugar. She was wrong. Think about it. you smoke pot, and you get the munchies. the reason you get the munchies is because of a rapid drop in blood sugar. This might be good if you need to bring your blood sugar down, but if you just shot some insulin, then hit the bong, it might be the last bong hit you will ever take. But hey, it wasn’t the pot that killed her, RIGHT? what killed her was the premature onset of death.
Union Organizer Indicted for Corruption, Attempted Extortion, and Money Laundering
UFCW Organizer Dan Rush Charged with Using His Position to Personally Profit
U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2015 Northern District of California (415) 436-7200
OAKLAND—A federal grand jury in Oakland indicted Daniel Rush today with taking illegal payments as a union employee, honest services fraud, attempted extortion, and money laundering announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.
According to the indictment, Rush, 54, of Oakland, is alleged to have used his position as a union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) to obtain money and other things of value over a five year period from 2010 to 2015.
Rush was an organizing coordinator of the medical cannabis division of the UFCW. The indictment alleges that, while a union employee, Rush accepted $550,000 in debt forgiveness from an individual affiliated with medical marijuana dispensaries. According to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in connection with a criminal complaint filed in the same matter, Rush and a coconspirator formulated a scheme to obtain debt forgiveness in exchange for favorable treatment by the union. The individual who agreed to the debt forgiveness was cooperating with the FBI’s investigation at the time Rush proposed the arrangement.
The indictment also charges Rush with taking kickbacks from an attorney to whom he had referred medical marijuana dispensaries as clients. Rush, the indictment alleges, had a duty to provide honest services to the UFCW; that duty including refraining from self-dealing when interacting with the marijuana dispensaries whose workers it was his job to organize. Rush is charged with engaging in a scheme in which he violated that duty in exchange for kickbacks from the attorney.
The indictment further charges Rush with taking kickbacks from the same attorney in exchange for arranging for the attorney to represent clients in worker’s compensation matters. Rush was an officer and director of an advocacy organization for the working poor. Rush directed the organization’s referral of worker’s compensation clients to the attorney. In exchange, the attorney provided Rush with a credit card on which Rush charged thousands of dollars of personal expenses which ultimately were paid by the attorney.
Rush also is charged with attempted extortion. Rush was a member of the Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission, which is a commission of the City of Berkeley organized to facilitate the appropriate licensing and regulation of medical marijuana in the city. Rush demanded a well-compensated job from a prospective medical marijuana dispensary in exchange for his influence as a member of the commission.
In addition, the indictment alleges that Rush engaged in a conspiracy to commit money laundering and financial structuring, as well as substantive money laundering. The indictment and FBI agent’s affidavit filed in the case explain that Rush took a loan totaling $600,000 in cash from a person engaged in the marijuana business. Rush and the attorney engaged in a series of structuring transactions designed to obscure the origin of the money. Over the ensuing years, Rush required the attorney to fund interest payments on the loan and, when Rush ultimately was not able to repay the loan, he offered favorable union benefits in exchange for forgiveness of the loan.
In sum, Rush was charged with taking illegal payments as a union employee, in violation of 29 U.S.C. §§ 186(a) and (b); honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343 and 1346; attempted extortion, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951; conspiracy to commit structuring and money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371; and money laundering by concealment, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i).
The investigation began with cooperation from individuals in the medical marijuana industry who reported Rush’s allegedly corrupt activities. According to the affidavit, the attorney with whom Rush was working has been cooperating with the FBI and has agreed to plead guilty to offenses related to the charges against Rush.
Rush was originally charged by criminal complaint and arrested in Oakland on August 11, 2015, and made his initial appearance in federal court in Oakland on August 12, 2015. Rush was released on bond and bail was set at $500,000. Rush’s next scheduled appearance is September 23, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. for arraignment before the Honorable Kandis Westmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge, in Oakland. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Haywood S Gilliam, Jr., U.S. District Court Judge, in Oakland.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years if he is convicted of the charges of honest services fraud, attempted extortion, or money laundering, along with a fine as much as $500,000 and restitution if appropriate. If the defendant is convicted of accepting an illegal payment as a union employee or engaging in a criminal conspiracy, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco and investigated by the FBI.
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