With prosecutions being thrown out in states like Colorado and Washington because elected officials there want to respect the will of the voters, Californians are still feeling a heavy hand from law enforcement for marijuana laws even after medical marijuana has long been OK
By Sam Sabzehzar | November 13, 2012Many children grow up without a family member around because of the disastrous policy of marijuana prohibition, which will have a ripple-effect for generations to come. (Photo by Catrina Coleman)
For medical marijuana defendants Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron, who became un-convicted felons after a judge reversed their guilty verdicts due to gross prosecutorial and judicial misconduct, this year’s elections must’ve been a promising sign of the direction this country is heading as the government has a safe opportunity to scales back their efforts in their War on Drugs.
Despite defeating a Goliath-like District Attorney who has been hellbent on harassing the medical cannabis community at every level, Grumbine and Byron have another shot at cooling Cooley’s efforts once and for all now that a ruling in San Diego has made clear the terms of collective members does not include cultivation.
This ruling virtually assures a not-guilty verdict once the jurors hear all the facts, and should they lose, which is highly unlikely at this point, would most likely be in the middle of a long appeals process when California voters finally approve the idea to regulate marijuana like wine, or a similar model to those passed in other states that have now begun throwing out their current court cases.
The prosecution and persecution of Joe Grumbine and Joe Byron provides insight into how scared pot prohibitionists really are, and how clouded their judgement is relating to their zeal versus respecting the will of the voters, especially in Long Beach where a majority of residents voted to approve Prop 19, which would’ve taxed and regulated marijuana for social consumption, and the city council had tried (and failed) to come up with regulations for medical cannabis in the city.
This is the same city that is hosting the trials and tribulations of Joe and Joe, and prosecutor Jodi Castano has all but thrown in the towel.
Her latest effort was to ask the Judge to deny Joe Grumbine’s bail due to a traffic violation where medical cannabis was present as Grumbine was driving near his home.
No charges for possession of medical marijuana were ever charged on Joe Grumbine, who himself is a qualified medical cannabis patient, and the mounting problems of probable cause relating to how the police searched Mr. Grumbine’s property will probably come up as a possible lawsuit is filed relating to questionable 4th Amendment rights violations.
For Grumbine, a founding member of The Human Solution, the war on drugs is a war on his family. This is the third holiday season for the Grumbine’s where they are spending most of their time and money on a court case relating to a plant. Millions of tax dollars have been used already, with another million more estimated to be used before a jury will most likely find the defendants not-guilty.
Some prosecutors in states like Washington and Colorado know this and are wise enough to respect the will of their voters, while Ms. Castano is doubling down on her prosecutorial efforts relating to the drug war, as are officials in Long Beach, where lawsuits are mounting up.
Often times, when a city is sued the city council approves a settlement without discourse. In Long Beach, Los Angeles, and many Orange County cities, many see such suits as a sign of failure at the highest levels of local governance and law enforcement. If there are millions of dollars in settlements relating to an issue that the voters approved, the rank and file are next to go and as the public loses patience for elected officials who don’t do their jobs by enacting public policy an par with the public’s vote.
In the meantime, Joe Grumbine is sitting in jail as he awaits his next hearing, currently scheduled for the 27th of November, and for now it seems the war has been won, but the battles are still raging as news is slow to travel and families are still caught in the cross hairs.