Medical Marijuana Trial in Long Beach – Catch 22 for Joe Grumbine, Byron

By Cynthia Johnston |  May 6, 2011

Medical marijuana may not find it's way in language during the trial, but patients will be filling the courtroom and holding rallies for the defendants in Long Beach.

On May 5, after hearing arguments from attorneys Allison Margolin and Chris Glew, Judge Charles D. Sheldon ruled that Joe Grumbine and Joe Bryant will not be allowed to present an affirmative defense in their case — meaning they will not be allowed to tell a jury that they were providing medical marijuana in full compliance with the Compassionate Use Act.

Instead, interpreting the law to mean any sale of marijuana under any circumstance is illegal, the case will be tried on its “merits.”

In other words, using this far-from-compassionate interpretation of the COMPASSIONATE USE ACT, if money changes hands between provider and patient, a crime has been committed and the provider can be sent to prison.

Said Judge Sheldon, “Judge Rodriguez did the right thing…. I won’t grant the defense motion.”

He did leave the door open a tiny crack, saying, “If you can prove sales are not illegal, you can make an affirmative defense.”

The catch? By his interpretation, and that of the judge before him, sales are illegal, so you can not make an affirmative defense. “Even if the judge cannot prove that they are illegal.”

He also made it clear that jury nullification will not be allowed. “I’m going to limit Voir Dire to actual purposes…. I am likely to not allow questions on how did you vote, what do you think of the law.”

This must be how the honorable judge keeps his cases from going to trial, as he admitted rather proudly to his 70-80% plea rate.

“Again, justice was not served,” said Chris Glew, attorney for Joe Grumbine, who explains the ruling as binding a boxers arms behind his back before throwing him in the ring.

Good news is, many patients have ringside seats to the main event next month.

Trial date set for June 17. Papers may be filed beginning June 9. Peasants with pitchforks prepare.

Coming soon: Blogger Cynthia Johnston gives full report. You can read more on from Cynthia on her blog, My Way IS the Highway.

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