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Rights of All Medical Marijuana Patients at Risk in Long Beach Case

Sam Sabzehzar 2011-09-22 2 comments

By Sam Sabzehzar  |  Published in

Medical cannabis advocates from San Diego to Kern County have come to attend the protests. (Photo credit:

In what will soon become one of the closest-watched court cases in medical cannabis history, Long Beach Superior Court sets the stage for a series of ongoing protests that highlight an injustice to all medical marijuana patients, providers, and advocates.

As medical marijuana patients poured out of the courtroom, another group pounded the pavement, as protests errupted for a second straight week as The People of the State of California VS. Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine unfolds.

The People vs. Joe, one of whom is a Long Beach business owner, the other an Executive¬†Director of the non-profit group The Human Solution, is¬†Los¬†Angeles¬†County’s DA Steve Cooley’s Flagship Case in his efforts to silence the two community leaders with his premise that “All Sales Are Illegal.”

Unfortunately, it’s working on Judge Charles Sheldon (who has a record of sentencing 3-strikes cases to the fullest, even on non-violent cases), as prosecutors got their way today in their motion to suppress the same rights the will of the people voted awarded people like Byron and Grumbine fifteen years ago.

“The law is clear, but Judge Sheldon, citing no reasons, is not allowing the defendents to exericise their rights to an Affirmative Defense, which the voters have clearly voted on,” reiterates Allison Margolin, one of the attorneys for one of the Joes.

This could be bad news for patients and dispensaries, providers and caregivers, and anyone who believes in the fundamental right to choose from the form of medicine, natural or synthetic, a patient finds to be most effective.

ASA's "Not Cooley" campaign largely helped to carry Kamala Harris over the Los Angles DA.

Kamala¬†Harris inched her way to victory over Cooley largely due to the efficacy of the¬†Americans for Safe Access ‘Not Cooley’ campaign in last year’s California Attorney General’s race because of this very issue.

The same population that could’ve turned Prop 19, which would’ve made California the first state to create regulations for marijuana use by adults, from a loss to a victory but did not, are the same group of people that didn’t want Steve Cooley making his “ALL Sales Are Illegal” perspective a state-wide stance.

Now that Cooley has set his sights on a target closer to the¬†Los¬†Angeles¬†DA’s radar, the ‘Cooley’s Not Cool’ hat is back, as Joe and Joe both lost their right to their Affirmative Defense as medical marijuana patients directing a collective.

Most Federal medical marijuana cases do not allow patient’s rights to be shown to the jury, and this form of information censorship and manipulation tactics is being replicated in Cooley’s current case against the two men who had dotted all I’s and crossed all T’s while providing medical marijuana to qualified medical cannabis patients.

Even the rules they were following will not be allowed to be introduced to the Jury, once the trial begins. Long Beach’s current Congressman is even a Co-sponsor of the Truth in Trials Act, to ensure that the truth be a part of a blind Justice System.

While our Congressman, who recently endorsed the “Regulate Marijuana Like Wine” Initiative, to be a Co-sponsor on a bill that ensures transparency in medical cannabis cases, are we to assume that there is a clear need for such transparancy?

We don’t have to assume any longer, now that the lies to build the laws are being dismantled one by one, as right-leaning groups like the RAND Corporation are even publishing studies to prove than medical cannabis dispensaries make areas more safe because crime goes down, not up, like our ‘leaders’ would like us to believe.

Even elected officials in Long Beach, like Councilmembers DeLong, O’Donnell, and Schipske, who were buying the lie and perpetuating it tenfold, throwing the entire permitting process back several steps (as if their process wasn’t already flawed enough).

It’s not that Justice in Blind, however, it’s that for the prosecution to win this case, they need the Jury to be.

Unfortunately for the lead prosecutor in the case, Jodi¬†Castano, who has admitted to not fully understanding the Endogenous¬†Cannabinoid¬†Signaling System (eCBss), which regulates the human body systems that keep us all alive, and doesn’t want the Jury to understand it either.

In fact, she is quoted as saying, “I’ve never even heard of it,” underscoring a larger problem.

You're never too young to learn about civil disobedience and Constitutional and Civil Rights.

Unless local Long Beach residents have been living under a rock these past few years, the jury pool will fully understand that this is a medical marijuana case, and they may follow Montana residents, where¬†Jury Nullification¬†has come up, and where Missoula¬†couldn’t even¬†seat¬†a jury.

If they understand science and have access to a smart-phone or computer, and if they live in Long Beach, they most likely understand marijuana IS a medicine also, even if they know even less than Castano about the eCBss, who is prosecuting a case that is the clearest representation of wasteful spending as California reaches a second recession and resources become more scarce.

Many innocent people every day are victims of violent crimes, and many of those crimes go unsolved. Perhaps our law enforcement and court systems could be less controlled by politics, which is the driving force behind the perpetually-flawed perspective the war-mongering in the War on Drugs provides.

Long Beach is even in the process of providing permits for the same thing Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine are being accused of doing.

Twelve charges of sales occurred by undercover officers and informants who obtained legal medical cannabis recommendation by physicians, and then went into the medical marijuana dispensary to get the medicine their doctors deemed worthy of introduction¬†to their own body’s marijuana system it makes.

Sounds like normal medical cannabis dispensing center (MCDC) protocol: a qualified patient comes in, gets what they were unable to grow for themselves, and pay for it.

As a matter of fact, it sounds like America to me too. Not that a California MCDC can earn a profit, but I do notice that health care delivery in America is for profit.

Health care insurance is for profit, the medicine is for profit, health care delivery is for profit (which is why 50 millions Americans don’t even have it), and even marijuana in a pill, Marinol, is FOR PROFIT!

Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine were operating a MCDC, and for those that found it too difficult to even go to a safe access point like their dispensary, they would set up and teach patients how to grow their own.

The whole plant is also much more effective than a synthetic, isolated, pathetic attempt to replicate the safe and natural substance in the first place. So natural in fact, we make it ourselves naturally.

One such natural body chemical, called¬†Anandamide, Sanskrit for ‘Bliss’, is like Delta-9 THC, which is the psychoactive property. It only becomes psychoactive when¬†THCA¬†is heated up and turns into Delta 9.

Our body also has receptors that link with the cannabis plant’s properties that bind to each other like a key in a lock, many keys and many locks really, as our body’s cannabis system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and regulating every other body system we have.

So it’s rather important that elected officials and appointed persons understand what they are trying to regulate, let alone restrict, which is what will happen if Cooley’s case is made by manipulation, omission, and censorship.

If¬†Castano¬†is forced to finish fighting Cooley’s War, more than one Braggart Soldier will ride away, taking marijuana prohibition with them, going quietly into their watermark, swept away by mandate.




  1. Legalize America

    Motion to have the judge tossed from the case and since he is not following California state Laws, and he should be taken into custoday for DOMESTIC TERRORISM on medical cannabis patients..

    People like this should be in prison…. themselves…

  2. Catherine Haessig

    This is a total waste of tax payers dollars.

    All we got to keep doing is EDUCATE, EDUCATE and keep educating.