U.S. judge in California considers argument marijuana law unconstitutionalThe case is officially US. vs Schweder, but reader Steve Smith points out that this story reports the names of none of the (armed) defendants. You can see lawyer Zenia K. Gilg's brief saying marijuana is basically harmless online here, but even if we concede that marijuana is basically harmless—you can smoke a lot of it and still go on to be President—that doesn't mean the growers are harmless.
By Sharon Bernstein February 11, 2015 9:48 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A federal judge hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out.
Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she would rule within 30 days on the request, which comes amid looser enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize its recreational use in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.
"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.
The men were charged in 2011 with growing marijuana on private and federal land in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California near the city of Redding.
If convicted, they face up to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine, plus forfeiture of property and weapons. [More]
The article quotes Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Broderick as saying "They had weapons. These guys were not producing medicine."
And who are these guys? There are 16 of them, and 12 are Hispanic: