Federal Medical Marijuana Trial – James Stacy Hearing Moved to 1:30pm

Please come out and support Mr. Stacy in court tomorrow!

The hearing time was moved up to 1:30pm in Courtroom 15 (940 Front St. San Diego CA, 92101)

Get there early as the courtroom fills up fast!

On July 13th, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz denied a defense today for James Stacy, a San Diego-area medical marijuana provider raided in September 2009 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bonnie Dumanis’ Narcotics Task Force. Stacy was raided by the DEA a month before the Justice Department issued a new policy on medical marijuana in October, deemphasizing federal enforcement in medical marijuana states. Despite the new policy, the Obama Administration is continuing its prosecution against Stacy, who will be tried on August 30th as the first such trial under under the new DOJ policy.

“It’s far worse to then deny the accused a defense in federal court, all but guaranteeing a conviction in spite of the defendant’s compliance with state law.” Because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the federal government can effectively exclude any evidence of medical use or compliance with state medical marijuana laws.

The denial of Stacy’s medical marijuana defense in federal court has attracted the attention of some Members of Congress who are working to end this unfair practice. “Despite a new Justice Department policy on medical marijuana enforcement, James Stacy was still denied a defense in federal court,” said Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), author of HR3939, the Truth in Trials Act, legislation that would allow defendants like Stacy to use evidence of state law compliance in federal court. “The Truth in Trials Act would correct this aberration of justice and ensure that no one else will needlessly face years in prison without the means to defend themselves.”

The Stacy trial and recent DEA raids come as the City and County of San Diego are both deliberating local regulations on distribution of medical marijuana. Advocates argue that federal actions in collaboration with local law enforcement aim to undermine efforts to regulate the same activity that’s being criminalized. San Diego has historically been hostile to medical marijuana, filing a lawsuit against local advocates and the State of California to avoid implementing the state-mandated ID card system and conducting more than 50 DEA raids during the Bush Administration. Yet, patients and advocates have been supported by two San Diego Grand Juries that have issued strong recommendations to fully implement state law at the local level.

“Stacy’s prosecution and denial of a defense underscores the importance of developing a comprehensive federal policy on medical marijuana, which will also allow states to care for the health and welfare of their people without unnecessary federal interference,” continued Woodson. “It’s not the purview of the federal government to enforce local or state laws.”

Further Information:
Ruling by federal judge denying Stacy’s defense: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Stacy_Ruling.pdf
October 2009 Justice Department policy directive on medical marijuana: http://blogs.usdoj.gov/blog/archives/192

San Diego Americans for Safe Access

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