Wondering what you're getting for the $50 billion a year our government spends on the drug war? I mean, besides the overcrowded prisons, the job creation program for organized criminals and the destruction of the family unit in our inner cities? You get prosecutions like this.
Federal prosecutors said today they would retry marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal on cultivation charges, even after a federal judge urged them to drop the case and chastised the government for lodging charges solely to punish the self-proclaimed "guru of ganja."And what addlepated prosecutor would abuse our justice system and bring forward such a shamelssly vindictive action, you ask?
Newly appointed U.S. Attorney Scott Schools made the decision, said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Bevan, but he was not sure if Department of Justice officials in Washington were involved.Interestingly, this the same Atty. Scott Schools who prosecuted a man in South Carolina for daring to hold a sign that said, "No War for Oil" while our Imperial Leader was in town and who later held the California blogger Sam Wolf in jail for 226 days.
Rosenthal is being retried on a conviction that was overturned after he already served his sentence. Additional charges of money laundering and tax fraud have already been thrown out when the judge ruled "they were solely to punish Rosenthal for winning his appeal..." The prosection won't appeal that, but instead will go forward with the original charges of cultivation of marijuana, which Ed was growing for the City of Oakland after California voters passed a law legalizing medical marijuana.
This case was originally prosecuted to slap the people of California in the face for defying the Bush administration's vendetta against a simple plant and to intimidate medical marijuana activists. Ed was instrumental in the passage of that law. Even if he's convicted again, he faces no jail time. This petty prosecution is being pursued solely for revenge.
Meanwhile, who goes free while your government spends its limited resources on prosecuting a law-abiding citizen? Digby has the complete rundown on that, but let's just say the thieves, con artists, murderous bigots and corrupt politicians can all sleep a little sounder tonight knowing our government's limited resources are being spent on persecuting a gardener.