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Function of Juries & Jurors Doing Justice & Jury Nullification | 19 Mar 2014

-San Diego Jury Acquits Couple in Medical Marijuana Case

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Good news AGAIN in San Diego, this time in the medical marijuana case of Dennis and Deborah Little, whose dire medical situation includes HIV/AIDS, cancer, arthritis, neuropathy, and more. Jurors found the Littles Not Guilty on charges of possession of marijuana for sale and of cultivation of marijuana.

Click through for the transcript. (Note: audio may automatically play when the page loads.)

Terrie Best reported from the courtroom during the case, alerting us to the ridiculousness of the case. The Littles were growing in the neighborhood of two dozen plants for their own medical use. Terrie explains:

After the DEA removed the Littles’ marijuana garden and confiscated all of their medicine, they proceeded to weigh the evidence and destroy almost all of it at an undisclosed location. The Littles were then charged with possession for sale and cultivation of marijuana. At the preliminary hearing, Deputy Matt Stevens stated that, in total, he seized more than 640 pounds. However, there are no viable pictures, video, or other evidence to corroborate that testimony. As such, the Littles have never had the opportunity to test the DEA’s incredible assertions by analyzing and testing the evidence themselves to demonstrate that, in fact, they were cultivating an amount reasonably necessary for their medical needs.

The situation was made even more confusing when the ex-prosecutor turned judge in the case ruled on the admissibility of testimony regarding the non-existent evidence:

At the end of questioning Judge Munroy admonished DEA agent Stevens for not complying with an evidence-collecting statute in the case, telling him a “fashioned legal remedy” was put in place because of this non-compliance. The sanction, in place because of DEA antics, formally restricts the prosecution from perpetrating the fallacy of the unsubstantiated weight of 640 pounds, in favor of the also unsubstantiated weight of 118 pounds of cannabis evidence, during trial.

In fact, only about 8 pounds of marijuana were available as evidence at the time of the trial. Says Terrie of the wrap-up of the trial:

Both parties held closing arguments at end of day, yesterday. Nate Shaman told the jury they had the ability to turn in a not guilty verdict based solely on the fact that the DEA had intentionally destroyed evidence that would have benefited the Littles. He also called the prosecutions witnesses “DEA sponsored.”

Lance Rogers pointed out all the mistakes law enforcement had in the case and highlighted the unfair conflict between state and federal law.

Brock Arstill, in his closing, asserted that marijuana is still illegal except under strict circumstances and the Little’s, while clearly sympathetic, are not entitled to a “pass.” Arstill has been a bit more slippery than he started out. In much of his questioning of Steven’s he tried to circumvent the court’s weight sanction. This necessitated a few sidebars in which I’m certain the judge admonished him since he gave up the line of questioning and stuck to the court’s ruling on the sanction.

Of note, at the end of day Tuesday, Judge Munroy asked the jury not to watch CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s special on medical cannabis which was scheduled to air that night.

Thankfully, the jury delivered Not Guilty verdicts on all counts, setting the Littles free to rebuild their lives after the nightmare they have been put through by federal and state government agents.

We should all be asking ourselves of this kind of case, what was the value in government relentlessly hounding a couple who had harmed nobody? As jurors vote Not Guilty over and over in these kinds of cases, refusing to be complicit in the government’s injustice to peaceful people, prosecutors and law enforcement have a more and more difficult time justifying their malicious actions and the wasteful expense to taxpayers who are forced to fund their pointless shenanigans.

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