Pubdate: Mon, 16 Sep 2002
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2002 The Orange County Register
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


As the medical marijuana issue heats up, fueled by recent cruel and unusual 
federal raids on California patients growing their own in accordance with 
state law, Orange County's most visible patient/activist is still tied up 
in court. On Friday Marvin Chavez's pretrial proceeding, for an arrest and 
seizure of plants that occurred more than a year ago, was scheduled for 
Oct. 11.

When the trial finally gets under way, at least Mr. Chavez will have the 
right, under the California Supreme Court's recent decision in People v. 
Mower, to request dismissal of charges based on his undisputed status as a 
patient. It's a shame the district attorney's office has not simply decided 
to drop the idea of prosecution.

When Mr. Chavez was arrested, more than 40 plants in various stages of 
growth were seized. As nearly as we can tell, since no evidence of sales or 
trafficking has been presented or even alleged, the prosecution's case is 
based on the number of plants alone. That's dubious, since state law does 
not mention plant quantity and Orange County has not developed patient 

When the California Supreme Court ruled in July on Myron Mower's case, 
which involved 31 plants, it sent it back to Tuolomne County for a new 
trial under different guidelines. This week Tuolomne County prosecutors 
announced they would not reprosecute the case but would move to dismiss it. 
Orange County prosecutors should do likewise.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager