Pubdate: Thu, 15 Mar 2007
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Los Angeles Times
Author: Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge Wednesday dismissed charges of tax 
evasion and money laundering against High Times columnist and medical 
marijuana activist Ed Rosenthal.

Rosenthal had been busted for growing pot for dispensaries. During 
his 2003 trial on three felony charges for cultivating marijuana, he 
was prohibited from citing medical marijuana in his defense.

After delivering a guilty verdict, several jurors criticized the 
government for not allowing that evidence to be aired during the 
trial. Rosenthal, the self-described "Guru of Ganja," was sentenced 
to the single day he had already served in jail.

The conviction was overturned in April 2006, but federal prosecutors 
indicted Rosenthal anew for growing pot, adding charges of tax 
evasion and money laundering. His defense team accused the government 
of vindictive prosecution in retaliation for Rosenthal's successful 
appeal and criticism of the prosecutors' tactics.

In his 12-page ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer 
wrote that "the government's deeds -- and words -- create the 
perception that it added the new charges to make Rosenthal look like 
a common criminal and thus dissipate the criticism heaped on the 
government after the first trial."
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