Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 2009
Source: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Fresno Bee
Author: Eddie Jimenez
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Medical Marijuana User Says Officials Shouldn't Keep Half His 12 Pounds.

After medical marijuana user Richard Daleman was found not guilty of 
cultivating and selling marijuana, he figured Tulare County officials 
would hand back the 12 pounds that were confiscated during his arrest.

He figured wrong -- prosecutors say they only have to return half, 
because his physician's recommendation allows him up to 6 pounds of marijuana.

And no, Assistant District Attorney Don Gallian said, he's not going 
to sift through the 12 pounds to pick out the "best buds," as Daleman 
had requested: "We don't do that sort of thing. I don't have that expertise."

After Daleman's trial ended, Tulare County Superior Court Judge 
Darryl Ferguson said the Sheriff's Department should return up to 6 
pounds to Daleman because of his physician's recommendation.

But Daleman, 61, who lives just north of Visalia and uses marijuana 
to control chronic pain, says he has a legal right to reclaim the 
full 12 pounds.

He acknowledges that his doctor's recommendation says he can possess 
up to 6 pounds of medical marijuana, but he says that's 6 "processed" 
pounds -- minus the parts that he doesn't use.

Daleman said he extracts hash and kief -- a powder made from glands 
of a cannabis plant -- because of their potency. He rubs it on his 
knees and right shoulder for his arthritis and chronic pain, uses it 
as an ingredient in food such as brownies and mashed potatoes, and 
also uses it as a suppository for a prostate problem.

Because he doesn't smoke it, Daleman said, "By law I can have six to 
10 times more" than someone who smokes it for medical reasons.

Ferguson will consider Daleman's request today.

Daleman was arrested Dec. 16 by Tulare County sheriff's deputies and 
charged with two counts of possession of marijuana for sale and two 
counts of cultivating marijuana, said his attorney, Andy Rubinger, a 
county deputy public defender.

He spent three months in jail.

Daleman said he is protected under the Compassionate Use Act approved 
by California voters in 1996. The act allows medical marijuana use 
with a doctor's recommendation.

Although deputies believed he was also selling marijuana, "there was 
no evidence that he ever sold any," Rubinger said.

A jury agreed, finding Daleman not guilty on all counts March 27, 
Rubinger said.

Gallian said he wouldn't discuss the facts of the case.

A spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national medical 
marijuana user advocacy group, said he believes Daleman should 
prevail in court.

In a recent case in Orange County, the city of Garden Grove was 
ordered by a Superior Court judge to return marijuana to a medical 
user whose criminal charges had been dismissed, said Aaron Smith, 
Marijuana Policy Project spokesman in Santa Rosa.

City officials refused, saying the marijuana use violated federal 
laws, Smith said. An appellate court and the state Supreme Court 
agreed with the lower court's ruling, he said.

"In ultimately all cases, the court comes down in returning all 
property," he said.

But a Susanville man says he shouldn't have to go to court to get 
Fresno County officials to return his medical marijuana.

Ken Thornton said Fresno police confiscated about a half-ounce -- 
even though he showed them his medical marijuana identification card 
- -- during a traffic stop in February.

Thornton, 42, said he was in town to help his son move when he was 
cited for an expired vehicle registration, which he said was cleared 
up the next day.

The Fresno County District Attorney's Office did not file charges 
against Thornton.

Melissa White, legal adviser for the Fresno Police Department, said 
Thornton needs to get a court order before police can release his 
marijuana to him because it is a controlled substance.

Thornton can get an order from any state court, but he will still 
have to pick up his marijuana in person, White said.

But Thornton said it's a huge hassle to drive from Lassen County back 
to Fresno.

"It shouldn't have been taken in the first place," said Thornton, who 
uses marijuana to offset side effects of treatment he receives for hepatitis C.
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