Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 2009
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Copyright: 2009 The Capital Times
Author: Gary Storck


Dear Editor: A recent letter writer called for the removal of U.S. Judge
Jay Bybee for writing memos supporting torture when he was part of the
Bush administration. Bybee was also part of a three-judge panel of the
9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that recently reaffirmed the 10-year
mandatory minimum sentence of California medical cannabis provider Bryan
Epis, on charges of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

Epis' case began in 1997, shortly after the passage of California's
groundbreaking medical cannabis law by voters in 1996. According to
NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), Epis'
appeal was filed on various grounds, including prosecutorial
misconduct and "the unclarity of the law at the time of his arrest."
The judges did not even bother to hold a hearing, only issuing an
11-page denial.

Bryan Epis has already served part of the sentence, and he and his
family have already been tortured enough by federal authorities. It is
incredibly disgusting that torture was used widely to further our
foreign policies in the Bush administration. Denying medicine to sick
people and engaging in long, wasteful prosecutions of patients trying
to help others legally under state laws, as Bryan Epis did, is a stain
on a nation that claims to be an example of freedom and democracy. Not
only should Bybee be impeached for his torture memos, but Bryan Epis
deserves a full pardon under the new policy announced by Attorney
General Eric Holder that state medical cannabis laws will be respected.

Gary Storck

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