Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Copyright: 2009 The Ukiah Daily Journal
Author: James Joseph Munson


To the Editor:

My name is James Joseph Munson. My friends call me Oaky Joe. I would
like to share with you some of my experiences from over the last 1.5
years or so.

Today I went to one of my good friend's memorial. He was a retired
veteran who was very proud of his country. I asked my friend about a
year ago if he would come to court to testify on me and my wife's
behalf. My friend told me that he wanted to but that he was not
feeling very well. When my wife and I had our second and third cases
come up we asked my friend again if he could come to court. He assured
us that he would if he was physically able to. He did come to court
and he did testify under oath that I had been supplying him with his
medical marijuana for quite some time. My friend had to be wheeled
into the court in a wheel chair with a respirator. My friend was so
weak that Judge Brown let him testify before the lunch break so that
he could leave. After my friend got home he became sicker and sicker.
So much so they had to take him by ambulance to the hospital in
Lakeport. His health deteriorated even further and was put into ICU.
The facility in Lakeport felt like they needed to send him to the
veterans hospital in San Francisco. They stabilized my friend after
two weeks and he returned home. Five days later, however, my friend

My wife and I have been under felony indictment for over a year. At
our first case we told the DA from the beginning that we would be
presenting our patients at the preliminary hearing on a pro active
defense. The DA decided to pursue the case. After the judge listened
to the testimony of the police and my collective members that were
healthy enough to make it to court he dismissed the case because he
did not see any evidence of criminal activity.

Fast forward to March of 2008. The Mendocino County Major Crimes Task
Force came to my house at 7 a.m. with their guns drawn. They woke up
my 3-year-old daughter and made my wife who was breastfeeding my
6-day-old son sit on the couch while they ransacked my house and
arrested me. They charged my wife and I with the same charges that had
just been dismissed. Apparently the task force leader did not inform
the judge that issued the warrant that we had just produced nine valid
recommendations a couple months before and had our cases dismissed.

The police refused to let me call my lawyer, refused to call any local
doctors to check the validity of any of the recommendations and
refused to acknowledge any of my current recommendations. I told the
police repeatedly that the cards belonged to legitimate patients. The
police all told me that they had never seen a legitimate medical
marijuana garden.

My wife and I went to our arraignment on our second case at 10 a.m.
and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force kicked my door to my house
in at 7 p.m. that same evening. Once again eradicating my plants and
arresting me the next morning and put me in jail on a $50,000 bail. My
friend had to put up his house as collateral against my bail.

The district attorney in my first case said that they did not have a
problem with letting my case go. I don't know what the DA in my second
and third cases thought about it. If my case goes to trial some of the
members of my collective will have testified three times on my behalf.

The state of California has set rules and guidelines about growing
medical marijuana and I feel if you follow the rules you should not be
in jeopardy. I don't own a home. The only real assets that I have are
a couple of old Fiats and old Jeep. I owe about $100,000 to different
people around Ukiah that believe in what I have been trying to accomplish.

My lawyer used to be the head of the District Attorneys Office here in
Mendocino County. He has been fighting for me and my wife in court on
credit as he sees that I have been following all the laws around
medical marijuana.

On June 18 at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom B of the Mendocino Courthouse we
will file a motion to dismiss because the Mendocino Major Crimes Task
Force did not give the judge that issued the warrant all the pertinent
information required to be presented to the judge before he can make a
decision about whether or not to grant the warrant.

If my case goes to jury trial we will be presenting 16 of my
collective's members. Hopefully. The trial is set for June 22 at 10
a.m. in courtroom B. Please attend if you are able.

James Joseph Munson

Redwood Valley
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