Pubdate: Sat, 26 Feb 2011
Source: Helena Independent Record (MT)
Copyright: 2011 Helena Independent Record
Author: Angela Brandt
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Psychosis)


Jeremy S. MacGregor is set to take the stand Monday morning.

The question was raised as to whether MacGregor, who is acting as his 
own attorney, will therefore question himself.

District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock said he had only seen that once 
and although it may have been hilarious when Woody Allen klutzily 
acted as his own lawyer questioning himself and then bumbling to the 
stand to answer in the movie "Bananas," it would be too awkward in 
real life. MacGregor will instead simply be allowed to speak on the 
stand, Sherlock ruled Friday.

MacGregor, 32, is on trial facing two charges of felony attempted 
deliberate homicide for shooting his then-wife and the couple's nanny 
in April 2010. While he admits to causing the women to have 
life-threatening injuries, MacGregor argues that it was under 
mitigated circumstances because he was involuntarily intoxicated at 
the time of the shooting after unknowingly eating marijuana cookies.

MacGregor was slated to testify Friday but when the time came, he 
opted to wait until his final witnesses have taken the stand. He has 
two more potential witnesses, including someone MacGregor says 
brought the alleged marijuana cookies to a bowling alley the night of 
the shooting. Those people have been hard to locate, but at least one 
was contacted on Friday.

"Without these witnesses, it'd be impossible for me to prove my whole 
defense," MacGregor told the judge. "This is the heart of my case.

"I know it happened. I know she did bring in these baked goods," he added.

MacGregor called seven people who were at the bowling alley that 
night to testify. All of the witnesses said they did not recall 
seeing any cookies on MacGregor's table.

MacGregor argues that eating the marijuana cookies put him in an 
altered mental state and due to his involuntary intoxication the 
shooting was not deliberate.

On Friday afternoon, the instructions for the jury were discussed. 
Although MacGregor has been formally charged with attempted 
deliberate homicide, the jurors will be given the choice of lesser 
charges of attempted mitigated homicide and assault with a weapon.

In previous testimony in the trial, which began Tuesday, MacGregor's 
prior use of marijuana has been discussed. He says he began smoking 
pot at the age of 13 and quit using the drug about two months prior 
to the shooting.

MacGregor called Ron Clevenger, a specialist in illicit drugs from 
St. Peter's Hospital, to the stand to discuss the effects of marijuana.

Clevenger said it is a unique drug that reacts differently to each 
user. It can be a stimulant or a depressant depending on who you are, 
how much you use and how you take it.

"It has so many different effects on the body," he testified. "It can 
be totally different per person."

According to a test taken the day after the shooting, MacGregor had a 
"moderate dose" of the drug in his system. That amount, Clevenger 
said, was likely from a single-time use but chronic users may also 
have a similar result.

Clevenger said he could not say what the impact would be on a 
habitual user who abstained and then used again. There could be an 
elevated high due to the prior use or it could have less of an 
effect. The reaction to the substance would also depend on the type 
of marijuana and the amount taken, he said.

Lewis and Clark County Attorney Leo Gallagher brought up the use of 
marijuana for medicinal purposes and the number of Montanans who have 
green cards.

"How many of those 2,400 are out there shooting people, as far as you 
know?" he asked Clevenger, who responded that he didn't know.
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