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The following is by Charles Lynch, a medical marijuana provider currently on trial in federal court:
Monday July 28, 2008
Lynch received an email from a supporter today that mentioned the following information to him:
“…I recently came across the fact that the US Govt. holds a patent on the medicinal use of cannabis (patent #6,630,507) for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including stroke, trauma, auto-immune disorder, HIV dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It was based on research done at the NIH, and the assignee is the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. This patent, awarded, not by, but TO the US Government completely contradicts the official stance that cannabis has no current medical applications.”
This was certainly a surprise to Lynch as he thought the federal government didn’t see any medicinal purpose for the use of marijuana, yet they have a patent on it? Lynch’s attorneys confirmed this information and will comment on the discovery in the near future.
Before deliberations started today the prosecutor demanded the jury be queried regarding the article in the LA Times on Saturday. The judge agreed and asked the jury if anybody saw the article or read it. Two juror’s raised their hands and they were led off to a side bar to talk with the attorneys, the judge and the prosecutor. Both jurors said they saw the article but did not read it as they knew it was about the case. The judge said ok and the case continued on.
One interesting note for the day is that Lynch was now being allowed to accompany his attorneys to side bars with the judge. Side bars are essentially when the Defense Attorneys, the Prosecutor and the Judge meet on the side of the Judges desk and discuss items on the record that they don’t want the jury to hear. Lynch stood right next to the judge during the side bars and will continue to do so throughout the remaining of the trial.
Also today the prosecution continued its case against Lynch by bringing in more and more Sheriff’s deputies and detectives from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department. One officer, John Blank, had infiltrated the dispensary and had a fake driver’s license and a real doctor’s recommendation issued to the fake name. The prosecutors inadvertently opened the door to cross examine the informant on how he got into the dispensary using his ‘physicians statement’, his fake id and lying when he filled out membership and caregiver agreement forms. The jury also heard how the informant tried bringing in an underage 17 year old without the proper paper work and he was denied access. Just a friendly reminder that local law enforcement are sworn in to uphold state law, not federal law. Also it seemed unfair that Lynch cannot mention state law yet here we have state officers who are testifying against him in federal court.
Other Sheriff’s deputies and detectives mentioned how they had been casing the place writing down patients license plate numbers and videotaping them. Also the Sheriff’s talked about how they followed people around trying to widen a sort of ‘conspiracy’ case against Lynch. They also talked about a giant white bag that Lynch would carry out of the shop every two days which if they would have checked they would have found recycled cans from the dispensary Lynch transported to his house. Also they talked about a giant box that Lynch moved into the dispensary one day which if they had asked they would have probably found a security system he was working on. Also they talked about an employee who went to the post office one day with a box which if they had seized it they would have found a defective hard drive USB case that was being returned.
Two DEA agents testified against Lynch namely Special Agent Burkdohl and Special Agent La Rock. Burkdohl talked about the dispensary and showed pictures of ‘the marijuana’, ‘the board’ and the ‘marijuana plants’. La Rock talked about the back pack that Lynch carried around that was ‘stuffed with cash’ and the small amount of medication he had at his house. The prosecutor showed a picture of Lynch’s house and check book trying to make it look like he was living the life of the Rich and Famous. Lynch has owned the house he has been living in for 4-5 years before he even opened the dispensary.
Tomorrow, Tuesday July 29, 2008 it is thought the prosecutor will end their case and Lynch will begin his defense. Lynch will be testifying and the defense will have some supporters who will be testifying on his behalf. Lynch was mum on the details of his testimony as even the prosecutors don’t know what the defense has planned.
Lynch’s Attorneys did a fantastic job in managing the expectations of the court and in cross examining the government’s witnesses. Also members of the community and media were there in support of Lynch.
Lynch’s case has received significant attention in the media and on-line. Reason TV has been a strong supporter of Lynch, with its documentary short Raiding California and its video blog during the trial. Also, the LA Times and the San Luis Obispo New Times have both covered Lynch’s trial.