While clearly the debate regarding the full legalization of marijuana is as they say,all over but the shouting, and polls show a huge change in the way marijuana is viewed with 52% supporting legalization of cannabis, depending who you talk to, how you ask the question, and where in the country you are, nearly 80% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.
Recently in Bradenton, FL a husband and wife had the medical marijuana they were growing seized by police. Florida has an active medical marijuana community but have so far not been able to get a bill passed. Robert was charged but the charges have since been dropped.
One of the things I’ve heard said, that it’s really sad because the group of people that stand the most to gain from the legalization of cannabis are elderly people and Florida’s leaning in that age groups direction, it seems like it’s all uphill for marijuana law reformers in that state. Cannabinoids have been shown very active in combating inflammation which is a major feature of age related health problems.
But it seems that the current laws regarding marijuana may be moot as prosecutors decided that the case they had against Robert Jordan would ultimately fail if they took his case all the way to a jury trial. They faced an almost certain acquittal and backed away only after destroying the couples home and medical marijuana garden.
From The Weed Blog
Just a couple days ago we reported on a Florida man, Robert Jordan, who denied a plea bargain offered by the state – the plea came after officers raided his home, finding over 20 cannabis plants, which were being used to treat his wife, Cathy Jordan, who suffers from Lou Gherig’s Disease. Cathy has lived over 20 years past her doctor’s prediction because of the use of cannabis, which helps her fight depression, nausea, and other symptoms associated with the disease.
In refusing to take the plea bargain, Robert made the smart move in standing up for his rights: It was his hopes that he would win a court case, or at least have his charges lowered, by proving “medical necessity”.
Now it appears they’ve dropped the charges because of the clear case of medical necessity being a likely win for the defendant at a jury trial.
According to a local news station in Florida, charges have officially been dropped against Robert Jordan. They’ve done so, of course, not out of the kindness of their hearts, but because prosecutors feel that he’s in the perfect situation to win a “medical necessity” case. Because of this, they’ve decided to not make the effort in trying to charge him.
The absolute key to this outcome was Mr. Jordan’s refusal to accept a plea agreement in this case and resolving to take it all the way to a jury trial.
I predict that in five to ten years you won’t be able to find a jury in any state of the union that will convict a person on a medical pot defense.
Robert and Cathy Jordan and people like them across the country should be pursuing jury trials and bringing suits against the cities they live in and the police departments of those cities for damages and file suits against the prosecutors for even bringing charges in the first place, allowing the investigations of activists, and medical patients in the first place. Raising this as an issue will get many prosecutors off the war on marijuana after they see that it is a losing battle.
The court of public opinion is pretty clearly in favor of not prosecuting people like Robert and Cathy Jordan who have campaigned tirelessly for the legalization of marijuana for medical uses in Florida for decades. It is noteworthy that this case occurred in Florida since the issue polls at its lowest level of acceptance among the elderly population which make up a higher number of Florida voters.
I think that after a few people win cases and force police to return stolen medication, they’ll start thinking about whether or not they want to spend the money on prosecuting people that are going to come back and get million dollar settlements, and force departments to either give back the marijuana as happened recently in Seattle, WA, (and just so you know these aren’t isolated events, even street dealers get their drugs back) or give monetary compensation based upon their own inflated estimates of value allowing wronged marijuana users to be compensated for overzealous police prosecution of medical users of marijuana.
This will clearly be a viable strategy going forward to prevent repeat offenses of overzealous persecution of medical marijuana users.