This is the picture

The red sea divided

Sea of green, beneath sky of blue

Grow high-quality hemp — not industrial low-potency cannabis, but the good stuff. Grow it in tight formation in fields that cross the land, and pluck the tops for free use of all who need it for medicine. The rest is for food, fuel and fiber.

And there was color.

I’ve never asked you for money to support this blog. Right now I’m asking you to do something for me.

Go here and make a copy of the file for yourself. It’s only about 1.5 Megabytes in size. Make as many copies as you like. The only copyright on this material is what you imagine, you have the right to copy it infinitely.

Just because some of my friends like to know this stuff,

$ md5sum wordpress.2006-10-31.xml
a331818df38c537cb2c43ddc76eff12d wordpress.2006-10-31.xml

$ sha1sum wordpress.2006-10-31.xml
5e9ffbb822c76e90401f69d564588309f2c5965f  wordpress.2006-10-31.xml

Thanks so much.

Time to make copies

Backup your websites, share them with the world.

The shredders are coming.

Hat-tip to watertiger.

Are we coming through? Should we turn up the volume?

ASA update on Ed Rosenthal and Rick Watts

I was a little slow getting this due to the festival, and will probably be a bit behind in my reading all week at least while I try to catch up. This summary is quite good and accurately reported according to my own recollection of the hearing, which I had the honor of attending. Incidentally, I found judge Charles Breyer to be very funny; at one point in a hearing on another case involving marijuana which the government claimed not to have enough money to prosecute (how odd), the judge suggested perhaps a bake sale, then verbally rethought the idea in light of the nature of the charges.

From William Dolphin, Americans for Safe Access director of communications:

On Wednesday, October 25, Ed Rosenthal and Rick Watts appeared before federal judge Charles Breyer for a status conference on the superseding indictment filed against them by the US Attorney’s office in San Francisco.

The hearing was largely an occasion for Judge Breyer to dress down AUSA George Bevan. While he took no definitive action, the Judge Breyer stated that he would be dismissing the primary charges against Watts for being in violation of the Speedy Trial Act; he indicated his strong inclination was to dismiss with prejudice — meaning he could not be charged again.

AUSA Bevan tried to argue that Rosenthal’s appeal was one reason, or that it was Watts’ responsibility to present himself for trial once he’d recovered from the auto accident that had made him unavailable for the original trial, or that it was even somehow the court’s responsibility, not the prosecutor’s. But Judge Breyer was having none of it, saying that a co-defendant’s appeal was no justification for not bringing charges, and that what the prosecutor was describing were just ways to circumvent the Speedy Trial Act.

Judge Breyer instructed Watt’s attorney to file motions seeking dismissal of the remaining conspiracy and tax evasion charges under the 6th and 5th Amendments. Those motions are due November 22, the government’s response December 1, and a hearing on the remaining charges against Watts will be held December 6.

Judge Breyer then turned his attention to the Rosenthal charges, noting that the primary counts against him were identical to those for which he’d already been convicted and already served his sentence. So, Judge Breyer mused, turning again to AUSA Bevan, “One wonders, what is the purpose of this prosecution?”

Bevan’s answer was that Rosenthal had left the courtroom and gone in front of the microphones claiming his trial had been “unfair,” that even jurors had been in the press saying it was unfair, and that had made him “personally very uncomfortable.”

This occasioned a lecture from Judge Breyer on First Amendment rights, but Bevan retreated only so far as to say that he wanted to present a more complete case that showed all of Rosenthal’s conduct, including that behind the allegations of money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Judge Breyer then noted that money laundering is a crime of intent. Money laundering is only those case where someone is converting what they think to be illegal proceeds to something that looks legal, so Rosenthal’s state of mind would have everything to do with guilt or innocence, meaning all the evidence that was excluded from the original trial — Ed’s deputization by the city of Oakland, the fact that the clones he was growing were only for qualified patients, all the information about state law, etc. — would have to be heard by the jury, the information that the original jury told the press would have led to an acquittal, had they been told.

On the issue of whether everything was full reported on tax returns, Judge Breyer suggested that the tax charges might be tried separately from the others, noting that the facts were far simpler and could be decided more quickly, since the legality or illegality of the enterprise is irrelevant to the obligation to pay taxes. He then asked for written responses from the attorneys on the question of severing the tax charges. Those papers are due to the court November 3, with a hearing on separate trials to be held November 18.