Connect with us

Culture

Jury Acquits Marijuana Patient Who Admitted To Breaking Georgia Law

Published

on

The jury had a decision to make: find the defendant guilty of growing marijuana and possessing “drug-related objects,” which would result in a felony conviction, or deem him innocent.

It’s not an especially unique choice in a Georgia court—except that the defendant, Javonnie McCoy, admitted that he was guilty. McCoy, who said he grew cannabis for personal use to treat chronic headaches he developed after being severely beaten in 2003, was transparent in the courtroom. And it paid off.

The jury heard the case over three days of trial, spent two hours deliberating last week and ultimately found McCoy not guilty on all counts, his attorney Catherine Bernard wrote in a Facebook post. McCoy was acquitted through a process known as jury nullification.

“The jury appreciated his honesty throughout the case—including testimony at trial and statements to police—and recognized that a good, hard working man living a quiet life and not bothering anyone didn’t deserve a felony conviction for his actions,” Bernard said.

Jury nullification isn’t unheard of, but McCoy’s case seemed to symbolically challenge prohibitionist policies that put patients and non-violent users in prison, with a criminal record that could follow them for the rest of their lives. While Georgia allows patients to use CBD extracts for medical purposes if a doctor recommends it, cultivating the plant is a felony that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in prison.

In other words, even if the judge wanted to give McCoy a pass, their hands would be tied. Only the jury’s leniency and right to nullify allowed the defendant avoid a serious conviction.

“Most people—and even many lawyers—are surprised to learn that juries are not required to follow the law,” Vince Sliwoski, an attorney at the Harris Bricken/Canna Law Group, wrote. “When a jury’s conscience takes over and tells it that someone does not deserve criminal punishment for his or her actions, regardless of the law, the jury can choose to acquit.”

Sliwoski offered an interesting, hypothetical scenario. What if a jury in federal court was tasked with deciding the fate of an individual charged for violating the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)?

“The possibility of jury nullification in a CSA case against a cannabis business is both fascinating and realistic.”

“It is realistic not just because of the favorable polling for cannabis nationwide, but also because these juries would be empaneled in jurisdictions that voted to legalize pot in the first place,” he wrote. “Imagine a hapless U.S. attorney being ordered to charge a popular cannabis farm in Humbolt County, California, which is America’s largest cannabis labor market.”

On a smaller scale, that’s similar to what actually played out in Georgia last week. Jurors exercised their right to judge not simply based on the letter of the law, but also their conscience and understanding of the context of the case. And what happened in the deep red state could be repeated in courtrooms throughout the country, which continues to grow more and more favorable toward marijuana reform.

Voters In Key Congressional Districts Support Marijuana Legalization, Poll Says

h/t FITSNEWS

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Los Angeles-based associate editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

Culture

Snoop Dogg Has A Salaried Marijuana Blunt Roller On Staff

Published

on

Snoop Dogg pays a person between $40,000-$50,000 per year to roll blunts for him, he said during a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show.

Comedian Seth Rogen confirmed that he’s watched the employee practice his craft during sessions with Snoop.

“He knows how to gauge the look on somebody’s face when it seems like they want a blunt, and if they do, he gives you one,” Rogen said.

“Timing. That motherfucker’s timing is impeccable,” Snoop said.

Stern asked Snoop to clarify if this person was actually hired by him and the rapper replied “that’s his J-O-B, his occupation.”

“On his resume, it says, ‘what do you do? I’m a blunt roller,” he said. “P-B-R, professional blunt roller.”

“If you’re great at something I need, I’m hiring you.”

Not only does Snoop pay him upwards of $50,000 to roll blunts, the employee also gets perks: he’s welcome to smoke the marijuana he rolls, goes on all-expense-paid trips while Snoop is traveling on tours and gets free items like clothing whenever companies give their products to the artist.

That seems like a pretty good deal compared to an opening within the federal government to mass produce joints for research purposes. The contractor who secures that position is subject to drug testing and presumably isn’t touring the world on the government’s dime.

That said, the job with Snoop likely isn’t a walk in the park. In a Reddit AMA in 2012, the rapper said he smokes 81 blunts per day.

Rogen said he’s spent hours smoking with Snoop and has found himself mesmerized by the worker’s craft.

“There’s been like 40 minutes where I’m like, ‘I’m just watching this guy and I’m just going to see what is going on here,'” he said, “As someone who smokes a lot of weed, it’s fucking fascinating.”

“Honestly, the amount of time I spend rolling joints, it might be worth my while financially to hire someone to do that,” Rogen said.

A video of the comments, released on Tuesday, is more cannabis content from the same Stern interview where Snoop and Rogen also offered advice on smoking marijuana for novices.

Seth Rogen And Snoop Dogg Offer Marijuana Advice To First-Time Consumers

Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading

Culture

Police Ask Florida Man To Stop Calling 911 About His Stolen Marijuana

Published

on

A Florida sheriff’s department had to ask a man to stop repeatedly calling 911 to report his roommate allegedly stealing $20 worth of marijuana this weekend.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office shared details about the incident in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday as part of its “#TweetAlong” program, where viewers can a behind-the-scenes look at law enforcement activities.

“Alright, so I just received a call—a guy is calling in saying his roommate stole his weed, $20 worth, and he’s upset,” Deputy Neal Zalva said in the video. “He keeps calling 911 so I have to give a call to tell him to stop calling about this weed.”

About an hour later, the deputy gave an update.

“Going back to the guy calling in to report his drugs stolen, I called him and let him know not to call the sheriff’s office and report his drugs,” he said. “He started to freak out a little bit on the phone and then hung up on me shortly after.”

 

While medical cannabis is legal in Florida, low-level possession (under 20 grams) without a patient certification is still a misdemeanor offense that’s punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

The department told the Associated Press that no charges were filed against the caller.

There are two measures seeking to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state in 2020, including one that’s being backed by industry stakeholders. Organizers for the other campaign submitted enough signatures in July to prompt a state Supreme Court review of its ballot language.

California Governor Signs Marijuana Tax Fairness Bill But Vetoes Cannabis In Hospitals

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading

Culture

Seth Rogen And Snoop Dogg Offer Marijuana Advice To First-Time Consumers

Published

on

Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg have some advice for first-time marijuana consumers: if you bump into them and want to sesh, limit yourself to one hit—or even half a hit.

The cannabis icons joked about their shared love for the plant and offered some tips for novices during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on Tuesday.

Stern started by asking if the pair had smoked together before. Not surprisingly, they confirmed participating in joint sessions and both agreed that they were enjoyable experiences

“What do you mean when you say you enjoy smoking with Seth?” the host asked Snoop. “Are there people who can bum you out?”

“Yeah, because they talk too motherfuckin’ much and they just get in the way, but Seth enjoys the moment. He’s creative,” the rapper replied. “This motherfucker knows how to make a joint that looks like a cross.”

“He’s a bad motherfucker at that,” he said. “When he pulled that cross out, I was like, ‘God, let there be light!'”

Stern also brought up the fact that one of the show’s producers, JD Harmeyer, planned to smoke cannabis for the first time. For the occasion, Stern told Harmeyer he should probably stick to no more than three hits, and he asked his guests if that was good advice.

“I’d start with one,” Rogen said.

“I’d say a half of one,” Snoop said.

“This is from two guys who have had too many motherfuckers come up and get way too high,” Rogen added.

“And fall out,” Snoop said. “I have a lot of people [say], ‘my dream is to smoke with you.’ Bang. He dying, I’m gone.”

On Monday, actress Jennifer Aniston also gave Harmeyer advice and urged him to “pace yourself” because “it could be the best day of your life or the worst day of your life” depending on how much he smoked.

Later on Tuesday’s show, Snoop and Rogen gave Harmeyer some more advice about what kind of cannabis to smoke while flipping through a menu that appears to be from the nation’s first marijuana cafe, operated by Lowell Farms in Los Angeles.

Snoop said that the producer should stick to a sativa “because it’s a little bit lighter and it’s more of an introduction.”

Rogen agreed that it should be a sativa, but he said the concentration of THC should be on the higher end “to make sure you actually feel something because you might not.”

“But again, one fucking hit,” the actor, who also owns a cannabis company called Houseplant, reiterated.

Rogen has also leveraged his marijuana stardom for philanthropic purposes, putting on an adult carnival where the plant was featured to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s disease.

He appeared at a congressional hearing in 2014 and joked that while people might expect him to advocate for marijuana reform before the Senate committee, he was actually there to promote research into the disease, which his mother-in-law suffers from.

More recently, Rogen participated in a PSA meant to raise awareness of National Expungement Week, a series of events that took place throughout the country last month meant to help people erase criminal convictions, including those for non-violent cannabis offenses, from their records.

Breaking Bad Teams Up With Marijuana Company MedMen To Promote New Netflix Film

Photo courtesy of YouTube/The Howard Stern Show.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Stay Up To The Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!