Friday, November 27, 2009

Judge Orders Cop To Give Man Back 11 Pounds, A Little At The Time

Washington judge gives the green light to medical pot patient (Photo: Pablo-flores, Wikimedia Commons)​

By Steve Elliott at Toke of the Town

An interesting thing is happening in states which have legalized medical marijuana. There's an ongoing culture war between cops who hate all marijuana, period, and patients who take the law at its word when it says they can use pot legally. From time to time, the patients win big.

Such is the case in Kent, Washington, where King County Judge Mary Roberts ordered the police department to give 11 pounds of seized marijuana back to Matthew Zugsberger, who holds a valid California medical marijuana card.

After police (with the aid of a trusty drug dog) found the stash in the trunk of Zugsberger's car last February in the parking lot of a pharmacy in Kent, they arrested the Californian and his girlfriend and seized the weed.

Zugsberger says the cops accused him of importing marijuana from Canada (which does happen a lot in this area, being not far from the B.C. border). "Why the hell would I buy pot from Canada if I have a field of it in my back yard?", Zugsberger reasonably asked, according to the Seattle P.I.

The California man said he began using marijuana medicinally in 2007 to manage nausea caused by a severe injury sustained while working as a underwater welder in the Gulf of Mexico. After the accident, he was prescribed opiate painkillers; Zugsberger said the drugs gave him liver problems, and he was concerned about becoming addicted to them.

Zugsberger pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession and was sentenced to three months' probation. But defense attorney Aaron Pelley wasn't done with the case. Pelley, who is active with Seattle-based medical marijuana advocacy organization Cannabis Defense Coalition, filed a petition in August seeking the return of the marijuana to his client, since Zugsberger is a legal medical pot patient.

Continue reading at Toke of the Town

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