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Sat Jul 21, 2012, 09:23 AM

Virginia Drug Possession Case Highlights Flawed Drug War Policies

Virginia Drug Possession Case Highlights Flawed Drug War Policies

By Aviva Shen on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm


In a local case exemplifying changing attitudes on the War on Drugs, a jury found a farmer in Albemarle County not guilty of marijuana possession on Wednesday evening.

54-year-old Philip Cobbs was summoned to court to answer for two marijuana plants spotted on his 37-acre farm by a helicopter. About 10 law enforcement officials came to his farm to confiscate the illegal plants, armed with semi-automatic guns. Cobbs claimed that he was not aware of the marijuana plants on his property, which can sometimes grow in the wild.

The plants were discovered by a task force of law enforcement officials that routinely flies over farms searching for marijuana. Cobbs’ attorneys, Paul Belonick and Andrew Sneathern, unsuccessfully contested in a pre-trial motion that these helicopter flyovers violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against “unreasonable search and seizure.”

snip//

While the jury ultimately found Cobbs not guilty, it took half a day to find 7 people out of 25 who were neutral enough on drug laws to serve as jurors. Many potential jurors had to be dismissed because of their strong disagreement with national marijuana laws.

Sneathern, who in the past has prosecuted drug possession cases for the Commonwealth, observed that the law is still “playing catch up” to “a massive sea change in public opinion about small amounts of marijuana.”

Support for marijuana legalization is currently at an all-time high of 56 percent, according to a Rasmussen poll released in May. 15 states and several cities have reduced penalties for marijuana possession; recently, Chicago decriminalized small amounts of marijuana.


more...

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/07/20/556211/virginia-drug-possession-case-highlights-flawed-drug-war-policies/

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Reply Virginia Drug Possession Case Highlights Flawed Drug War Policies (Original post)
babylonsister Jul 2012 OP
think Jul 2012 #1
Scuba Jul 2012 #2
think Jul 2012 #3
DCKit Jul 2012 #4
loli phabay Jul 2012 #5
Le Taz Hot Jul 2012 #6
malcolmkyle Jul 2012 #7
slampoet Jul 2012 #8

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 09:51 AM

1. What an utter waste of tax payer money and

gross infringement on an American citizen's life.

Seriously. Politicians and law enforcement personal that pursue these witch hunts and allow for the wasteful spending of dwindling public funds need to either get real or find another line of work.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 10:06 AM

2. But if we legalize pot, it will greatly cut into the pool of labor US Senator Ron Johnson uses....

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/09/feingold-opponent-employs-prison-labor-nets-savings-statefunded-health-care/



Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who has campaigned against government subsidies to business, employs up to nine prison inmates at his plastics factories whose health care costs are paid by the state, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.




Article was written during the 2010 election season, hence Johnson is referred to as "candidate".

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Response to Scuba (Reply #2)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 12:16 PM

3. Well, that is one way to get universal healthcare..../nt

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:47 AM

4. Was it even "teh evil weed" or was it hemp?

 

95% of what the DEA claims to find every year is hemp, the non-alchoholic cousin of Mary Jane.

When Jane and John Doe from Virginia have figured out the DEA and their BS, there's hope for us all.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 04:55 AM

5. out here in the boonies the private property thing is golden

 

when you have the feds and the drugs thing butt up against why are you on my land then you are hard pressed to find a jury who wont side with the landowner. Even though the people are conservative by nature there is a large libertarian streak, and no one likes johnny lawman poking his nose into their business. Especially the Fed

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 06:59 AM

6. For 2 plants.

All that time, money and effort for 2 measly little pot plants.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 07:17 AM

7. Vote to Acquit!

“To function as the founders intended, our republic requires that the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787

Fortunately we are left with one last peaceful avenue for change – Jury Nullification.

Jury Nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but do not deserve punishment. - All non-violent 'drug offenders' who are not selling to children - be they users, dealers or importers - clearly belong in this category.

If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy, then you must stop helping to enforce it. You are entitled to act according to your conscience: Acquit the defendant/s if you feel that true justice requires such a result. You, the juror, have the very last word!

* It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.
* You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.
* You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors on your position when voting - simply state that you find the accused not guilty.
* Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

“It is not only right, but his duty … to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” - John Adams

We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for – PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sun Jul 22, 2012, 08:37 AM

8. If this case had gone the other way they would have taken his whole farm.

BTW- no one grows just two plants. If that's all they found either the plants are wild or the planter is a kid under age 18

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