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Criminal Charges Against ‘Guru of Ganja’ Tossed


— March 14, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge threw out criminal charges today against an Oakland man accused of growing medical marijuana, ruling that authorities had vindictively prosecuted him because of remarks he made after he successfully appealed an earlier conviction.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco dismissed charges of tax evasion and money laundering against Ed Rosenthal, 62, an author and activist who has been dubbed the “Guru of Ganja.”

Breyer declared that the government had improperly refiled the tax-evasion and money-laundering case last fall after Rosenthal successfully appealed his 2003 conviction for marijuana cultivation.

“The reasonable observer will interpret the government’s conduct as demonstrating that if defendants successfully appeal, the government will ensure that they face more severe charges and more prison time the next time around,” Breyer said.

Judge Charles Breyer is, of course, the brother of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Details here from the San Francisco Chronicle.


SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge threw out criminal charges today against an Oakland man accused of growing medical marijuana, ruling that authorities had vindictively prosecuted him because of remarks he made after he successfully appealed an earlier conviction.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco dismissed charges of tax evasion and money laundering against Ed Rosenthal, 62, an author and activist who has been dubbed the “Guru of Ganja.”

Breyer declared that the government had improperly refiled the tax-evasion and money-laundering case last fall after Rosenthal successfully appealed his 2003 conviction for marijuana cultivation.

“The reasonable observer will interpret the government’s conduct as demonstrating that if defendants successfully appeal, the government will ensure that they face more severe charges and more prison time the next time around,” Breyer said.

Judge Charles Breyer is, of course, the brother of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Details here from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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