The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The truth is not an admissable defense

Jon asks below: "Bob, then why in your blog entry did you write, 'Most folks don't understand that you can not tell a jury that the cannabis you were arrested for is essential to your well-being.'

"Can't you tell a judge/jury anything you want, and then it's up to them to decide if its relevant or credible?"

No. You can't. "Marijuana" has "no medical use" as a matter of law. Therefore, currently, an accused person my not use "medical use" as a defense. A judge won't hear it in a trial to the court. If an accused person tries to tell a jury that he's using cannabis to save his own life, the judge will declare a mistrial and jail the accused for contempt.

In Tom Faltynowicz's case, Tom pled to possession. The state's attorney knew Tom was using medically, and, in an unusually compassionate gesture, allowed Tom's doctor to speak at the sentencing hearing. "Guilt" had already been established.

In our proposed legislation, we do not make a claim that cannabis has medical use, we merely ask for the opportunity for an accused person to make that claim and then try to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, and then let the jury or judge rule on the weight of the evidence.

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