UPDATE: Jurors Tossed at Kitsap Marijuana TrialMarch 12th, 2009 by josh farley
Bruce Olson was arrested for growing marijuana at his Wiley Lane home in Olalla in May 2007.
It’s taken until this week to bring the case to trial in Kitsap County Superior Court, due to a lot of pre-trial motions from the lawyers involved. The trial, at first glance, may be lengthy as well.
According to the Cannabis Defense Coalition of Seattle, which has been diligently covering the beginnings of the trial, 49 potential jurors were dismissed Wednesday after Alexis Foster, deputy prosecutor handling the case, aired concerns to Judge Leila Mills of medical marijuana activists outside the courtroom.
Olson, along with his wife Pamela, held medical marijuana cards. But detectives with the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team in May 2007 raided their property and found 48 marijuana plants in an underground bunker. They said the number of plants exceeded the state’s 60-day supply rule allowed under the 1998 medical marijuana initiative.
Under a new Washington law, card-carrying medical marijuana patients can defend their use in open court if they have no more than 15 plants and up to 24 ounces of marijuana. if they believe their supply is within a “60-day supply.” A new Washington law establishes the presumptive amount at 15 marijuana plants and up to 24 ounces of marijuana.
But that law didn’t exist when the Olson cases were brought forth by the enforcement team — only a vague definition dubbed the “60 day supply.”
(Blogger’s note: I spoke with Alison Holcomb, drug policy director for the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union, who told me my original post was incorrect.)
The court will continue the case Thursday and bring in a fresh batch of potential jurors. I plan to cover the opening arguments of the trial — whenever they should end up occurring.
For a refresher on the medical marijuana issue in Washington state, click here. For the sentencing story of Olson’s wife, Pamela, click here. And for yet another medical marijuana trial in Kitsap, click here. Oh, and don’t forget about the guy stopped by the border patrol’s checkpoints.