Kitsap Crime and Justice

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Final Thoughts on a Medical Marijuana Trial — and a Poll

March 25th, 2009 by josh farley

0325_loc_bruceolson1_t220

“Today was a forward step towards hemp for victory,” declared Seattle resident Jeanne Ferguson Tuesday on the steps of the Kitsap County Courthouse.

Ferguson, who founded organization “Gramma’s for Ganja,” came to Port Orchard to hear the verdict in the trial of Bruce Olson (left). And she certainly wasn’t the only one who watched as Olson was acquitted on two felony counts.

“I’m appalled the prosecutor’s office feels the need to waste this much money prosecuting medical marijuana patients when there’s plenty of real crime in Kitsap County,” said Kingston resident Steve Elliot, another advocate. Elliot also penned a lengthy post that spans the trials length. And I’d encourage you to vote on our new poll, at right.

The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office maintains it was trying a man and not the medical marijuana law.

“There are some cases you have to put before a jury and let them decide,” Kitsap deputy prosecutor Alexis Foster told me. “We thank the jurors for doing their job, considering all the evidence, and coming back with a verdict.”

In any case, the debate is impassioned. There are 85 comments on our story about the jury verdict.

In the end, the case showcased the murkiness of the medical marijuana law. Qualifying patients in the state are backed by a voter-approved mandate that they may possess a “60-day supply.” But the federal government has banned the plant outright, and they still face possible prosecution from both the feds and local governments, who may take them to task on how much pot they have. They are, however, less likely these days to be federally prosecuted, after an announcement by the new attorney general.

Many medical marijuana advocates outside the courthouse Tuesday called Bruce Olson’s case a victory for such patients. Without a doubt there will be more trials in the future where medical marijuana is used as a defense in court. In fact, some blogs are writing that one in Kitsap is not far off.

The Department of Health was to have cleared up this medical marijuana law mess by establishing a 15-plant, 24-ounce “presumptive” limit. But has it really? In my mind, the jury is still out on that question. The issue, as we said in 2007, still “clouded in confusion.”

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11 Responses to “Final Thoughts on a Medical Marijuana Trial — and a Poll”

  1. KitsapPatriot Says:

    Congratulations Mr. Prosecutor, please repeat after me. Jury Nullification. You shouldn’t have harassed this man with a needless court case. I will be voting against your boss come election day.

  2. Joe Mama Says:

    Kitsap should adopt a ‘lowest priority’ stance until state and federal law catches up with the public.

    That said, driving while intoxicated, or providing intoxicating substances to minors should still be rigidly enforced.

  3. KitsapPatriot Says:

    Joe Mama I agree.

  4. Jane Rebelowski Says:

    Legalize it with the same standards used for booze, tax it. Creates jobs for farmers and salespeople, the only jobs downsized are Westnet and the Haugee’s office and Corrections. Seeing as Corrections is the strongest union out there it will never happen

  5. Bryn Says:

    Thats Port Orchard for you, I miss my town I spent time growing up in Kitsap and really enjoyed it, yet even then 25 years ago the police were scary and treated people terribly. I was born with a deformity to my ankles which has plagued me for forty years. So, instead of becoming a complete pill addict, I consume medical Cannabis. Folks please try and realize that a great deal of Law Enforcement Officials budget is from the seizures that occur from their so called war on drugs. Judges have a premeditated disposition to find people guilty because it creates a revenue for themselves as well as their departments. Research the Geo Group the Corrections Corporation of America and the Cornell Companies primary stockholders then decide for yourself.

  6. Bill Says:

    You are correct in that there are people who need Marijuana for medical reasons. Then there is this “Thug!” Who hides behind the medical reason. If he was ok with growing it then why was it hidden in a Bunker? I think if people were to take a closer look at this person they would find that he has been in trouble before.

  7. Bremertongreg Says:

    Procescutor Russ Hauge and Judge Anna Laurie need to be recalled and replaced for wasting our money!!!

  8. Jane Rebelowski Says:

    Bill,
    Show the proof to your accusations. What charge did Haugee’s office drop for your lame post?

  9. Jim C. Says:

    I understand the medical uses and if it is prescribed by a real doctor then so be it.

    What I don’t understand is the greater majority of people who feel they need to use drugs? It is against the law…don’t use them. Is it that hard to understand? Do people lack that much self-control? Is gettng high that important? If a substance has that much control over a human being, do we really want it legalalized? And you can throw alcohol and nicotine in there with it for all I care (and I do drink on occasion, but I certainly could do without it).

  10. Kris Says:

    Jim C,
    Alcohol is a drug…it’s NOT against the law yet it kills more people every year.

    Legalize pot…the world would be a much happier and much more mellow place.

  11. Jim C. Says:

    Kris,

    I already think the world is great place. Like I said above, I support getting rid of all drugs including alcohol…they are just not that important to being a happy person.

    Speaking of great places, it is going to be a glorious weekend. Time to get out and enjoy the boat. Take it easy!

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