Woman who needs medical marijuana given years in prison
This is an amazing case, because not only was a woman named Patricia Smith imprisoned for taking marijuana for medical purposes, but the jury that convicted her knew she was taking it for medical reasons. Also, even though they were informed that they did not have to convict her under the principle of jury nullification, it still convicted her.
Jury nullification is the right of jurors (a right under common law that precedes even the founding of our nation) to state that a law or its' application is unjust or even unconstitutional. This case is out of New Hampshire, a hotbed for jury nullification and medical marijuana activism.
After all, the state's motto is Live Free or Die. Strangely, though New Hampshire might be the most libertarian state in the Union, it still has not passed a medical marijuana rights bill. Patricia Smith, a registered nurse, had supposedly "no expectation of privacy" in her own backyard, a court had ruled. Actually, the government does make the case that your property, even if fenced in, is not protected under the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable search and seizures.
See, since the 4th Amendment doesn't explicitly state that an "open field", or private property that is not your actual house, is protected from an unreasonable search, than those who advocate a strong police state to oppose our civil liberties, use that as an exception to the 4th Amendment.
Indeed, a scary thought since the 4th Amendment only states that individuals are free from unreasonable searches in their "persons, houses, papers, and effects", an overzealous police officer might search a car randomly, arguing that this too is not protected. A disturbing thought. So while a cop might be trespassing, it is somehow fine that he is trespassing because the 4th Amendment doesn't say he can't.
So, this woman suffered a questionable search by the government, in order to get seize a drug that takes away the back pain that she suffers. Who does this benefit? Who benefits by sending her to prison for a few years? Nobody. It's absurd, it's so incredible in how stupid it is in fact. Oh by the way, after she was convicted the judge ordered bailiffs to not allow an anti-marijuana activist out of the courtroom area, until the jurors had left the building. The obvious reason is that he didn't want this guy to be able to interview them for their idiotic conviction.
The judge violated this man's freedom of speech and press rights. But lastly, who were these jurors anyway? Did they find the 12 most pro drug war citizens in the whole state of New Hampshire? Did they somehow think that she was some vicious thug they had to get off the streets of New Hampshire? Who would ever convict this woman of anything? They knew they didn't have to rubber stamp a conviction and they did it anyway! I guess they didn't view themselves as independent jurors but people who took marching orders from the DA.
So, if you want to fight these unjust actions by the government against individuals, I urge you to become a member of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Marijuana Policy Project.