Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Trial of Charles Lynch

Thanks to Reason Magazine's (are you still not subscribed?) I learned about and was shocked at the outcome of the trial of Charlie Lynch. Shocked not only at the guilty decision, but at the lack of coverage in the main stream media. Thankfully, the internet enables such events to be heard.

Mr. Lynch ran a perfectly legal (by California state law) medical marijuana dispenser, but was recently convicted of five counts of violating federal drug laws and could spend the rest of his life behind bars. He was charged with "distributing marijuana, conspiring to distribute marijuana and providing marijuana to people under the age of 21" and "faces a minimum of five years in prison." Read the rest of the details from Reason Magazine.

Because of the 2005 decision in Gonzales vs. Raich, the federal government can use the "commerce clause" in the Constitution to regulate all commerce of the states. This allowed the prosecution to have jurors "dismissed for cause. They were basically dismissed because they believed or at least understood California State Laws regarding Medical Marijuana." Essentially they wanted jurors who didn't know about or understand the legality of Lynch's store under California law.

Dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas explains the folly of this decision; "if Congress can regulate (medical marijuana) under the commerce clause, then it can regulate virtually anything - and the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers." The Tenth Amendment is clear: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Here is a video explaining the medical marijuana issue and Charlie's court case in more detail.

Lynch's sentencing is on November 24th.

Here is a website dedicated to supporting and assisting Charlie and his family:

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