Michael Martin, 34, who produced edible items containing marijuana for the use of patients who prefer not to smoke, will be sentenced tomorrow at the Oakland Federal Courthouse (1301 Clay St.). At 2 p.m. his lawyers, Tony Serra and Sara Zalkin, along with Americans for Safe Access attorney Joe Elford, will hold a press conference to highlight the injustice of the situation.
After California passed Prop. 215 in 1996, then-drug “czar” Gen. Barry McCaffrey commissioned the Institute of Medicine to study the medicinal use of marijuana. After the book summarizing the results was published, Gen. McCaffrey ignored the findings documenting numerous medicinal uses and recommending that all forms of marijuana be allowed under a physician’s supervision until better forms of the medications could be developed, and quoted only one line: “The future of medicinal marijuana does not lie in the smoked product.”
Well, Michael Martin tried to provide an alternative to the smoked product, and because federal law still stupidly (and criminally? unconsitutionally?) criminalizes any and all use of marijuana, he faces a stiff federal sentence. Because federal trials do not allow even the whispering of the term “medical” in the courtroom in the presence of a jury, let the jury get the idea that the defendant was doing something perfectly legal under state law and the 70-80 percent of Americans approve, he didn’t go to trial.
Obama has said he will end the practice of sending DEA agents after patients and caregivers in states with medical marijuana laws. Will anybody hold his feet to the fire on this one?