Bryan Epis correction

A libertarian list member who worked directly on this case contacted me to say that the press release below is mistaken in claiming that prosecutors knew the information found on Epis's computer was false but used it anyway. He contends that prosecutors sincerely believed the information was legitimate and related to the case -- not that my source believes in laws against medical marijuana, he hastened to add, but simply wanted to correct the record. I agreed to pass the information along.

Yours in liberty,
          <<< Starchild >>>

Come support medical marijuana POW Bryan Epis tomorrow. Court starts at 9:00 am but Bryan is 5th on the docket, so I think you will be okay if you want to come at 10:00 am .

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Courtroom 3, Third Floor, 95 Seventh St (at Mission), San Francisco, California

See you there,

Steph Sherer

NEWS ADVISORY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT:

June 11, 2004 William Dolphin (510) 919-1498

Medical Marijuana Patient Wants Out of Federal Prison

Chico Man Serving Ten Years Alleges Misconduct and Constitutional Violation

San Francisco– A Chico man will be before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco next Wednesday, arguing that his 2002 conviction for conspiring to grow medical marijuana was not only unconstitutional but based on misconduct by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento. A press conference on the steps of the courthouse with his attorney, his mother, and fellow-patient Angel Raich will follow. Bryan James Epis, 37, was the first person associated with a California medical marijuana dispensary to be tried under federal law. He is currently serving a mandatory ten-year sentence in federal prison.

On Wednesday, Mr. Epis’s appellate attorney, Brenda Grantland of Mill Valley, will argue that the Court of Appeals December 2003 decision in the case of Raich v. Ashcroft, which found certain prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and caregivers to be unconstitutional, should also apply in this case. She will also argue that prosecutors only obtained conviction on the most serious charge, conspiracy to grow more than a thousand plants, by misrepresenting spreadsheets found on Mr. Epis’s home computer. Prosecutors contended at trial that Mr. Epis was projecting income of millions of dollars from his marijuana growing; his attorney will be showing that the documents were unrelated to what he was being tried for, and that the prosecution knew it but used it anyway.

Mr. Epis was arrested June 25, 1997, after Butte County sheriff's officers reportedly uncovered a grow operation at the basement of his Frances Willard Avenue home in Chico and seized 458 seedlings and plants.

WHO: Bryan James Epis, medical marijuana patient and caregiver

WHAT: Appeal of his federal conviction and 10-year sentence; Press conference with his mother, Barbara Epis, Attorney Brenda Grantland, Angel Raich and others.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 16, 2004, 9:00am;

WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Courtroom 3, Third Floor, 95 Seventh St (at Mission), San Francisco, California