US Attorney Scott Schools opts to retry Ed Rosenthal / State seeks to collect sales tax on medical cannabis

From the Americans for Safe Access weekly update...

Prosecutor to Retry Ed Rosenthal; Trial Date Set & ASA on California Sales Tax

Federal Prosecutor Proceeds with Marijuana Charges in Rosenthal Case

Earlier today, Assistant US Attorney George Bevan said he would retry Ed Rosenthal on marijuana charges, even after Judge Breyer had urged him not to proceed with the case after additional charges had been ruled vindictive. Judge Breyer demanded to know who had decided to continue prosecuting Rosenthal, and Bevan claimed that newly appointed US Attorney Scott Schools had made the decision. Part of the reason Judge Breyer questioned this decision is because even if Rosenthal is convicted, the prosecutor has stated he would not seek additional punishment beyond the one-day sentence for Rosenthal's previous conviction.

Rosenthal was re-indicted after his 2003 conviction was overturned in April 2006 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. After finding out that medical marijuana evidence had been excluded from the 2003 trial, a majority of the jurors that convicted Rosenthal recanted their verdict. Due at least in part to public outcry, Rosenthal was sentenced to one day in jail. The government was relying on the new charges of tax evasion and money laundering to justify the second prosecution of Rosenthal. But on March 13, Federal District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that Rosenthal was vindictively prosecuted, and dismissed charges of tax evasion and money laundering. ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford was the author of the successful vindictive prosecution motion.

Rosenthal's trial date has been set for May 14th.