Georgia Jury Finds Marijuana User Not Guilty In Dispute With State Laws

in news •  6 months ago

 Laurens County, Georgia – Javonnie Mondrea McCoy is a medical  marijuana patient in a state where the plant is still illegal and was  recently in court facing charges of possession and manufacturing. McCoy  grew cannabis for his own personal consumption to treat severe headaches  and other pain that he has suffered since he spent two weeks in a coma  in 2003.

Instead of attempting to fight the case on the grounds that the  evidence against him was wrong, McCoy instead argued that the laws were  wrong. He was honest about his experience and his medical use of  cannabis during the trial, and the jury acquitted his case, despite the  evidence against him. McCoy’s lawyer, Catherine Bernard, said that McCoy is not the type of person who belongs behind bars. 

The jury appreciated his honesty throughout the  case—including testimony at trial and statements to police—and  recognized that a good, hardworking man living a quiet life and not  bothering anyone didn’t deserve a felony conviction for his actions,” Bernard said. 

This is just the most recent case of a jury nullification victory for  cannabis users, but this strategy is becoming increasingly popular. For those who do not know, jury nullification is basically the right  for any juror to not only judge the facts of the case but to also  actually judge the validity of the law itself. 

This means that if a jury  feels that a defendant is facing an unjust charge, they actually have  the right to rule in the defendant’s favor, even if they are technically  guilty under the court’s standards. Considering the fact that most of the nonviolent offenses on the  books today are extremely unpopular for a variety of reasons, you would  think that jury nullification would be household knowledge, or taught in  schools even. 

However, this is a very well guarded secret, with many  judges actually preventing the defense from informing juries of their  right to nullify laws that they feel are unjust.

 In fact, in 2016, New Hampshire House because the first state  in the nation to consider a bill that would require courts to inform  juries of their right to vote not guilty when the verdict would produce  an unjust result. 

Attorney Catherine Bernard could not be immediately reached for  comment, but posts on her Facebook page suggest that the judge attempted  to block her from discussing jury nullification in court. 

“Today, I quoted Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XI of the Georgia Constitution  to the jury. The judge interrupted and told them it was ‘not a correct  statement of the law.’ The judge took an oath to uphold that  Constitution. What’s going on here?” Bernard wrote.  

It is sadly common for judges to prevent talk of jury nullification  in their courtrooms, as cannabis activist Ed Forchion, aka “NJ Weedman,”  learned during one of his jury nullification victories

Forchion was passionate in the closing arguments of his 2012 trial, wearing a shirt that said “Marijuana … It’s OK. It’s Just Illegal,”  and telling the jury that he had been munching on edibles throughout  the whole trial. Then at one point, he was nearly held in contempt of  court for trying to advance his jury nullification argument. 

In the years since Forcion has faced constant harassment from the  authorities and has been arrested on numerous occasions. Luckily, he was  still able to win over the jury earlier this year when he was found not  guilty after spending over 400 days in jail on trumped-up witness tampering charges, which were related to a prior marijuana case. 

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I love this article. Indeed the truth shall set you free.

I live in the middle of natural park with 15min hike distance to the nearest road. a remote mountain forest. I am a medicinal maria patient and I just like it. I have more titanium than bones after bike accident ;)
In Spain personal and medicinal use is legal. You can have it, but you cannot buy it and cannot grow it :D I'm sure this could be some kind of a trap by law... need to contact some human rights authority for EU, but since I despise govs... I just want them to leave me alone. I could not escape more from the rabid ape circus...
so they climbed, terrorized, robbed and now threaten to put me in a cage, because I paid them to protect me... through extortion... and they call themselves "guardia civil". So... my doc recommended in writing, I am a civilian, they are my guardians... protecting who from what exactly? the knowledge that over 300 studies confirmed? the fact that WHO which is part of ONZ issued official letter to governments advising decriminalization of all drugs, and informing maria is not addictive and has high medicinal value? or maybe they are protecting the fact that their neighbor Portugal did it in 2004 and now they have 80-90% less addictions?
why do retards extinct so slowly?

upvoted, followed, resteemed on my related blog @smokeymcpot

I think I paid my tax to paste this in here? ;)

The cannabis plant is the most medicinal plant on Earth!

These laws cause more harm than good.