Facing 60 years a federal judge hands down Ed Rosenthal a 1 day sentence!!
'Guru of Ganja' sentenced to 1 day in jail
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ed Rosenthal, the self-proclaimed "Guru of Ganja," walked free today after a federal judge sentenced him to one day in prison for growing marijuana Rosenthal said was for medical purposes. He could have gotten 60 years behind bars.
Rosenthal's case represented the latest clash between state and federal authorities over the medical use of marijuana. The federal government does not recognize medical marijuana laws in the nine states, including California, that have them.
In February, a jury concluded Rosenthal was growing more than 100 plants, conspired to cultivate marijuana, and maintained an Oakland warehouse for a growing operation.
Rosenthal, 58, had said he was acting as an agent for Oakland's medical marijuana program, an outgrowth of a 1996 medical marijuana initiative approved by California's voters.
But jurors were not allowed to hear those arguments, and several of them later said they would have acquitted Rosenthal had they known.
Today, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Rosenthal to one day in prison on each of three counts, to run concurrently, and then set him free after declaring Rosenthal had already served that time. Rosenthal also was fined $1,000 and will be on supervised release for three years.
The ruling was met by cheering and applause in the courtroom.
"I take responsibility for my actions that bring me here today. I took these actions because my conscience led me to help people who are suffering," Rosenthal said outside the courtroom. "These laws are doomed."
Federal law does not permit legalization of marijuana for medical use, although Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington allow it.