Last month’s Long Beach and Orange County medpot dispensary trial lasted for the better part of the month. This blog has previously discussed the marijuana dispensary case, and also reported on the guilty verdicts that were handed by the jury last month. The case involved a pre-trial appeal after the trial judge ruled that the defendants would not be allowed to raise the medical marijuana defense before the jury. That ruling was overturned before trial.
The defendants were scheduled for sentencing Jan. 11 in Long Beach Superior Court on their convictions for California drug crimes and other charges. However, that sentencing has been delayed as the judge who heard the case has now recused himself from further proceedings in the case.
Medical marijuana advocates reportedly had filled the courtroom and staged protests outside the courthouse during the illegal marijuana sales trial. Sources say that advocates filled the courtroom on the day of the scheduled sentencing hearing and that they cheered when the judge recused himself from the case.
The Judge sent a letter to the prosecuting attorney’s supervisor, commending the trial attorney’s performance. News reports say the judge told the attorneys in the courtroom on the day sentencing was scheduled to occur, that he had made a mistake in sending the letter.
The letter reportedly gave the prosecutor praise, saying the trial attorney “was unflappable, composed, steady, organized and totally professional from beginning to end.” The judge told the supervisor in the District Attorney’s office that she had chosen “the right lawyer to handle this difficult case.”
A new judge has been assigned to the medpot case. The defendants reportedly are seeking a new trial. The new judge appointed to the case will need time to review the trial transcripts and the two defendants are scheduled to return to court in April for a hearing on motions brought by the criminal defense.
Source: Belmont Shore-Naples Patch, “Pot Dispensary Judge ‘Made a Mistake’,” Nancy Wride, Jan. 11, 2012