March 29, 2007

LAW & JUSTICE: Doubts Follow Hewlett Packard, Marijuana Verdicts

Former HP chair Patricia Dunn had spying charges against her dismissed, in part to ease her battle with ovarian cancer.

On the same day, Angel Raich, a California resident suffering from a brain tumor, lost her appeal in a suit against federal drug laws that make her use of doctor-prescribed marijuana a prosecutable offense.

San Francisco Chronicle columnist David Lazarus says the dismissal of Dunn’s charges, and the sentencing of three other defendants to 96 hours community service, amounts to a slap on the wrist for commonplace business spying.

Critics said the case was shaky, and that then-California Attorney General Bill Lockyer pursued the HP spying scandal to boost his campaign for state treasurer — a charge Lockyer’s camp denies.

The Raich case is equally convoluted. She has not been accused of a crime, and instead sued to exempt from federal law her use of marijuana as cancer therapy.

She lost, but the ruling “left open the possibility” that, if arrested, Raich and other patients could claim that the drug is a life-saving last resort, the Chronicle reports.

Sources:

“Medical pot user loses again in federal court”
San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2007

“Court dismisses charges against former HP chair”
San Francisco Chronicle, March 15, 2007

“Lesson learned by lenient sentences for HP defendants”
San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2007

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