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.