San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is a friend of medical marijuana patients. Not only has the guy apologized for federal raids on dispensaries in his city, he's now urging jurors in a local medical marijuana case to ignore federal marijuana laws and find a defendant not guilty for operating a medical marijuana dispensary.
San Diego mayor Bob Filner.
Ronnie Chang was arrested by federal agents in 2009 and faces trial this fall. His attorneys argue that he was following California law allowing him to operate a medical marijuana center. But federal courts won't allow those arguments to be heard since they don't recognize medical marijuana at all.
"This is way overdoing it when local laws, state laws allow compassionate use of medical marijuana," Filner told reporters Monday. "Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana."
Filner says that policy needs to be upended and called upon any future jurors in the case to nullify the charges. Jury nullification is when the jury reuses to prosecute someone because they feel the law was unjust or wrongly applied.
IVN News reports that the move might not just be about supporting medical marijuana patients. U.S. Attorney General Laura Duffy, who is heading up the case against the grower, was busted last year leaking emails in support of Filner's republican mayoral opponent. Filner called for Duffy's resignation at the time, which she completely ignored.
Either way, we hope the message Filner is sending out hits home with California residents.