Celebrate Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman
“My job is to determine if people are charged and how to spend my resources,” Freeman said. “Spending resources on these cases is just wrong.” Someone caught with a small amount of marijuana in Hennepin County will no longer be prosecuted, County Attorney Mike Freeman said Thursday.
Similar actions have been taken in recent months by prosecutors in Baltimore, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Norfolk, among other metropolitan areas.
Freeman said the policy change was necessary because he believes that the state law is overly punitive and produces racial disparities in incarceration rates. “My job is to determine if people are charged and how to spend my resources,” Freeman said. “Spending resources on these cases is just wrong.”
Police in Hawaii County refused to follow the law after tens of thousands of signatures were created to get a law on the ballot in Hawaii County. The ballot initiative overwhelmingly passed by Hawaii voters limited the resources that could Hawaii County Police could spend prosecuting our co-workers and neighbors in county government.
“I had to do something about it,” he said. “My job is to determine if people are charged and how to spend my resources. Spending resources on these cases is just wrong.” Because he believes such a penalty is grossly inappropriate and produces racial disparities, Freeman said, his office won’t charge anyone who possesses or sells under 100 grams of marijuana. An estimated 1.2 million people live in the County, which includes the city of Minneapolis. Defendants will be considered for a diversion program, community service or a sentence that will be dismissed after certain conditions are met.
Meanwhile in Hawaii, thousands of patients are affected each year by policy. But many taxpayers are affected when county resources are used to prosecute Cannabis patients or non-patient consumers.
Roger Christie did his best to ensure Cannabis was a lowest enforcement priority. He was hunted down for years and incarcerated for many more years unfairly. The prosecution resulted from the combined efforts from 2008-2010 of the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations; Homeland Security Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Marshals Service; the National Park Service; the Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety; the Hawaii Police Department; and the Honolulu Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael K. Kawahara.
That spending spree was joined with a media campaign and the now infamous, “Marijuana is Not Medicine” brochure. Police and other agencies distributed the brochure to mislead children and teachers. Many children require Cannabis for their health and are still not allowed to use Cannabis at school. Ritalin is often recommended. We know Cannabis saves children’s lives everyday and can help children get off synthetic, psychotic.
Cannabis ignorance and fear in our medical communities causes medicinal bias. Doctors and nurses avoid recommending the Cannabinoids found in Cannabis that our endocannabinoid system needs. It’s similar to find a cure for cancer and then not talking about it or sharing it.
Addictions to drugs much worse than Cannabis according to scientific research are improperly treated when Cannabis is prohibited from use as a treatment. Deadly and poisonous drugs like alcohol, nicotine and caffeine are pervasive in society. Judges often use these drugs. Nearly all of us do. They are advertised on television. We grew up with them and treat them like they are perfectly okay in front of children.
It is scientific fact that Cannabis can be used in some patients to treat addiction. Governor Ige vetoed a bill that would have allowed opioid addicts to purchase Cannabis “legally”. Policy can have devastating health consequences on controlled populations. Legalibition is alive and well in Hawaii.
On April 28, 2014, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi sentenced Roger Christie to a term of five years in federal prison, with credit for the almost four years he has been incarcerated, permitting him to be released in less than 15 months. In addition, he was sentenced to supervised release — the federal equivalent of probation — for four years after serving his prison term. The conditions of the supervised release include refraining from use of marijuana or other controlled substances or from being in the presence of using marijuana. He will be subject to drug testing. He will also be allowed to appeal his sentence. About the time they release Roger they incarcerated his wife Share to 27-months. Anyone who met Roger or Share will tell you these are incredibly loving people with great intentions for everyone.
Currently a situation like Edwin Rubis may arise at anytime. Why are police searching hospitals for medicine?
Thanks Marijuana Party for case stories.