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Wednesday, July 17,2013

More on the Okemos 7

by JoAnn Forsberg
(The writer, JoAnn Forsberg, is the wife of Dennis Forsberg and the mother of Lance Forsberg, both convicted of federal marijuana charges.)

As “na´ve flawed” humans who attempted to follow law we desire to: 

“Speak up to help others, for the whole federal process is heart-wrenching and destructive.”  

We hold no grudges toward federal workers; federal laws are the problem.  A tug-of-war exists between the states and the federal government.  This is a civil rights issue, for the question is:  Does a community-state have rights to form laws in America as long as the law has no victim, no malice and no intent to harm? Or, does the federal government have full say over the desires of its citizens?

The setting for this “perfect storm,” as Judge Neff called it, was: the real estate market crashing, an empty warehouse building, the 2008 passage of medical marijuana, daily phone calls from caregivers not wanting to grow cannabis in their home.  Every measure was taken to be legal.  

Regarding money projections and legal papers drafted:  All projected amounts of money for plants were for purchase by their own patient or dispensary.  Legal papers are a common practice to have clarity through written documents.  

In Michigan law, citizens have the right to recoup the cost for set-up for grow rooms.  Any money earned after that is taxable.  So Dennis Forsberg sought tax ID numbers from the state and federal government stating it was for  an LLC that would grow cannabis.

These legally drafted documents and the tax ID are why the DEA labeled Dennis a “drug leader” and are sending him to prison.  When a prosecutor has no other means, the word “conspiracy to commit a crime” is used to indict and convict individuals. 

Through devastation we have learned much about the federal system.  Before we had no need to understand the federal stance on cannabis; we learned the hard way their view.  The government spends close to $1 billion a year to warn Americans that cigarette smoking is bad for your health.  Yet, not one cent is spent to inform Americans about the DEA stance on cannabis.  As clear as this is to those in the DEA, it is not nor was it clear to us as citizens.  

Once you have been raided, indicted and headed toward sentencing and prison, you learn the meaning of the words “mandatory-minimums” and “snitch.”  For currently there is no mandatory “safety valve” for first-time offenders.  So, to receive a lighter sentence, the prosecutor wants a person to snitch on another fellow American to get a lighter or pardoned sentence. Clearly, a broken system.

In stopping cannabis the DEA should begin at the state level of regulations and licensing.  Why caregivers/growers?  

In America, federal courtrooms have a 95 percent conviction rate.  How can that be a fair balance of justice?

Why is a defendant not allowed to show evidence of legal attempts?  Not one word of state evidence is allowed in federal court.  Yet, the federal court is supposed to be the representation of all the states as a whole; not a separate entity. Americans are not told we have the right to “nullification”: to set a person free if they believe the law is unjust that a defendant is indicted under.

Court recorded statements by two federal judges in Dennis Forsberg’s case:

Judge Carmody:  “I think this conflict within the law has been somewhat disastrous in Michigan.  And you, Mr. Forsberg, got caught in the middle of it.”

Judge Neff:  “This is certainly an atypical drug case. No weapons, no violence and no intent for street sales.  It was a calculated risk … in light of how terribly flawed Michigan law is regarding medical marijuana.  And it has only gotten more flawed and more difficult in light of our current attorney general, who in my view further made it difficult for the ‘will of the people’ in passing this Act, flawed as it is to carry it out!”

Judge Neff:  As Judge Carmody pointed out: “Circumstances just presented themselves which is kind of a “PERFECT STORM FOR ALL OF YOU.”

For additional study:  

1.  Federal Marijuana definition see: Marijuana TITLE 21-CHAPTER 13-SUBCHAPTER 1-PART A-SEC. 802.  There are three types of cannabis:  Sativa, Indica and Raderalis.  Only Sativa is mentioned in federal law.  Indica is the cannabis grown by caregivers in north.

2.  Watch video from Lansing Online Radio:  Bonnie Bucqueroux video with horticulturist Lance Forsberg at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/3311607

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