Garden State Cannabis

Jon Peditto
Master Grower / Activist


Jury nullification occurs when a jury concludes that a defendant is technically guilty, but fails to convict the defendant on the grounds that the law in question is unjust. While jury nullification is legal, judges frequently do not inform juries of this power, and may prohibit defense attorneys from doing so, according to the University of Missouri.

For Example:
a New Hampshire Rastarfarian, facing felony marijuana cultivation charges was declared not guilty because a jury believed that punishing him would be unjust.

59 year old Doug Darrell was arrested in 2009, after a National Guard helicopter flying over his home found 15 marijuana plants in his backyard, according to WNTK. At Darrel's trial, PRWEB reports, jurors nullified the case against him.

However, the jurors were fully informed of their nullification power. As per recommendation of defense attorney Mark Sisti, Judges James O'Neill read aloud to the jury:
"Even if you find that the State has proven each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would be a fair result in this case."

Prior to the trial, Darrel turned down several plea bargain deals, including one that included no jail time or fine. Sisti said his client insisted on a jury trial because "Darrel didn't think he was guilty of anything; marijuana is a sacrament in his religion."

Jon's Commentary:

Less than 3% of all felony cases go to trial. Drug cases far less than that.

Why is this? First and foremost the obvious, fines, fees, penalties, all associated with plea bargaining agreements. Local courts taking in millions of dollars annually through plea bargaining deals. forfeiture laws. And now the new drug court system, recently started as an alternative to prison, all financed, by the way, with tax payer dollars. New Jersey courts do not allow defense attorneys to inform juries of the rule of jury nullification or the length of the defendant's potential jail sentence. Nullification was unanimous in the Doug Darrel case. Defendants only need 1 in 12 jurors to nullify a jury. Hung jury. The state needs all 12 jurors for a conviction.

Even without juries being informed of jury nullification, cases have been won here in New Jersey with jurors, after watching defendant testimony, deciding for either moral or personal reasons not to convict, concluding that the charges were unjust.

Keep in mind cultivating the same 15 plants here in New Jersey, the Garden State, is classified as a Class A Felony, 1st Degree. There is nothing higher, the same charge classification as murder, manslaughter, and rape.

You're not just facing drug charges, you're facing a classification. This makes jury trials a serious option. A statement to all law enforcers you're not part of this group. In fact, growing marijuana is not a crime at all.

The court system would not be able to keep up with all the jury trials if all marijuana felony cases went to trial. The system would most likely collapse.

The Law states all felony cases are allowed jury trials with representation, you're appointed an attorney for free or the option to defend yourself.


Drug Court: Science or Fiction?

Drug court is a plea agreement. You choose to voluntarily receive drug treatment and intensive psychoanalysis as an alternative to serving out your potential jail sentence. This is a serious problem when applied to marijuana users. The plea deal requires marijuana users to sign on to an aggressive drug rehabilitation program which takes five years minimum to complete. Drug court terms are permanent and binding for life. This, coming from an organization that profits from its treatment failures, not its successes. Generally, the longer you are in drug court, the more money drug court receives for treating you. You pay every step of the way, and wow, are there a lot of steps!

This is the real question for the accused marijuana defendants who sign on to these programs: Should they allow these agencies to effectively create an illness or treatable disorder that does not exist in reality? This is pure fiction. Drug court calls this "Marijuana Disorder." If you've never heard of it that's because the disorder does not exist. It's another fiction--created for one very real reason--the profit motive.

An entire hierarchy has been built around drug court. From lab technicians to intensive outpatient treatment program workers, to hospital and halfway housing staff, to short-term residential treatment workers, doctors, intake workers, all the way down to urine collectors-- all cling to their taxpayer-funded jobs. This hierarchy is based on one single principle: Using marijuana is addictive, even deadly.

These conclusions are dubious at best. At least that's the opinion coming from this brain damaged-mind cannabis user suffering from Marijuana disorder. Most drug court participants I have interviewed agree on one thing--They regret their decision to enter drug court program. If they had it to over again, they say, they would have completed their jail time and been done with it.