Lepp Co-Defendant May Be Allowed Use of Medical Cannabis While on Bail

 
After multiple rescheduled court dates and even an early court appearance on March 11th of which his wife, attorney, and supporters were not informed, Eddy Lepp has been having more regular hearings in Judge Patel's court in San Francisco. Eddy Lepp's supporters have been led to wonder if this rescheduling was an attempt by the government to subvert his legal rights. Lack of warning about an appearance would keep Eddy from preparing his defense. People who have attended Eddy's court dates are under the impression that the judges and lawyers from the US Public Defender's office have developed the habit of handling Eddy's case like a hot potato, tossing him from courtroom to courtroom, reluctant to even grant Eddy a hearing since his most recent arrest on February 16th, 2005.

Eddy had an asset forfeiture hearing on March 21st. The next day at 9:30am he had an appearance before Judge Patel to discuss his status and determine counsel. Flyer His appearance in Federal Court on March 22nd on cannabis cultivation charges revealed Judge Marilyn Patel's support for medical cannabis use by defendants already out on bail. But it is still unclear whether the judge's sympathies will result in Lepp's release from jail. >br />
The judge allowed for Lepp's former attorney Dennis Roberts to be released from the case, discharged David Fermino, Lepp's former federal defender, and then Judge Patel turned her attention to Lepp's new attorney, Shari Greenberger, who is representing Lepp along with with Tony Serra and Omar Figueroa. Greenberger said the attorneys needed two weeks to pull together their motion for Lepp's release on bail. Greenberger also asked Patel if Lepp could be transferred to the federal detention center from the Santa Rita jail, where he has been held since his arrest. She said Lepp has been placed in the general population at the jail has feared for his safety. She added that Lepp was struggling with health problems.

"If only he (Eddy) could get his marijuana," laughed Patel, who suggested that Lepp could possibly be transferred to the North County Jail. The judge said she would discuss the request with the marshals and set another bail hearing for Tuesday, May 31st at 10:00. When Harris Tabak, the attorney for Lepp's co-defendant, Daniel Barnes, asked whether his client could use medical cannabis while out on bail, Patel surprised the court by suggesting that Tabak take the matter up with pre-trial services. Prosecutor David Hall objected saying the government opposed the use of medical cannabis for defendants on pre-trial release because "it is against the law." "Whose laws?" asked Patel. "What about state laws?" "That will be taken up in this case," replied Hall.

In regard to Lepp's request for bail, Patel rejected Roberts's argument that pre-trial services had not revoked Lepp's standing bail on the earlier August charges. Patel noted that the new charges stemming from the February DEA raid on Lepp's property had resulted in a superseding indictment and the former bail arrangements did not apply. During the March 14th hearing to discuss items that federal authorities had seized from Lepp's home during the February raid, Lepp complained that Roberts had not submitted a request for an injunction to protect Lepp's cannabis grow, as had been filed in the WAMM case in Santa Cruz.

Lepp attempted to explain why he had been growing cannabis again. After Lepp's arrest for 32,000 cannabis plants last August, federal authorities claim they seized another 6,000 plants in the most recent February raid. "I'm a row farmer and patients have to be assured that they will have plants for the next growing season. That's why I wanted the injunction." "But one of the conditions of your release was that you weren't going to grow any more," said Patel. "I gave my word not to plant until I had my injunction, but I have to take care of my family and my patients," Lepp stated. "We all like him," said Judge Patel. "The question is whether what he has been doing is legal or illegal." Read more

After multiple rescheduled court dates and even an early court appearance on March 11th of which his wife, attorney, and supporters were not informed, Eddy Lepp has been having more regular hearings in Judge Patel's court in San Francisco. Eddy Lepp's supporters have been led to wonder if this rescheduling was an attempt by the government to subvert his legal rights. Lack of warning about an appearance would keep Eddy from preparing his defense. People who have attended Eddy's court dates are under the impression that the judges and lawyers from the US Public Defender's office have developed the habit of handling Eddy's case like a hot potato, tossing him from courtroom to courtroom, reluctant to even grant Eddy a hearing since his most recent arrest on February 16th, 2005.

Eddy had an asset forfeiture hearing on March 21st. The next day at 9:30am he had an appearance before Judge Patel to discuss his status and determine counsel. Flyer His appearance in Federal Court on March 22nd on cannabis cultivation charges revealed Judge Marilyn Patel's support for medical cannabis use by defendants already out on bail. But it is still unclear whether the judge's sympathies will result in Lepp's release from jail. >br />
The judge allowed for Lepp's former attorney Dennis Roberts to be released from the case, discharged David Fermino, Lepp's former federal defender, and then Judge Patel turned her attention to Lepp's new attorney, Shari Greenberger, who is representing Lepp along with with Tony Serra and Omar Figueroa. Greenberger said the attorneys needed two weeks to pull together their motion for Lepp's release on bail. Greenberger also asked Patel if Lepp could be transferred to the federal detention center from the Santa Rita jail, where he has been held since his arrest. She said Lepp has been placed in the general population at the jail has feared for his safety. She added that Lepp was struggling with health problems.

"If only he (Eddy) could get his marijuana," laughed Patel, who suggested that Lepp could possibly be transferred to the North County Jail. The judge said she would discuss the request with the marshals and set another bail hearing for Tuesday, May 31st at 10:00. When Harris Tabak, the attorney for Lepp's co-defendant, Daniel Barnes, asked whether his client could use medical cannabis while out on bail, Patel surprised the court by suggesting that Tabak take the matter up with pre-trial services. Prosecutor David Hall objected saying the government opposed the use of medical cannabis for defendants on pre-trial release because "it is against the law." "Whose laws?" asked Patel. "What about state laws?" "That will be taken up in this case," replied Hall.

In regard to Lepp's request for bail, Patel rejected Roberts's argument that pre-trial services had not revoked Lepp's standing bail on the earlier August charges. Patel noted that the new charges stemming from the February DEA raid on Lepp's property had resulted in a superseding indictment and the former bail arrangements did not apply. During the March 14th hearing to discuss items that federal authorities had seized from Lepp's home during the February raid, Lepp complained that Roberts had not submitted a request for an injunction to protect Lepp's cannabis grow, as had been filed in the WAMM case in Santa Cruz.

Lepp attempted to explain why he had been growing cannabis again. After Lepp's arrest for 32,000 cannabis plants last August, federal authorities claim they seized another 6,000 plants in the most recent February raid. "I'm a row farmer and patients have to be assured that they will have plants for the next growing season. That's why I wanted the injunction." "But one of the conditions of your release was that you weren't going to grow any more," said Patel. "I gave my word not to plant until I had my injunction, but I have to take care of my family and my patients," Lepp stated. "We all like him," said Judge Patel. "The question is whether what he has been doing is legal or illegal." Read more

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