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News (Media Awareness Project) - US OR: Medford Man's Convictions Reversed In Marijuana Case
Title:US OR: Medford Man's Convictions Reversed In Marijuana Case
Published On:2012-01-26
Source:Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)
Fetched On:2012-01-28 06:01:41
MEDFORD MAN'S CONVICTIONS REVERSED IN MARIJUANA CASE

Medical marijuana cardholder Joshua Brewer admits it was a "wild
ride," but he feels vindicated after having his felony drug
convictions overturned nearly three years after he was jailed for
possession and manufacture of cannabis.

The Oregon Department of Justice granted Brewer's appeal on Jan. 18,
saying that Jackson County Circuit Judge Ray White erred when he
denied Brewer a motion to dismiss the case against him in 2010.

Brewer was on trial for possession and manufacture of marijuana after
police raided his home in September 2009. Brewer and his cousin, both
medical marijuana cardholders, were growing at their home on Spring
Street in Medford.

Medford police entered the house and determined that the grow site was
over the amount of marijuana allowed under the Oregon Medical
Marijuana Act.

The OMMA allowed Brewer and his cousin to possess 48 ounces of usable
marijuana at one time. During the investigation, the officers seized
41.9 ounces, which put the pair 6.1 ounces under the limit.

In addition, the officers seized nearly 43 ounces of hanging marijuana
that was in the process of drying. This drying marijuana was used in
the prosecution's case against Brewer to prove he was over the legal
limit.

The Department of Justice ruled that it was not proven whether this
hanging marijuana was usable, as defined by the OMMA.

During the trial, Brewer's attorney attempted to have the case
dismissed because there was no proof the hanging marijuana was usable
or that it violated the OMMA.

White denied this motion for dismissal, prompting Brewer to
appeal.

"Without the hanging marijuana, there is no evidence that the
defendant possessed more than the lawful amount of 'usable
marijuana'," reads a statement signed by Oregon Attorney General John
Kroger and Solicitor General Anna Joyce. "The trial court thus
erroneously denied the defendant's motion of acquittal."

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston said the case is
effectively closed against Brewer.

"There's nothing more to do," Huddleston said. "We might have to file
a motion of dismissal, but there will be no more court appearances in
this case."

Brewer was given 60 days in jail upon conviction. He said his sentence
was especially tough on his family.

"My family and kids went through hell," he said. "We are glad we had a
lot of support, a lot of people behind us on this."

Brewer's trial drew the attention of medical cannabis advocates, who
protested his conviction and helped raise funds for his appeal.

Following his jail sentence, Brewer was placed on three years'
probation and prohibited against using medical marijuana by Jackson
County Community Justice officials.

The agency does not recognize marijuana as a legal treatment, even
though it was prescribed by doctors. If Brewer had violated the terms
of his probation, he would have been shipped to prison for two years.

"I don't have that hanging over my head anymore," Brewer
said.

Brewer said he plans on suing the city of Medford and Jackson County
Community Justice on grounds that his civil rights were violated
during his arrest and conviction.

Brewer said he will seek around $5 million from community justice and
$10 million from the city.

"The money's not the most important thing, though," he added. "I want
this to be a precedent-setting case. I don't want anyone else to go
through what I went through."
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