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Federal Appeals Court Upholds Conviction of Marijuana Advocate

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A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of prominent medical-marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal for growing the drug, the San Francisco Chronicle reported June 12.

Rosenthal was convicted of growing marijuana for a San Francisco dispensary in 2003, then retried and convicted again in 2007 after an appeals court overturned the initial conviction.

Evidence indicating that Rosenthal grew the drug for medical marijuana patients to use legally under California law was excluded from the trial. In the 2007 retrial, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced Rosenthal to the one day in jail he had already served, instead of the five-year jail sentence usually required by federal law.

Rosenthal appealed his felony conviction, but the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said that information about Rosenthal's intent in growing the drug was irrelevant under federal law.

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