Kurt Kerns, Attorney at Law
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Is this prosecution really necessary? (pt. 2)


The district attorney would like to paint this prosecution as an objective enforcement of the law in the State of Kansas. If that were true, one question that could be asked would be what took them so long to determine that she was breaking the law?

She had made and posted a YouTube video five years ago, detailing the process of creating cannabis oil. She had also written a book about it. She extolled its virtues, not as a means of becoming high, but for its pain relief ability, which saved her from being bedridden and unable to function.


One observer noted that it appears the prosecution was motivated by the son's questioning of the "anti-pot propaganda at school."

The overreach of prosecutorial discretion is also apparent in the charges. The felony charge carrying the longest sentence of 17 years, the possession with intent to distribute within a 1,000 feet of a school, is the most egregious. There is no evidence she ever "distributed" the cannabis oil to anyone. The "1,000-foot" clause is only applicable because her home is alleged to be located within 1,000 feet of a school.

It is this piling-on of multiple, related charges that allow prosecutors so much coercive power. They can force defendants to plead to lesser charges by using the threat of taking them to trial with a series of charges that combine to generate exaggerated sentences. Sentences that could place a defendant behind bar for the rest of his or her natural life.

While the prosecution likes to make it seem as if they had little choice in bringing this prosecution, the facts suggest otherwise. The configuration of the charges and the length of time her cannabis oil use has been public knowledge, makes it looks as if it is a political prosecution designed to punish her as much for her advocacy of the use of medical marijuana as it is for her actual use of the drug.

Source: hutchnews.com, "Preliminary hearing set in Garden City medical marijuana," Michael Maresh, Aug 24, 2015

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