« Pot’s Delayed Popularity Part 2 (Historical, Logical, Scientific) | Main | Time Out for Yellowstone (Historical) »

February 27, 2008

America’s Tax Dollars at Work; Report from Yolo County, California 2008

This is being written on a Tuesday, which is already unusual because Tuesday is normally a clinic day. The reason it isn’t is that I’d been ordered, to be in court at 9AM yesterday in Woodland, a town of about 50,000 just outside Sacramento and roughly 120 miles from where I live. I’ll spare the tedious details except that I was subpoened months ago to appear as a persipient (factual) witness in a four year old case. I’d objected strenuously on the grounds that the only information I could supply as a persipient witness was already a matter of record. I then (unwisely) ignored a subpoena and was promptly served with a “show cause” letter that was softened considerably by an offer let me off the hook for Contempt and to pay me as an expert if I would just agree to show up. Reasoning that I might have a chance to do some good by explaining Prop 215 to the Court, I agreed to appear and thus found myself outside the metal detector protecting a picturesque mid-Twentieth Century Court House from terrorism at precisely 8:55 AM yesterday.

In a scene reminiscent of both airport security since 9/11 and my own trips to Fresno during Dustin Costa’s federal trial and sentencing in late ‘06 and early ‘07, a squad of  burly uniformed deputies was busy screening the people trying to get into court. It was very busy, but inside, there were little movement, no signs, and little help. I finally located the correct courtroom and was told that the judge had come down with pneumonia, so the trial was being postponed. From then on, it took about thirty minutes for relatively informal proceedings to schedule a trial setting conference  for March 4th (I won’t have to attend), so that negotiations can begin about when the half finished trial can be completed. At issue for my one-time patient who had received my recommednation to continue smoking cannabis back in January of 2004, and then been arrested for growing pot in June of that year was his freedom, but beyond that, I still learned almost nothing.

The lawyer (public defender) who had been my intermediary with the now-sick judge was friendly. She told me they were seeing quite a few such cases and they are costing the county a lot of money, but no one seems to understand them very well. On that we can certainly agree...

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 27, 2008 12:42 AM