Montana Jury Lights a Fire Under Pro-Pot Cause

Thursday, 23 Dec 2010 02:05 PM

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A jurors' revolt in a Missoula, Mont., marijuana case has become a nationwide rallying cry for the drug’s legalization, The New York Times reports. The so-called mutiny in Montana scrambled the trial of a repeat offender charged with selling and possession, and was heralded by weed fans as proof of America’s increasingly pro-pot proclivities.

Five jurors at the opening of defendant Teuray Cornell’s trial last week said they questioned such marijuana prosecutions, prompting the prosecutor to drop the misdemeanor possession charge and cut a plea deal with Cornell on the felony selling charge.

Juror revolts are on the rise in marijuana cases across the country, said the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

Marijuana partisans point to 46 percent of Californians having voted in November to legalize the drug, and to a Gallup poll from October in which 58 percent of Western state residents favored legalization.

But the tide hasn’t quite turned. On Tuesday the Oakland, Calif., City Council shelved plans to license medical marijuana farms after prosecutors warned that city officials could face charges.

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