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Patterson raises constitutional issues

BY Sarah smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"1235649","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"360","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]] A medical marijuana case making its way ...

BY Sarah smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com
A medical marijuana case making its way to trial in Hubbard County is about equal rights, the defense insists. Why can the residents of Colorado provide medical marijuana to sick persons while the residents of Minnesota cannot, David Patterson posits. Patterson’s legal trouble is for allegedly providing medicinal marijuana oil to critically ill friends, he claims. Because of construction in the courthouse, especially to the main courtroom, Patterson won’t go on trial the week of Oct. 28 like Judge Paul Rasmussen announced Monday. There is no jury room, and no private place to discuss questions that might arise during trial, Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne said Wednesday. Trial is more likely to occur in November. Patterson’s argument is that his constitutional rights to assist critically ill people, now that limited use of marijuana oil went into effect Aug. 1, has been denied him. “Defendant argues that his true, individual civil rights, like all other peoples’ rights are unjustly infringed upon, if not entirely taken…” his omnibus brief states. Who’s who Patterson is defending himself in the case, but has asked attorney Frank Bibeau to sit as co-counsel. Judge Paul Rasmussen has taken a hard line in the case, insisting that both men are not to speak over each other, much less take turns questioning the same witness at trial. Monday’s court appearance was a free-for-all that challenged court rules and decorum. Patterson vocally argued that his chance to a fair trial, by keeping his lips zipped, is in danger and an immediately appealable case. Rasmussen ordered that he and Bibeau split up the workload and the witnesses, so they could not gang up on any one witness in the case. “The recent history of medical marijuana in Minnesota proves that the way state law undercuts people’s civil rights was clearly demonstrated when the Governor was allowing law enforcement to decide the people’s elected Legislature’s outcome on marijuana laws, when law enforcement has a clear, conflict of interest to maintain the slush-fund-like revenue under the color of state law,” Patterson’s brief states. Bibeau said he’s aware of three cases currently being litigated in the state as to the constitutionality of marijuana possession for medicinal use. Dearstyne, too, is taking a hard line, saying he’s prosecuting Patterson because in January, when the Laporte man was arrested, marijuana possession was still illegal. “Gov. Dayton told parents in March during the session, he understood that various forms have significant medical value for otherwise untreatable ailments and was sympathetic to them going on the street in violation of state laws to obtain their remedies,” Patterson’s brief states. “Gov. Dayton did shortly after, politically flip-flop and apologize for what defendant argues is stating the obvious, marijuana isn’t really a crime but a medicinal, and that we all have inalienable rights which include an inherent right of every human to help others who are suffering, and in defense and health of others, enable them to access the Creator’s gifts for healing and reducing suffering,” Patterson’s brief continues. Dearstyne refuses to discuss the case publicly, saying it should be decided in a courtroom, not a newspaper. He does point out that Patterson is not a licensed marijuana dealer under the newly adopted Minnesota law and should be prosecuted as a criminal. Flocking to Colorado Patterson’s brief claims hundreds of children and parents have uprooted their lives and are “flocking to (the) Rocky Mountain State in search of a non-psychotic cannabis medicine. “Here, Minnesota’s state laws are being selectively applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner, so as to prevent some people from exercising their religious practices of helping the suffering with the Creator’s medicine, which here violates defendant’s First Amendment right of the separation of church and state,” Patterson’s brief notes. Under Minnesota’s law, persons with “qualifying conditions,” such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease or those with a life expectancy under one year experiencing pain and nausea may qualify for use of medical marijuana. “The commissioner of health has the authority to add qualifying conditions but the legislature may veto any addition,” the law states. Patterson seizes on this section as “Minnesota applying double (multiple) standards like the kettle calling the pot black (or green),” Patterson’s brief argues. Patterson maintains it’s not for the state to decide “who may benefit medically and who will be punished” for furnishing marijuana; that it is unjust for a state like Colorado to legalize possession of marijuana while another state punishes possession. “Any further prosecutions for marijuana or cannabis are unjust, inequitable in the totality of the circumstances and consequently violates individual civil rights retained by the people and which restrain certain government abuses of life equal protection and equal rights…” Patterson’s brief states. Because the federal government has patented a form of cannabis oil, it understands the medicinal use of the drug and is licensing it for use to several entities to profit from, Patterson claims. But that denies equal protection to others like him, he maintains. Patterson also asserts he has no prior record of drug offenses; the state begs to differ. The Enterprise has twice reported what turns up on a state search of Patterson’s criminal records – that he was fined $50 for possession of a Schedule 4 controlled substance on Jan. 5, 1990. Patterson said this simply isn’t true and has called the paper numerous times to argue his point, but the newspaper could not reconcile the two sides of the story. Patterson says he is not a convicted felon, nor has he ever been convicted of a felony. The current criminal complaint also notes that Patterson was in possession of five firearms, which would be illegal for a convicted felon. Again, Patterson argues that he is not a convicted felon and he can legally possess guns. He admitted that he failed to license the guns twice, so the charges for such an infraction were legally filed. The newspaper asked Dearstyne to review the public record and the county attorney agreed that Patterson was convicted previously of the controlled substance crime, at least according to what the public record stated. Patterson vehemently denies it. He admitted he’s no choir boy and has had run-ins with the law in the past, but he’s never been convicted of a felony drug possession in the past. Trial now is tentatively set for November if construction moves ahead.  BY Sarah smithssmith@parkrapidsenterprise.com
A medical marijuana case making its way to trial in Hubbard County is about equal rights, the defense insists.Why can the residents of Colorado provide medical marijuana to sick persons while the residents of Minnesota cannot, David Patterson posits.Patterson’s legal trouble is for allegedly providing medicinal marijuana oil to critically ill friends, he claims.Because of construction in the courthouse, especially to the main courtroom, Patterson won’t go on trial the week of Oct. 28 like Judge Paul Rasmussen announced Monday.There is no jury room, and no private place to discuss questions that might arise during trial, Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne said Wednesday.Trial is more likely to occur in November.Patterson’s argument is that his constitutional rights to assist critically ill people, now that limited use of marijuana oil went into effect Aug. 1, has been denied him.“Defendant argues that his true, individual civil rights, like all other peoples’ rights are unjustly infringed upon, if not entirely taken…” his omnibus brief states.Who’s whoPatterson is defending himself in the case, but has asked attorney Frank Bibeau to sit as co-counsel.Judge Paul Rasmussen has taken a hard line in the case, insisting that both men are not to speak over each other, much less take turns questioning the same witness at trial.Monday’s court appearance was a free-for-all that challenged court rules and decorum.Patterson vocally argued that his chance to a fair trial, by keeping his lips zipped, is in danger and an immediately appealable case.Rasmussen ordered that he and Bibeau split up the workload and the witnesses, so they could not gang up on any one witness in the case.“The recent history of medical marijuana in Minnesota proves that the way state law undercuts people’s civil rights was clearly demonstrated when the Governor was allowing law enforcement to decide the people’s elected Legislature’s outcome on marijuana laws, when law enforcement has a clear, conflict of interest to maintain the slush-fund-like revenue under the color of state law,” Patterson’s brief states.Bibeau said he’s aware of three cases currently being litigated in the state as to the constitutionality of marijuana possession for medicinal use.Dearstyne, too, is taking a hard line, saying he’s prosecuting Patterson because in January, when the Laporte man was arrested, marijuana possession was still illegal.“Gov. Dayton told parents in March during the session, he understood that various forms have significant medical value for otherwise untreatable ailments and was sympathetic to them going on the street in violation of state laws to obtain their remedies,” Patterson’s brief states.“Gov. Dayton did shortly after, politically flip-flop and apologize for what defendant argues is stating the obvious, marijuana isn’t really a crime but a medicinal, and that we all have inalienable rights which include an inherent right of every human to help others who are suffering, and in defense and health of others, enable them to access the Creator’s gifts for healing and reducing suffering,” Patterson’s brief continues.Dearstyne refuses to discuss the case publicly, saying it should be decided in a courtroom, not a newspaper. He does point out that Patterson is not a licensed marijuana dealer under the newly adopted Minnesota law and should be prosecuted as a criminal.Flocking to ColoradoPatterson’s brief claims hundreds of children and parents have uprooted their lives and are “flocking to (the) Rocky Mountain State in search of a non-psychotic cannabis medicine.“Here, Minnesota’s state laws are being selectively applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner, so as to prevent some people from exercising their religious practices of helping the suffering with the Creator’s medicine, which here violates defendant’s First Amendment right of the separation of church and state,” Patterson’s brief notes.Under Minnesota’s law, persons with “qualifying conditions,” such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Tourette’s syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, severe and persistent muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease or those with a life expectancy under one year experiencing pain and nausea may qualify for use of medical marijuana.“The commissioner of health has the authority to add qualifying conditions but the legislature may veto any addition,” the law states.Patterson seizes on this section as “Minnesota applying double (multiple) standards like the kettle calling the pot black (or green),” Patterson’s brief argues.Patterson maintains it’s not for the state to decide “who may benefit medically and who will be punished” for furnishing marijuana; that it is unjust for a state like Colorado to legalize possession of marijuana while another state punishes possession.“Any further prosecutions for marijuana or cannabis are unjust, inequitable in the totality of the circumstances and consequently violates individual civil rights retained by the people and which restrain certain government abuses of life equal protection and equal rights…” Patterson’s brief states.Because the federal government has patented a form of cannabis oil, it understands the medicinal use of the drug and is licensing it for use to several entities to profit from, Patterson claims.But that denies equal protection to others like him, he maintains.Patterson also asserts he has no prior record of drug offenses; the state begs to differ.The Enterprise has twice reported what turns up on a state search of Patterson’s criminal records – that he was fined $50 for possession of a Schedule 4 controlled substance on Jan. 5, 1990.Patterson said this simply isn’t true and has called the paper numerous times to argue his point, but the newspaper could not reconcile the two sides of the story.Patterson says he is not a convicted felon, nor has he ever been convicted of a felony.The current criminal complaint also notes that Patterson was in possession of five firearms, which would be illegal for a convicted felon.Again, Patterson argues that he is not a convicted felon and he can legally possess guns. He admitted that he failed to license the guns twice, so the charges for such an infraction were legally filed.The newspaper asked Dearstyne to review the public record and the county attorney agreed that Patterson was convicted previously of the controlled substance crime, at least according to what the public record stated.Patterson vehemently denies it.He admitted he’s no choir boy and has had run-ins with the law in the past, but he’s never been convicted of a felony drug possession in the past.Trial now is tentatively set for November if construction moves ahead. 

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