Judge to Decide Validity of Case on Marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3 — A federal judge has asked the United States attorney here to submit all trial preparation memorandums in the case against a leading advocate of medical marijuana so that the court can determine if the government has been pursuing a “vindictive prosecution.”

The judge, Charles R. Breyer, ordered the review at the request of lawyers for Ed Rosenthal, a spokesman in the effort to legalize marijuana who has been in a closely watched court battle with the government.

At a motion hearing in Federal District Court here on Friday, defense lawyers for Mr. Rosenthal urged Judge Breyer to dismiss an array of federal drug, money laundering and tax evasion charges against their client, saying an appellate court judge had overturned his conviction in a nearly identical case last year.

The new charges, outlined in a federal grand jury indictment issued in October, accuse Mr. Rosenthal of 14 felonies, including conspiracy to grow and sell marijuana for medical use, laundering $1,850 and failing to report income from the sale of crop plants on his tax returns.

Details here from the New York Times.