This is the second court date I've had since this all began 3 months ago...
I appeared in court last month for a pro-se arraignment, where I applied for a public defender, and set trial dates. They kind of grouped both cases together because I initially appeared on both at the same time.
But up until now, not too much was going on...
This month's hearing was a pretrial conference where we asked for a continuance of trial dates, but we also received partial discovery for one case, and a plea bargain from the prosecutor. I didn't expect that since we didn't have full discovery yet, but it was kinda cute...
The plea bargain offer was for me to plead guilty to the possession of marijuana charge and the obstruction charge in the first case, in exchange for the dismissal of the paraphernalia charge in that case, and then dismissal of both the possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia from the Idaho Moms' New Year's Smoke Out at the Capitol.
Despite the absurdity of accepting a plea bargain prior to receiving discovery of evidence, no matter the case, my State appointed public defender was required to explain the offer to me and make it available if I wished to accept it. I was happy he did his job. That shows potential...
I'm sure the plea bargain offer would be a decent way to quickly jump into the system and get things over with as soon as possible... I would have only ended up with unsupervised probation (meaning no drug tests). I would have only had 8 hours of drug classes, where I could educate the program directors when they attempt to lie to me about marijuana, and at most 100 hours of community service, where I could spread even more knowledge about Idaho's harmful Marijuana policy.
But then what would have been the point of everything? What would have been the point of spending all my energy and time on the very 1st day of the year, a holiday, which also just so happens to be the day after my birthday, to stand up and protest these extremely outdated laws?
With how precious my energy and time are because of my disability, and my lack of real access to sufficient supply of the only medicine that works for my daily chronic pain, the plea bargain is gonna have to be something AMAZING for me to plead guilty to any of these charges. I've already invested so much into this experience to turn back without it being something absolutely too good to refuse.
I think it would be an interesting adventure to see how these cases play out with a jury trial here in Idaho. It would definitely provide more insight into whether citizen viewpoints on Marijuana clash with those of the politicians and law makers like the polls keep saying they do.
But would that really happen?
Is the State of Idaho really willing to actually go to court on this?
I sure hope so. It's about time for some real conversation about Medical Marijuana in Idaho.
The politicians won't discuss it. The state officials won't discuss it... even when they accept an invitation from a group of college kids to participate in a peaceful town hall event on a University Campus.
I was sorely disappointed in Elisha Figuroa, Lt. Doty and the Idaho State Police, and an Idaho representative, when they all backed out the day of SSDP's Town Hall event on January 26th.
|Click to listen to the Idaho Marijuana Town Hall|
It is extremely illogical and unethical to maintain Idaho's current stance on Marijuana if they aren't even willing to back their policies with evidence and debate or even face public discussion and opinion from the citizens they supposedly represent.
So yes, I hope that my cases will continue on to Jury Trial. I hope that I get my day in court and have the opportunity to discuss my reasons for civil disobedience of these unjust laws in front of a jury of my peers.
Maybe have a few non-violent protests in front of the court house. Get some more media attention on this issue.
My next court date is a pre-trial conference scheduled for April 6th, where I will likely be offered another plea bargain, and move forward to trial.
Whatever happens, It excites me to look back over the last year and see the progress that Idaho has finally began to make. The people are definitely ready. Even if the politicians are not.
This Island of Prohibition, one of the last 9 non-marijuana states in the nation, isn't going to be stuck in the dark ages for much longer. After working to change laws, especially in this state, for over a decade, I can see how much and how quickly things are changing. Not just locally, but federally as well.
In the meantime, we will continue the fight forward for medical legalization through new adventures and opportunities. It's time to spotlight Idaho's need for change. It's time to make Idaho's obstinate refusal to help it's citizens known throughout the world.
And with that spotlight, will come new petitions, new events, and new ideas that will help bring us new laws that truly reflect the compassion that Idahoans share for their families, friends, and neighbors.
It's only a matter of time.
More to come!