A federal judge dismissed five counts of filing false tax returns, to go with four counts of money laundering, which had been levied against the self-proclaimed “Guru of Ganja.”Ed Rosenthal, a medical marijuana activist and columnist for High Times, had originally been arrested on three charges of growing pot. However, during his 2003 trial, he wasn’t allowed to cite in his defense the fact that the pot was for medical marijuana dispensaries -- a point which several jurors later said that the government should have allowed them to hear.
Rosenthal was only sentenced to serve a single day in jail, which he had already completed in the course of his arrest, but he continued to appeal the conviction, which was eventually overturned in April 2006.
It was then that federal prosecutors indicted Rosenthal on new charges of growing marijuana, as well as the tax evasion and money laundering charge. His lawyers accused the government of vindictive prosecution.
According to several published reports, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer wrote that, "The government's deeds -- and words -- create the perception that it added the new charges to make Rosenthal look like a common criminal and thus dissipate the criticism heaped on the government after the first trial."
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