'Guru of Ganja' to Be Retried; Judge Blasts Feds

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A California federal judge openly hostile to the prosecution today set a May 14 trial date for the Bay Area’s self-proclaimed “Guru of Ganja,” asking why the federal government continues to pursue the case against the medical marijuana grower.

Defendant Ed Rosenthal was convicted of three felonies in 2003, for which U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer sentenced him to one day in prison. That conviction was overturned due to juror misconduct, however, and now the case is being retried.

Federal prosecutors had attempted to add new charges of money laundering and filing false tax returns, reports the AP, but Breyer dismissed them last month, saying they were filed in order to punish defendant Ed Rosenthal for winning his appeal.

Rosenthal’s attorney said in court today that she will ask the judge to require the prosecution to pay the defense team’s fees for fighting the dismissed charges.

Meanwhile, the defendant appeared to take the situation in stride: “This isn’t a criminal case, this is a political case,” said Rosenthal, who, the AP reports, appeared in court dressed in a blue wizard’s robe with a golden marijuana leaf emblazoned over the breast. “I may as well get my money’s worth and have a trial.”

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