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STEVE ELLIOTT

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By Miguel AKA Miggy420

I am juror number 13.

As an American, as a Veteran, as a father I know that marijuana is not a crime. It’s not the law I judge, but the system and its ability to prosecute on the whim of vindictiveness, not justice. You shouldn’t get to put people away behind bars simply because you don’t agree with their lifestyle.

When I first started supporting Lance, I was told not to support him because he’s a bad person, but when I saw the actual court documents it didn’t matter what his past was, or how he lives his life.

Pending on your perspective of life, Lance’s Facebook profile comes off as immature or a douche; pictures with a beautiful dancer in his lap or the pics with the bros in a nightclub… but being a douche is not enough reason to take a man’s life.

It’s not a reason to take away a father from his daughter, a son from his mom, or even a contributing member of society.

As I sat on the defendant’s side in the courtroom, I got a chance to see the loving and caring people behind Lance; family is everything. It’s hard to surmise the beauty and love that supports Lance but let me try. His two elderly grandparents were there from the beginning, one in a wheelchair and the other just really hard of hearing; his mother, stepfather, and a couple childhood friends have been there as well.

One of the biggest things that showed me the quality of this man’s character is the fact that he is being passionately supported by his present girlfriend Heather Hale, her father, and a longtime past girlfriend Crystal Winterton; even more impressively, they all got along like adults and stood by Lance’s side with pride. These people erased any prejudgment I had on Lance’s character and can tell you he’s actually a pretty decent person and not the super villain the prosecutor and DEA have been trying to make him.

There has been no smoking gun from the side of the federal prosecutor. So far all evidence and theories are what is presently happening in Washington state’s medical and recreational markets. All transactions are cash-based; there is no recognized marijuana banking but yet the federal prosecutor is adamant there’s money laundering in a business that can’t keep a bank account or can’t hold credit.

The point of contention from the prosecutor is the Washington state medical marijuana process that has been around since 1998. The whole industry has been a legal grey area, even the supposed I-502 regulations could be considered the same level of criminally wrong; unfortunately it’s not the state process on trial, nor the process that thousands of functioning shops have been using on trial; it’s Lance Gloor.

So let’s get to Tuesdays events: First up, the ex-girlfriend, Irene Velez, from Las Vegas who is a dancer and occasional fashion designer, a beautiful woman that looked like a Guatemalan Barbie and carried herself as such, in layman’s terms, high maintenance. She testified that while together Lance helped support her and pay her bills. An account in her name is another piece of the money “laundering” puzzle here. Three deposits made into her account is the federal prosecutions definition of laundering, whopping deposits of $340, $400, and $1,340; surely these deposits are the work of a drug mastermind, as we all know one can live the life of luxury off of 2,080 dollars, especially in Vegas.

Next up to bat was Matthew Roberts, a man who has been in the industry for a while and testified that he knows Ed Rosenthal. Lance is on trial as the result of two different sets of raids; today’s star witness sought out an ex-partner of Lance after reading about a set of raids in Tacoma Cross and went there to see if they would buy his product to restock their shelfs. The relationship began as vendor but he eventually worked at Tacoma Cross when Lance had no ownership at the time.

The object of the prosecution here is guilt by association. By proving this dispensary made a reasonable income and kept a large amount of cash on the premises, then the other dispensaries must be doing that, as well.

Assistant US Attorney Vincent Lombardi [KUOW]
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Assistant US Attorney Vincent Lombardi
[KUOW]

The federal prosecution had an easy target when it came to getting a turncoat witness. This was not his first marijuana trial and this was not his first time working with the prosecution for a lighter sentence. One of the questions I found offense to and was consistent from the federal prosecutor was “You know all those people weren’t sick?” It took all my might not to yell “Since when did he go to fucking medical school!?” Not all ailments are visible; the endocannabinoid system is part of our immune system, things like fibromyalgia and PTSD are not visible.

One highlight that occurred during this testimony I would like to point out is a local canna-hero showed up known as Grandma Cat Jeter; on her jacket was a green ribbon with a red cross. During Matt’s testimony there was a break and upon return before the jury was present the prosecutor noted the ribbon and the judge chuckled, stating “Yes, I see it but don’t think it matters.” The prosecutor concurred.

Finally, on team Worse Prosecution Ever was a special agent from the DEA. One of the items brought up as evidence were pictures off Lance’s phone, one of which was not a snapshot but a download, the picture was bags full of money. This picture in particular eventually turned into a Facebook post that enraged people who considered themselves marijuana patients.

This picture was tacky but not real. This picture is Federal evidence. Another point from the prosecution was this was his phone background. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but sometimes we have wallpapers of goals we’d like to meet: pictures of sunsets on the beach, cabins in the woods, and in Lance’s case, big-ass bags of cash. A Facebook photo of something you wish you had should not be used as any kind of evidence!

Besides the Facebook post issue, another point that sticks out about his testimony was when during cross-examination Lance’s lawyer asked about marijuana weight amounts, and how to say a pound of marijuana is not a pound of lotion with marijuana in it. In his confusion over the question he remarked that THC is the component that marijuana consumers seek, and all I can say to this is “Reefer Madness much?”

The DEA acted like the investigations involved were the result of vigorous police work that could be life-threatening, but I would like to point something out: All these dispensaries just like a thousand others in Washington are brick and mortar. These fucking places aren’t hard to find or investigate. I’ve been doing it for six years as a Washington State resident and cannabis believer on my own accord. Turns out marijuana is not the drug you were taught in high school.

The DEA agent was the last to testify for the prosecution, and after a short recess the defense felt confident enough to rest their case as well.

On a personal note and neat tidbit for you, I am pretty stoked that my first article has been received as federal evidence — not due to any investigative part on the prosecution but because Irene Velez brought it to their attention and asked if she could sue.

This trial is not only important to Lance but to the whole marijuana community. When found not guilty someone in Mississippi, Alabama, and even past medical marijuana growers can have their cases re-looked at to include the words “medical marijuana.”

I am proud of my work here, and in the immortal words of the original Vince Lombardi, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”

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