Sonoma judge keeps medical marijuana patient in
January 25, 2006
SANTA ROSA -- A Sonoma County court declined to release
Prop 215 medicinal marijuana patient Will Foster from custody
over his Oklahoma parole violation, but ordered a further hearing
on a motion that would let him be released on bail.
Attorney Terence Hallinan had asked that Foster be released on
bail pursuant to a habeas corpus motion. However, Judge Eliot
Lee Dunn declared that he could not grant habeas corpus without
a full hearing, and in the meantime he could not release Foster
in view of Oklahoma's "no bail" extradition warrant.
Foster was arrested during a routine ID check while dealing with
the police over a burglar alarm that had gone off on his property.
Police alleged that he had a warrant for failing to report to
parole authorities in Oklahoma, where he had been released after
serving four years of a 20 year sentence for marijuana cultivation.
Hallinan, a former San Francisco District Attorney, said that
the violation was due to a miscommunication by California parole
authorities, who had failed to keep contact with Will.
Judge Dunn indicated that he was sympathetic to Foster's plight
in view of the fact that his alleged crime would have been perfectly
legal in California. However, he said that his own hand were tied
by the law. He suggested that Foster pursue his case in another
forum, citing the example of the native American activist Dennis
Banks, whose extradition order by South Dakota was turned down
by then Governor Jerry Brown.
Dunn ordered a full habeas court hearing on February 27th. In
the meantime, Foster must remain in the Sonoma County jail.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that the county is considering
doubling the size of
its jail on account of the flood of drug dealers and other miscreants.