The Medical Marijuana Magazine

Check out the KNBC - Los Angeles Web Page for a survey and pictures of Todd, his alleged plants, and his supporters.

LOS ANGELES, April 27 - A federal judge said Monday he will allow a medical marijuana advocate to use synthetic pot if prosecutors cannot prove he is using the legal prescription to mask marijuana use.

Todd McCormick, 27, was ordered to stop using pot-based medicines in March.   "I am not a doctor and I do not intend to second-guess the actions of a licensed physician,"  U.S. District Judge George H. King said at the hearing for 27-year-old Todd McCormick.  "But if the facts show that the defendant was using this prescription to cover up his illegal activity, then I must tell you I don't see where there is a constitutional right to a particular type of medication," he told McCormick's lawyer, David Michael.

On other requests McCormick had Monday, the judge was less equivocal.  Michael had asked King to reconsider a ruling by a magistrate, denying a request to stop testing McCormick for drugs while he awaits trial. That effectively would have allowed the defendant to smoke pot while on bail.  "To the extent that you are asking the court to sanction his use of marijuana, that request is unequivocally denied," King told Michael.  Without giving the reasons for his decision, the judge also refused to reduce the $500,000 bail that actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson posted for McCormick.  The defendant is awaiting trial on one count of 'manufacturing' marijuana for growing 4,116 marijuana plants at his rented Bel-Air mansion. King said Monday the trial probably will be sometime this fall.  McCormick claims he has the right to grow pot under Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative California voters approved in 1996. If convicted, he faces a minimum 10-year sentence.

A provision of his bail is that McCormick refrain from marijuana use, which he says he has smoked since childhood to treat the pain brought on by 10 bouts of histiocytosis-X, a rare form of cancer.  On March 17, U.S. Magistrate Judge James McMahon ordered McCormick to stop using Marinol, which was prescribed by his doctor, and hemp seed oil.   He accused the defendant of taking those substances to mask marijuana use.  On April 3, the magistrate ordered McCormick locked up for testing positive for marijuana seven times between March 7 and 18. Twelve days later, King overruled McMahon and freed McCormick pending a May 6 hearing. King told the lawyers today that he wants "a full record of the facts" about whether McCormick used the legal substances to mask pot smoking, and added "there is some evidence that he has." 

The judge may have given a big hint Monday about whether he will allow McCormick's lawyers to use Proposition 215 as a defense at trial. Told that lawyers for both sides expect the trial to go about two to three weeks, King replied: "Why would it possibly take two to three weeks to try this case?"  King said he would hold a hearing later in the year to talk about the issues to be presented at trial.  Under federal law, marijuana is illegal, even for medical use.  McCormick's lawyers claim he is being tried in federal court to skirt the state ballot initiative.



Todd McCormick Defense Fund
c/o David M. Michael Client Trust Account,
Bank of America # 16644 11541, Pier 5
North The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111,

This is an important case, and it is essential for Todd to have the
resources to fight it well.


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