A 70-year-old woman was convicted on a marijuana charge by a Michigan jury after they were instructed by the assistant prosecutor to “follow the law and not use sympathy” when weighing her fate.
“You must hold the defendant accountable for her actions,” said Assistant Prosecutor Beth Hand during her closing argument.
In the end, the jury heeded the prosecutor’s advice and decided to convict Barbara Agro, a registered medical marijuana patient and caregiver, as charged, reports Ann Zaniewski at the Oakland County Daily Tribune
. Agro faces sentencing on July 13 for one count of delivery/manufacture of marijuana, a felony which can get four years in prison.
The former Lake Orion police dispatcher worked as a receptionist at Clinical Relief, a medical marijuana dispensary in Ferndale. When the place was raided on August 25, 2010, Agro told deputies that she had marijuana plants growing at her house. Deputies found 19 cannabis plants and “other items” during a serch of her Lake Orion home.
Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said Agro used cannabis for medicinal reasons.
“In this case here, we have a person who was growing medicine for herself,” Sabbota said.
Sabbota pointed to old laws, such as those surrounding prohibition and a law that once made it a crime to harbor a runaway slave. In his opening statement yesterday, he told jurors that laws sometimes need to be changed.
Assistant Prosecutor Hand said that Sabbota did not contest any elements of the charged crime. She said that marijuana, in the state of Michigan, is still illegal, and said Agro is not charged with using marijuana, but with growing it.
“This is not a medical marijuana case,” the assistant prosecutor claimed.
Hand referenced Agro’s age and told jurors that all different types of people break the law.
“The law is, that sympathy and prejudice have no place in the courtroom,” Hand said.
Oakland Circuit Judge Wendy Potts, who evidently issues rulings with her head up her ass, previously granted a motion from prosecutors seeking to prohibit Agro from mentioning the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act during the trial.