UNT Student Goes to Jury on Marijuana Case

Law Offices of David Sloane

Just saw a story that seems ripe for another case of jury nullification, and the defendant in question is a member of UNT-NORML, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) chapter at the University of North Texas (UNT) so I expect the trial to be a good show. From TokeOfTheTown.com:

A Texas college student has elected to take his chances with a jury following his arrest for possession of marijuana. Possession of under two ounces of marijuana in Texas is a Class B-misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

He had been offered a plea deal by the state, but that would have him serving either 180 days in jail probated for 18 months, and a $600.00 fine; or 70 days in jail without a probationary term or fine. I like this kid’s spirit, and he’s gaining himself some attention in the process due to not having any criminal background outside of his marijuana use.

Sloane says he has staffed this case with other NORML attorneys in Texas and they have agreed to assist in Zac’s trial pro bono. Attorney Jamie Spencer of Austin, Texas and Jamie Balagia of San Antonio, Texas have agreed to travel to Denton and help try this case.
While there is injustice concerning marijuana laws statewide, Sloane says these attorneys took a special interest in Zac’s case because he is completely free of instances of extraneous bad conduct. This will truly be an opportunity to tests the attitudes of Texas jury where it comes only to possession of small quantities of marijuana.
They believe that a jury can’t reasonably put Zac in jail for minor possession of cannabis, which would mean they’d have to find him not guilty for him to go free. That not guilty would mean the jurors do not believe that possession of cannabis should be against the law, which is exactly what jury nullification is. Expect updates from me as his trial begins. I may even try to get an interview from his attorney on the issue and if jury nullification is something they’re thinking about.

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