An Albemarle County, Virginia jury has acquitted a man on marijuana possession charges. Philip Cobbs, 54, was arrested in October 2011 after police claimed they spotted marijuana on his property using a helicopter and conducted a SWAT team-like raid on his land. The Rutherford Institute got involved saying the raid was a violation of his 4th Amendment rights of unreasonable search and seizure.
“I feel like justice finally was done,” Cobbs said, according to The Hook. The same article went on to state that, “Before the jury was selected, prosecutor Matthew Quatrara read the opening paragraph of a New York Times Paul Butler op-ed calling for jury nullification: “If you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, I recommend that you vote ‘not guilty’— even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer.”
Almost a dozen officers with semi-automatic weapons, helicopters, a drawn out court battle, and all for two plants? Am I missing something here? I would love to see what the final tally was to the government to pursue this failed case. The last time I checked we were in the midst of an economic crisis…I guess Virginia is flush with cash, enough so that they can go after people like Philip Cobbs for two plants…
As all of the media reports are stating, this is a big victory for the 4th Amendment. No one should ever have their privacy violated, and guns pointed at their heads because of marijuana. I know several people that have had to experience that horrible scenario, and almost all of them are traumatized for life as a result. With all of the real crime and suffering that is going on in the world, it makes me extremely sad to live in a world where the priority of law enforcement and our judicial system is to go after marijuana consumers. At least in one court room in Virginia, the people decided to stand up and say no!