It arises from a state court judge who was confronted with a routine criminal case. Matthew Palazzolo had been arrested for selling marijuana to a police informant in a Lake Tahoe casino parking lot (which is odd, because I thought that’s what casino parking lots were for).
The story reveals that the lad worked at a Sacramento law firm (I’m pretty confident that the past tense is appropriate for the previous sentence). Unfortunately, nothing more is said about what he did at the firm—maybe he was in charge of snacks.
In any case, Palazzolo had initially gotten a California prescription for medical marijuana after crying “sore back” to a doctor. The pot he was arrested for selling? It was home grown.
The judge decided to take a unique route toward rehabilitation. As the story says, “District Judge Dave Gamble ordered Matthew Palazzolo to write a report on what the judge called the ‘nonsensical character’ of California’s medical marijuana law.”
(Yes, I know. His name is Judge Gamble. I don’t make this stuff up.)
Judge Gamble ordered the defendant to write a paper that displays Palazzolo’s realization that pot led him to use more powerful drugs.
This may be unique in court history. I know other defendants have had to demonstrate their contrition in unique ways, sometimes even in essays. But asking a defendant to write a paper which argues that a law is incorrect?
It sounds like it wasn’t just one defendant on trial there. Judge Gamble’s going after California voters.
Now wouldn’t we all enjoy reading that report? It’s due in 90 days—let’s hope it’ll be published (hello, Las Vegas newspapers?!).
Read the news story here.