Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) released the following statement on the Truth in Trials Act. Introduced by Congressman Farr, the bipartisan legislation would allow individuals accused of violating federal marijuana laws to offer evidence in federal court that their use of medical marijuana followed state medical marijuana laws:
"The Truth in Trials Act is about restoring basic fairness to our judicial system. Confidence in our courts is built on the people's faith that justice is blind, impartial to all parties in a case. That faith is slowly being eroded because in federal marijuana trials justice is no longer blind to the parties but instead blind to all of the facts.
"By refusing to allow defendants to enter into evidence the fact they were following state medical marijuana laws, the federal government has rigged the system to guarantee conviction. In every one of those cases, the scales of justice are no longer balanced but instead have been heavily weighted against the defendant. Without that evidence, unsuspecting juries have sent otherwise innocent people to jail without the benefit of a legitimate defense. That is simply unconscionable.
"This bill does more than just restore a defendant's right to due process; it restores compassion to our legal system. We need strict drug laws, but we also need to apply a little common sense in the way we enforce those laws. Thirteen states have enacted medical marijuana laws and the federal government should recognize that fact when developing its approach to medical marijuana use. We should no longer waste law enforcement and judicial resources to prosecute patients, along with growers and distributers, who are following their states medical marijuana laws."