By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A federal judge hearing the case of nine men accused of illegally growing marijuana in California said Wednesday she was taking very seriously arguments by their attorneys that the federal government has improperly classified the drug as among the most dangerous, and should throw the charges out. Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said she would rule within 30 days on the request, which comes amid looser enforcement of U.S. marijuana laws, including moves to legalize its recreational use in Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska. "If I were persuaded by the defense's argument, if I bought their argument, what would you lose here?" she asked prosecutors during closing arguments on the motion to dismiss the cases against the men. The men were charged in 2011 with growing marijuana on private and federal land in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California near the city of Redding. If convicted, they face up to life imprisonment and a $10 million fine, plus forfeiture of property and weapons. In their case before Mueller in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, defense lawyers have argued that U.S. law classifying pot as a Schedule One drug, which means it has no medical use and is among the most dangerous, is unconstitutional, given that 23 states have legalized the drug for medical use. Lawyer Zenia Gilg, who represented defense attorneys for all of the men during closing arguments, pointed to Congress' recent decision to ban the Department of Justice from interfering in states' implementation of their medical marijuana laws as evidence of her contention that the drug's classification as Schedule One should be overturned. "It's impossible to say that there is no accepted medical use," said Gilg, who has argued that her client was growing pot for medical use. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Broderick said that it was up to Congress to change the law, not the court. He said that too few doctors believed that marijuana had medical uses for the drug's definition to change under the law. "We're not saying that this is the most dangerous drug in the world," Broderick said. "All we're saying is that the evidence is such that reasonable people could disagree." The defendants, he said, were illegally growing marijuana on federal land. "They had weapons," Broderick said. "These guys were not producing medicine." (Editing by Eric Walsh)
"I’m... embarrassed in a certain sense because, you know, this has become a little bit of a scandal for President Trump,” Fuentes noted on his podcast.
- Associated Press
The extended Senate campaign in Georgia between the Democratic incumbent, Raphael Warnock, and his Republican challenger, football legend Herschel Walker, has grown increasingly bitter as their Dec. 6 runoff nears. With Democrats already assured a Senate majority, it’s a striking contrast from two years ago, when the state's twin runoffs were mostly about which party would control the chamber in Washington. “Herschel Walker ain’t serious,” Warnock told supporters recently in central Georgia, saying that Walker “majors in lying” and fumbles the basics of public policy.
- USA TODAY Sports
Losses caused big changes to this week's USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Michigan is up to No. 2 behind Georgia and three teams join the top 10.
“So I help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black,” Trump wrote Saturday, offering “very much needed ‘advice.’”
- The Telegraph
The King plans to make Princess Charlotte the Duchess of Edinburgh instead of giving the title to the Earl of Wessex, according to reports.
- Fox News
A 23-year-old Chicago woman with a concealed-carry permit shot a would-be carjacker in the head as he attempted to enter her car in Calumet Heights at 2 a.m. last Wednesday.
- NBC Sports
Collins is going to get fined or suspended for this.
A big rig driver is recovering after a crash shut down I-80.
- Good Housekeeping
While attending the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, 'Persuasion' actress Dakota Johnson left fans speechless with a see-through crystal dress.
- Cincinnati.com | The Enquirer
Sources confirmed to The Enquirer that Wisconsin has reached an agreement with UC Bearcats coach Luke Fickell and will name him their next head coach.
- Business Insider
Flying with small children can be challenging, but the internet is calling out the parents of kids who disturb fellow passengers.
- College Football News
AP top 25 poll, college football rankings prediction, Week 14 What will it be on Sunday morning?
A Texas father is raising money after his ex-girlfriend burned his house down because she was upset another woman answered his phone
"I never would have imagined me being a victim of such crimes, as we had only been in a relationship for a month," Tommy Garay wrote on GoFundMe.
Photos of thousands of people who got naked on iconic Bondi Beach for a nude shoot to raise skin cancer awareness
The 2,500-person crowd at Spencer Tunick's latest art installation represented the number of Australians who die from skin cancer each year.
Carpe diem, OK? 🏹
- College Football News
Bowl Projections and College Football Playoff Picks after Week 13. They're the last bowl projections before the reveal next Sunday.
- The Wrap
Watch Biden’s Short and Not-So Sweet Reaction to Trump’s Meeting With White Supremacist Nick Fuentes (Video)
Both sides of the aisle are taking swings at the former president’s “canoodling” with the known neo-Nazi
- The Daily Beast
ANDRI TAMBUNANA long-awaited Thanksgiving feast turned into an unimaginable nightmare for one New Mexico family after out-of-town relatives arrived to find the host “dismembered and disemboweled.”Family members of Karlan and Connie Denio are now left struggling to make sense of how the planned holiday ended with him under arrest for her murder.The day had seemed to be going exactly as planned while relatives made their way to the couple’s home in Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon, with Connie De
- Sacramento Bee
“This isn’t fantasy. This is real. That is somebody’s daughter right there.”
- USA TODAY
The fleet of vehicles discontinued in 2022 includes a number of passenger cars, as Americans continue to flock to SUVs.