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Jan-17-2014 22:52printcomments

Curtis Keaton Story - Winning !!!

Today's court case proves that the people of California are not willing to convict legal patients that are protected by the law.

Supporters of Curtis Keaton
Californians are not willing to convict legal patients that are protected by the law.

(SACRAMENTO) - In Tehama County, Sheriffs deputies have been busy these past couple of years with a string of arrests all aimed at medical marijuana patients. The most recent target of their war on the legal medical marijuana patients in their county, is a disabled man by the name of Curtis Keaton.

Curtis Keaton

Curtis suffers from muscular dystrophy which is a condition that effects the musculoskeletal system. Curtis was arrested in December 13, 2012 after placing an ad on Craigslist looking for fellow Prop. 215 patients to reimburse him for medicine he had grown. The person that responded to his ad was anything but a legal patient, rather a sheriff investigator Jeff Garrett.

The investigator, posing as a patient, asked for Curtis to bring medicine and hash for him to check out. When Curtis showed up to meet the supposed patient, he instead found a group of deputies in tactical gear waiting in a parked van to arrest him. With guns drawn they stormed out of their waiting van and took Curtis into custody, handcuffing him tightly despite his severe medical condition.

This past week of January 13th 2014, Curtis Keaton finally got his day in court.

Hearing the case was Tehama County Superior Court Judge John Garaventa.

After Deputy District Attorney Alessio Larrabee attempted to deny Curtis's medical marijuana defense, a common tactic amongst District Attorneys here in California. Defense Attorney John Fuery for Curtis Keaton, argued with tenacity that the medical defense should be allowed because during a preliminary hearing, the medical document had already been accepted by the courts. Judge Garaventa ruled in favor of Curtis Keaton and allowed his affirmative medical marijuana defense.

Jury selection ended with a 7 woman and 5 man panel to decide his fate.

Defense witness James Benno, a well known collective operator and activist out of Shasta County, came to testify on Curtis's behalf. He testified that Curtis had an exemption from his doctor and was allowed to use more than patients with less serious medical conditions. He also testified that the reimbursement rate Curtis was advertising on Craigslist was less than the going rate for marijuana and would not garnish a profit by any means.

On Thursday, after a long day of legal wrangling by Defense Attorney John Fuery and Deputy DA Alessio Larrabee, Curtis Keaton himself finally took the stand.


Curtis explained that in 1986, his mother was told by physicians at University of California Davis that Curtis would be alleviated greatly of his pain and migraine headaches if he used cannabis. Since this was pre-Prop. 215, they could not officially endorse it's use but orally recommended it.

He then explained that since that time he had tried many strains of marijuana to aid him in alleviating his symptoms.

In this particular instance he had grown a few strains that year, none of which worked for him very well. He further testified that his Craigslist ad had been an attempt to receive compensation for that year's harvest to a qualified patient, so that he could afford to go to a dispensary and get medicine he knew would work in replacement.

After his testimony had ended, closing arguments began on both sides.

It started with Defense Attorney John Fuery, who passionately defended Curtis and his right to associate with other patients. He illustrated that the investigators convinced a legal patient to bring medicine to them under the guise of being patients themselves. He vilified Investigator Jeff Garrett as at thug that preyed on innocent legal patients like Mr. Keaton.

District Attorney Alessio Larrabee held steadfast, and insisted that what Curtis Keaton was doing was illegal and that he deserved to be convicted for his crimes and punished accordingly. In the end the jury deliberated for 45 minutes and came back with a unanimous decision to acquit Curtis Keaton on all charges of transportation, possession of marijuana for sales, and possession of concentrated cannabis.

Today's court case proves that the people of California are not willing to convict legal patients that are protected by the law.

Congratulations Curtis Keaton your freedom is well deserved!

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Eric Salerno is a Salem-News.com writer from Butte County, California. His background is with State and Federal Agencies assisting in recovery efforts in disaster stricken states.

In 2008 he began advocating for medical marijuana in his home state. This journey began after the supervisors in his district of Butte County enacted a moratorium on legal Prop. 215 patients rights to access and grow their own medicine. He was one of only 10 people to show up at the meeting and voice his concerns with their actions.

That year a coalition of mores than 300 residents was formed and a Vote NO on measure A campaign began. These residents of Butte County united to stop the interference of the county.

This campaign was successful with a large voter drive initiative and media campaign securing 55% of the voters saying NO on measure A.

Today Eric works endlessly from Southern California to Northern California advising and implementing political tactics, to ensure every Californian has the right to access legal safe medicine under the law.

You can write to Eric at this address: Ericsalerno@sbcglobal.net

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Rory Murray January 18, 2014 4:17 pm (Pacific time)

I wish that Daisy Bram and Jayme Walsh had their affirmative defense heard by a jury. Or Chris Williams. Or Aaron Sandusky. Or Joe Grumbine, founder of The Human Solution. Or Richard Flor, a cannabis patient that died in jail. Chained to a bed. The TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT The TRUTH!

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