From The Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-marijuana-juries-20101225,0,2484761.story
In cases involving small amounts of marijuana, some people aren’t willing to uphold the law in court.
By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
December 24, 2010
It seemed a straightforward case: A man with a string of convictions and a reputation as a drug dealer was going on trial in Montana for distributing a small amount of marijuana found in his home — if only the court could find jurors willing to send someone to jail for selling a few marijuana buds.
The problem began during jury selection last week in Missoula, when a potential juror said she would have a “real problem” convicting someone for selling such a small amount. But she would follow the law if she had to, she said.
A woman behind her was adamant. “I can’t do it,” she said, prompting Judge Robert L. Deschamps III to excuse her. Another juror raised a hand, the judge recalled, “and said, ‘I was convicted of marijuana possession a few years ago, and it ruined my life.’ ” Excused.
“Then one of the people in the jury box said, ‘Tell me, how much marijuana are we talking about? … If it was a pound or a truckload or something like that, OK, but I’m not going to convict someone of a sale with two or three buds,’ ” the judge said. “And at that point, four or five additional jurors spontaneously raised their hands and said, ‘Me too.’ ”
By that time, Deschamps knew he had a jury problem.