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Fed Prosecutor Tells Judge Essentially It’s None of Your Business Why Pot Charges Dropped

This is a darn interesting case. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has dismissed marijuana charges against author and writer Andrew Sullivan, saying it could have impacted his immigration status. The Magistrate Judge raised some objections to the dismissal. The prosecutor essentially told the judge it was none of his business whether the prosecution chose to dismiss the case.

Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan

By The Docket blog
Political commentator, author and writer for The Atlantic magazine Andrew M. Sullivan won’t have to face charges stemming from a recent pot bust at the Cape Cod National Seashore – but a federal judge isn’t happy about it.

U. S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings says in his decision that the case is an example of how sometimes “small cases raise issues of fundamental importance in our system of justice.”

While marijuana possession may have been decriminalized, Sullivan, who owns a home in Provincetown, made the mistake of being caught by a park ranger with a controlled substance on National Park Service lands, a federal misdemeanor.

The ranger issued Sullivan a citation, which required him either to appear in U.S. District Court or, in essence, pay a $125 fine.

But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to dismiss the case. Both the federal prosecutor and Sullivan’s attorney said it would have resulted in an “adverse effect” on an unspecified “immigration status” that Sullivan, a British citizen, is applying for.

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Read Judge’s Opinion


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