Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Marijuana felony will
send gubernatorial
campaign up in smoke

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> Natural Law gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Adler has reached a plea agreement that could keep him from serving time in jail for two sets of marijuana charges.

But it will also mean he will not be eligible to run for governor when he is sentenced Sept. 4, said his attorney, Michael Green.

Election 2002

Chief Elections Officer Dwayne Yoshina has said posters will be put up at polling places saying Adler is not an eligible candidate once he is sentenced for a felony offense.

Adler was to be sentenced yesterday on the first set of charges related to 89 small marijuana plants, weighing a total of 1 ounce, which he possessed in 1998. Sentencing was postponed while Green and Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Hashizaki worked on the plea agreement.

Trial was also pending on charges against Adler for allegedly possessing 55 plants in 1999.

Under the agreement, Adler would plead guilty to sale of marijuana, commercial promotion of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia in 1999.

The sentences for the 1998 and 1999 offenses would be combined. He would receive five years' probation, and the prosecutor could argue for one year in jail.

The agreement leaves up to the discretion of Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura whether Adler could use marijuana as medicine, for which he is registered under state law, while on probation.

It also leaves to Nakamura's discretion whether Adler would be banned from associating with people who use marijuana, effectively cutting him off from his religion, the Religion of Jesus Church.

If he is banned from medical marijuana and religious affiliation, "I'll deal with that when it happens," Adler said.

State Office of Elections

E-mail to City Desk


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