Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

March 9, 2010
Sacramento airport pot patient jailed after felony conviction

AA POT CONVICTION1.JPGMatthew Zugsberger, an injured former oil rig worker and medical marijuana user, was convicted today of felony transportation of marijuana for attempting to take three pounds of pot onto a Sacramento flight to New Orleans in December, 2008.

Zugsberger, 34, who had a Mendocino County physician's recommendation for five pounds of pot, was considered a test case for how much marijuana a patient may possess for reasonable personal use.

Last month, the California Supreme Court threw out California limits on the amount of plants or dried marijuana medical users can have at any time.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature improperly amended the Proposition 215 medical marijuana law without the consent of voters. Yet the decision still allowed authorities to arrest medical cannabis patients suspected of possessing pot for sale or exceeding state or local possession guidelines.

After intense deliberations that lasted twice as long as his trial, a jury acquitted Zugsberger of a felony count of possession for sale. But it convicted him of felony transportation as well as misdemeanor possession.

Zugsberger, who could receive four years in prison on the felony count, was immediately taken into custody in the courtroom.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Roland Candee set his sentencing for April 8.

For the full report in The Sacramento Bee and a video of an interview with Zugsberger, click here.

-- Peter Hecht

Pictured: Matthew Zugsberger, with his attorney, Grant Pegg, was convicted today of felony transportation of marijuana for attempting to take 3 pounds of pot onto a Sacramento flight in December 2008. Andy Alfaro/aalfaro@sacbee.com

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.