Sonoma Keeps Marijuana Patient Will Foster in Custody

Will Foster and familyWill Foster and familyA Sonoma County court declined to release Prop 215 medicinal marijuana patient Will Foster from custody over his Oklahoma parole violation, but ordered a further hearing on a motion that would let him be released on bail.
Attorney Terence Hallinan had asked that Foster be released on bail pursuant to a habeas corpus motion. However, Judge Eliot Lee Dunn declared that he could not grant habeas corpus without a full hearing, and in the meantime he could not release Foster in view of Oklahoma’s “no bail” extradition warrant.

Foster was arrested during a routine ID check while dealing with the police over a burglar alarm that had gone off on his property.

Police alleged that he had a warrant for failing to report to parole authorities in Oklahoma, where he had been released after serving four years of a 20 year sentence for marijuana cultivation.

Hallinan, a former San Francisco District Attorney, said that the violation was due to a miscommunication by California parole authorities, who had failed to keep contact with Will.

Judge Dunn indicated that he was sympathetic to Foster’s plight in view of the fact that his alleged crime would have been perfectly legal in California. However, he said that his own hand were tied by the law. He suggested that Foster pursue his case in another forum, citing the example of the native American activist Dennis Banks, whose extradition order by South Dakota was turned down by then Governor Jerry Brown.

Dunn ordered a full habeas court hearing on February 27th. In the meantime, Foster must remain in the Sonoma County jail.

Today’s Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that the county is considering doubling the size of its jail on account of the flood of drug dealers and other miscreants.

San Francisco Sentinel (CA)
January 26, 2006

Read more about Will Foster, and how people’s letters and activist support helped change his sentence from 93 years to 20!