On March 4th, 2017, the artists known as Darren Deicide and Ethel Lynn Oxide were arrested during a warrantless search that resulted in the attempted indictment of 7 felony counts, including 2 first-degree felonies, related to cannabis growing. After crowdfunding for their legal costs, Darren and Ethel were able to mount a sophisticated defence and all charges were dropped on October 26 2018.
On March 4th, 2017, the artists known as Darren Deicide and Ethel Lynn Oxide were arrested during a warrantless search that resulted in the attempted indictment of 7 felony counts, including 2 first-degree felonies, related to cannabis growing. A successful crowd-funding campaign on CrowdJustice.org allowed Darren and Ethel to be defended by Ruth Liebesman, former head of NY NORML and federal criminal defence attorney, and Sarah Walsh, public defender. After a lengthy pre-trial intervention, all charges were dismissed on October of 2018.
Under the pretence of a reported gunshot, which qualifies as an exigent circumstance, a property rented by Darren and Ethel was searched and raided. Both were charged with 7 felony counts. 2 were first-degree felonies holding a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, if convicted. Cannabis is still considered a schedule 1 substance under federal law.
Initially, the state's prosecution was uncompromising, offering 5 years without possibility of parole if one other testified against the other. Upon refusing the offer, the state prosecutor subpoenaed Darren and Ethel to grand jury. Darren evoked his right to silence, and Ethel testified and argued for jury nullification. This led to an initial indictment that was disputed once the defence received transcripts of the jury instructions. A motion to dismiss the indictment was filed on the grounds that the jury was instructed to indict as well as a brief disputing cannabis's contradictory status as both a schedule 1 substance and medically legal in the state of New Jersey. Judge John Young sided with the defence and dismissed 5 of the 2 counts. This positioned the case for a pre-trial negotiation to which Darren and Ethel agreed. All charges were formally dismissed on October, 26 of 2018.