Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine, the former operators of a pair of Long Beach medical marijuana dispensaries, as well as Garden Grove's Unit D collective, were convicted on Dec. 21 of selling marijuana sales, tax evasion and electricity theft. Given the bizarre irregularities in their case–see this article about Charles D. Sheldon, the cranky old coot of a judge who presided over their trial and among other things, unsuccessfully sought to deny the two Joes a medical defense, yelled at their lawyers, allowed the prosecutor to erect a barrier between the jury and the audience–plans for an appeal are already underway.
The appeal isn't likely to be filed before Byron and Grumbine's sentencing on Jan. 11, but supporters of the two Joes are already trying to raise money to help pay the legal fees. In particular, they're gathering at Giovanni's Pizza in Fullerton this Friday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. for a round of legal aid bingo. A $20 donation gets you in the door and provides you with both a bingo card and eligibility to participate in a raffle.
“Our goal is to raise $1000 at this fundraiser,” Kandice Hawes, executive director of Orange County NORML, told supporters in an email alert. “We all know and love Joe so if you want to help out this is your chance.”
Giovanni's is located at 922 W. Williamson Ave., Fullerton. (714) 526-5661.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).