Almanac

News - February 2, 2011

Menlo Park briefs: Suspect claims doctor prescribed marijuana

A man charged with selling marijuana bought three more months before he'll have to face the jury.

Menlo Park police arrested Thomas Marshall Stine, 35, after reportedly seeing marijuana smoke pouring out the windows of his parked car, according to the district attorney's office. A search found a half pound of marijuana, a scale, and baggies, police said, and Mr. Stine, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, allegedly had an expired medical marijuana card.

On Jan. 11, the day the trial was initially supposed to start, the defense attorney told San Mateo Superior Court Judge Stephen Hall that a doctor had prescribed marijuana for his client in 2004.

The prosecutor discovered the doctor had lost his medical license five years later, and demanded the defense provide a chain of custody for the last-minute evidence.

Over the prosecutor's protests, Judge Hall granted a defense request to postpone the trial, which is now set for April 18. Mr. Stine remains free on $15,000 bail.

New commissioners

Finding it easier to fill commission vacancies than deal with the city's trees, the Menlo Park City Council appointed a new planning commissioner and finance audit committee member at its Jan. 25 meeting.

Skipping the opportunity to discuss the applicants' backgrounds, a taciturn council selected Peipei Yu from a list of 15 applicants to take a seat on the city's Planning Commission.

As for the Finance Audit Committee, Honor Huntington will start a second term. The only other applicant for the spot, educator Chuck Bernstein, withdrew after issuing a statement supporting Ms. Huntington's re-appointment.

He described her as smart, competent, and perhaps most important, apolitical in civic work. "Rather, she is factual and analytical, focusing on understanding our problems thoroughly in order to develop effective solutions," he wrote.

Mr. Bernstein said he'll apply again once another position opens.

"Congratulations, Honor," Mayor Rich Cline said at the meeting. "Or, I always make the joke, depending on the day, condolences."

No council meeting

A schedule lighter by six meetings was approved by the Menlo Park City Council for this year, and as a result, no meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

The council will next convene on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. City staff expects the agenda to include discussion of how to counter the state's proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies, including Menlo Park's.

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