I'm happy for Rosenthal and his family. I saw the relief on his face Wednesday morning.
Still, there is a price to pay when activists feel free to break laws they don't like. Consider Eric Rudolph, the Olympic bombing suspect and abortion foe who pleaded not guilty to bombing an abortion clinic in 1998. Yes, I know, Rudolph is accused of killing two and wounding others, while Rosenthal grew pot.
But Rudolph's supporters share with Rosenthal's backers a deep hostility for federal law enforcement and a belief that their guy shouldn't have to go to jail because his convictions justify what he did.
In this country, the courts are supposed to punish people -- or not punish people -- for what they do, not for what they think.