9 Comments

Feds Throwing Medical Marijuana Patients Into Prison at Unprecedented Rate

By Americans for Safe Access January 4, 2013 Feds Throwing Medical Marijuana Patients Into Prison at Unprecedented Rate
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

WASHINGTON, DC — Fallout from the Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration’s aggressive federal enforcement in medical marijuana states has reached a fever pitch this month with three people being sentenced, two others due to surrender to federal authorities to serve out sentences of up to five years in prison, and one federal trial in Montana currently scheduled for January 14th.

The feds have conducted more than 200 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses since 2011. Here, law enforcement commandos descend on a Santa Rosa neighborhood in search of medical marijuana growers in September, 2012.

The feds have conducted more than 200 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses since 2011. Here, law enforcement commandos descend on a Santa Rosa neighborhood in search of medical marijuana growers in September, 2012.

Two of the three people being sentenced in the coming month — Montana cultivator Chris Williams and Los Angeles-area dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky — face five and ten years to life, respectively.

“The number of sick patients being locked up by the Obama Administration is unprecedented and deplorable,” said Kris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a leading medical marijuana advocacy organization.

“Aggressive enforcement is an unacceptable means of addressing medical marijuana as a public health issue,” continued Hermes. “The Obama Administration is lying to the American people when it says it’s not targeting individual patients and these cases are clear evidence of that.”

Montana patient cultivator Richard Flor died in August while serving out a 5-year prison sentence.

Richard Flor, Montana's first medical marijuana caregiver, died in federal prison in 2012.

Richard Flor, Montana’s first medical marijuana caregiver, died in federal prison in 2012.

Five cultivators claiming to be in compliance with Michigan’s medical marijuana law were sentenced in October. Two of the cultivators — Jaycob Montague and Jeremy Duval — are already serving their prison terms of 18 months and 5 years, respectively, and two others — John Marcinkewciz and Shelley Waldron — are scheduled to surrender to federal authorities on January 8th and 10th, respectively. Waldron will be imprisoned for 18 months and Marcinkewciz for 5 years. The fifth cultivator, Jerry Duval (Jeremy’s father), was sentenced to 10 years, but has not yet been given a surrender date.

More than a dozen people were indicted after federal agents conducted raids on state compliant medical marijuana businesses throughout Montana in March 2011. Only one, Chris Williams, went to trial and, like all other medical marijuana defendants who are tried in federal court, was denied a defense and swiftly convicted.

While facing more than 80 years of mandatory minimum sentencing, Williams accepted a rare post-conviction plea deal that reduced his charges and possible sentence to 5 years to life in exchange for his promise not to appeal his conviction.

Medical marijuana provider Chris Williams faces life in prison.

Medical marijuana provider Chris Williams faces life in prison.

Williams, who is scheduled to be sentenced on February 1st, worked at Montana Cannabis with Chris Lindsey, another indicted cultivator. Lindsey, who testified against Williams at his trial, is expected to be sentenced today. Medical marijuana cultivator Jason Washington has one of the last unresolved federal cases in Montana. Washington is currently scheduled to go to trial on January 14th.

Aaron Sandusky operated G3 Holistic in Upland, California when he was federally indicted in June. Though Sandusky was arrested with several others, he was the only one who took his case to trial. In October, Sandusky was denied a defense in federal court and convicted at trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7th to a minimum of 10 years to life.

Aaron Sandusky looks at empty shelves at G3 Holistic following a DEA raid.

Aaron Sandusky looks at empty shelves at G3 Holistic following a DEA raid.

Far surpassing his predecessor George W. Bush, President Obama has conducted more than 200 SWAT-style raids on state-compliant medical marijuana businesses and has indicted more than 80 people since he took office.

“How many medical marijuana patients is President Obama going to imprison before he considers other, more humane options,” said Hermes. “The president must answer for why he’s going against his earlier pledges by spending Justice Department funds in this way, especially at a time of fiscal crisis.”

  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Pingback: THC Media | Independent – Alternative – Grass Roots – Counter Culture

  • Big O

    Who is that 12 year old boy on the right and who the hell taught him how to properly hold a gun? Matter of fact why is a 12 year old boy even holding that type of gun and dressed up to kill?

    • Brian

      That’s a woman.

      • Libertine

        I’m guessing Big O knew that just being sarcastic.. kind of appropriate don’t you think?

        • Brian

          No, it doesn’t make any sense given the context of the article.

    • Johnny oneye

      They use the small ones to shoot family pets.
      they dont have a big couscous!

  • Jenny Stout

    Why is it illegal? Because it’s “dangerous”. Why is it dangerous? …… Oh, well, It’s actually non-addictive and 0 deaths are ever associated with it, and has the most medical benefits out of any single substance.

    Okay.. Then why is it illegal?…….It sure matters when innocent people’s lives are forever ruined because they are thrown in jail for no freaking reason.

  • disappointed

    Scumbags, the lot of them, i will never visit the USA with this carry on.

  • PuffDaddy69

    Enough of this garbage. End the failed drug war and end the prohibition of cannabis. This country is headed down the drain..