Friday, June 12, 2009
Pot Doc Sentenced To One Year Prison
Despite the posting time of this entry, this story - the sentencing of Dr. Charles Lynch - is breaking news at approximately 6:30PM, Eastern Standard Time on Thursday, May 11.
A California medical marijuana dispensary owner was sentenced Thursday to a reduced term of a year and a day in prison in a closely watched case that could have implications in states where federal and local laws clash.
U.S. District Judge George Wu found that the case of Charles Lynch, 47, merited an exception to a mandatory minimum five-year sentence that guidelines called for.
Lynch's conviction on five marijuana-related offenses was one of the first in the nation to be challenged in federal court after the Obama administration adjusted federal pot policy.
Lynch sought leniency after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced earlier this year that federal agents will now target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state laws.
Cultivating, using and selling medical pot to authorized patients is allowed under California law, and a dozen other states allow medical use of the drug. But federal law outlaws marijuana cultivation, use and sales.
Pot advocates hope Holder's statements will clear up legal questions about federal marijuana cases in states where medicinal use of the drug is allowed.
Those advocating the legalization of marijuana, at least for medicinal purposes, who thought the Obama Administration, or AG Holder, would to take a "lighter" approach must be bummin'.
From the hardly-Right-of Center (dated June 10) CommonDreamns:
The Justice Department is seeking a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for state and locally sanctioned medical marijuana provider Charles C. Lynch, despite statements of a new policy and no evidence of state law violations. Lynch was convicted in federal court in 2008 under the Bush Administration and will be sentenced this Thursday at 9:30am in Los Angeles federal district court. At a previous hearing, Judge George H. Wu indicated that he doesn't think this case "is one which merits a mandatory minimum" sentence. However, a legal brief recently filed by the government called the legality of Lynch's conduct under state law "irrelevant" to his recommended sentence, seemingly in contrast with statements by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department would only target those in violation of both federal and state law.
"With no clear evidence that Charles Lynch was in violation of state law, it's very disingenuous for the federal government to seek prison time in this case," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with the national advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "Despite this aggressive stance by the federal government, even the judge has expressed skepticism that Lynch deserves prison time."
Senator Obama's campaign promise that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws" on medical marijuana was followed up with more nuanced statements by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that the Justice Department would still "go after those people who violate both federal and state law." Confusion around the government's policy ensued as several medical marijuana providers were raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) even after President Obama took office.
In case you Pbama Cultists missed it, or deliberately try to ignore it, I will repeat a main point from CommonDreams: THE OBAMA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SOUGHT A FIVE YEAR SENTENCE AGAINST DOCTOR LYNCH.
Another one of many campaign promises broken by Pbama. His Cultists aren't keeping track of all his lies and policy reversals, but the rest of us are. How many more lies does Obama get to tell and how many promises does Obama get to break before his blind, obedient, brainwashed, dutiful, worshipping Cultists care?
accordance and compliance with Fair Use Section 107 U.S. Copyright Code.
All other images and content © 2005-2009 David Drake.
Not responsible for content contained at linked sites.
Policy on commenting:
- Anonymous comments have little chance of being published.
- Comments made on posts 60 days old or older have little chance of being published.
- Published comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog author.
- Discretion of publishing or rejecting submitted comments rests solely with the owner and creator of this blog.
- Comments that egregiously "plug" (i.e. advertise or promote) another site or blog will be rejected. This doesn't mean you cannot include a link to your story, blog or to another site, but don't go overboard.
- Profanity is not a disqualifying factor, but profane rants solely for purposes of profanity are unlikely to be published.
- The owner and creator of this blog is not liable or responsible for the opinions of those who comment.