From Americans for Safe Access:
Los Angeles(Monday, November 24, 2003) – Despite attempts by federal prosecutors to portray three former directors of a West Hollywood medical marijuana dispensary as common drug dealers, a federal judge showed leniency today and sentenced them to one year of probation, and between 100 and 250 hours of community service.Ruling that the case of the three men fell “outside the heartland” of normal narcotics cases, U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz departed downward from sentencing guidelines that called for up to 30 months in federal prison for Scott Imler, Jeff Yablan and Jeffrey Farrington. Each had pled guilty to charges of “maintaining a place” where marijuana was “manufactured” and distributed.Attorneys for the three men had argued that standard sentencing should not apply, because their work caring for patients was strictly controlled, exclusively humanitarian and done with the full knowledge and cooperation of local law enforcement and elected officials. West Hollywood’s mayor and city council were among those who asked the federal judge for leniency.The LACRC worked so closely with local officials that a West Hollywood city councilman served as their attorney, and the city had helped buy the building in which the center operated. The center had even applied for a federal license to “manufacture marijuana for medical research” and taken investigators on a tour of the facility. That application was cited by the DEA as the basis for its raid on October 25, 2001, which closed the LACRC.
First, despite the lenient sentence, these people should never have been arrested, tried, or sentenced even to community service. They were performing a community service until the DEA stepped in and stopped them.
Second, how long do you think it’ll be until John Ashcroft investigates Judge Matz for not giving the maximum sentence possible?