Must-read letter to the President

Molly Davies: A Letter to the President: My Husband Is Not the “Bigger Fish to Fry” in Your Drug War

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to you as a wife and mother of two young daughters, whose 34-year old husband, Matthew Davies, faces 10 years or more in federal prison for providing medical marijuana to sick people in California, even though he complied with state law concerning medicinal cannabis. My questions to you are simple:

What has my husband done that would justify the federal government forcing my young daughters to grow up without a father?
How can your Administration ignore the will of the California people and prosecute this good, law-abiding man for doing exactly what state law permits?

Mr. President, my husband is not a criminal and shouldn’t be treated like one. Matt is not a drug dealer or trafficker. He’s not driving around in a fancy car and living in some plush mansion–trust me. My husband is a regular guy, and we’re a regular, middle-class family. Yet even though Matt took great pains to follow state and local law, he is currently facing a severe prison sentence. This all seems so surreal. […]

Nothing is worth Matt’s liberty. And I cannot even bear to think of our daughters growing up without their father. This is a nightmare.

Mr. President, I ask you, I beg of you, to convey the position you took on national television last month to your local law enforcement agents. Or, even better, come to Stockton, California and see for yourself. Sit down with Matt and hear our story. My husband is not the “bigger fish to fry.” Please drop this case and put an end to our family’s nightmare.

Update: Mark Kleiman gives his view of the story.

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44 Responses to Must-read letter to the President

  1. allan says:

    thanks for posting this Pete.

    Couch mates, this is exactly why we all do what we do on whatever level we do it. Let’s help Mrs Molly Davies (and all the Molly Davies out there) get her husband back. Forward this, go to HuffPo and like it, share, tweet it, send it to Kev-Kev and Kleiman.

    Mr Obama has some ‘splainin’ to do. He can’t ignore us for another 4 years. Besides, thanks to the Kennedy family, we’ve got us a 300 mph freight train! (hmmm… I wonder what is in those boxcars)

  2. I would like to see it read before Congress before another vote on exempting legal States comes up.

  3. salalscribe says:

    Barrack Obama has played the war on marijuana both ways now; with inspiring words on it’s obvious harms as a governor, and conversely with his presidential administration’s most malevolent deeds in his first term. With the first legalization results achieved by Washington and Colorado, many nations of the world have shown their impatience with this anachronistic culture war, accelerating the paradigm shift in the consideration of marijuana’s recreational sale and use.

    Matthew Davies was astutely aware off and proceeded cautiously through California’s legal channels for implementing compassionate medical marijuana provision, of which America started to demonstrate a majority of understanding and support back during G.W. Bush’s tenure.

    The reform of marijuana laws have finally become elevated from political third-rail status because of the victims of a brutal war whose heart-wrenching stories such as the Davies family have tumbled onto people’s desktops. I hope with all my heart, that any more stunted, hackneyed platitudes to delay justice on behalf of the Federal government will unleash a maelstrom of jury nulifications as a resounding retort to end this arbitrary war waged on, not just ordinary, but some of the most outstanding forward-thinking citizens of the country.

  4. President OBAMA says:

    Dear, Molly Davies

    Touch crap!!!! I dont care about you and your family i have a military industrial complex and drug war to support!!!!! My problems will always trump the problems of the american people regardless of how they feel or what they want!!!!!!!


    President Obama

  5. CJ says:

    oh no is the kleiman article safe?

    thanks for your heartfelt words letter writing lady.

  6. Francis says:

    Kleiman’s response is disgusting. Instead of being outraged and horrified by the fact that a good man might have his life destroyed for the political crime of providing medicine to patients, we get dismissive snark of the “he-should-have-seen-it-coming” variety.

    California “medical” pot-dealing is a lucrative business precisely because you can go to prison for it. If Matthew Davies genuinely didn’t know that, he should sue whichever diploma mill gave him his M.B.A. And if his lawyer told him that hiring Chris Lehane to lobby against prosecution was likely to work, he must be practicing law on some other planet.

    “Oh, you say your wife was raped? Well, what was she wearing?” Same mentality. Although to his credit, Kleiman also says:

    A five-year mandatory sentence for open and non-violent pot-dealing is absurd; if I’d been the U.S. Attorney, I would have considered charging the case differently to generate a more reasonable sentence.

    Well, gosh, that’s mighty white of you, Mark.

    • stlgonzo says:

      Maybe my reading comprehension is off, but Kleiman’s response was not very coherent.

    • divadab says:

      To Kleinman’s credit, he’s taking comments. Go get him!

      • Pete says:

        Don’t “go get him.” If you’ve got a reasoned response to him, then give that to him. But please don’t just rile things up. As Freeman says below, please be “diligent about civility.”

    • Duncan20903 says:


      It’s not as if there’s a large percentage of American adults understand the arcana of a system of dual sovereignty. Perhaps Mr. Kleiman would like to speculate why there are still so many people waiting for the Federal cavalry to appear on the horizon intent on striking down States’ medicinal cannabis patient protection laws. 16 years, 4 trips to the SCOTUS and these dingleberries haven’t grasped the reality that the Feds don’t have the power to do so.

      This year the United States will have a State decriminalization law that’s been in place for 4 flippin’ decades yet I still read people saying that States can’t do that because “it’s against Federal law”. On Election Day 2012 4 cities in Michigan voted to decriminalize the petty possession of cannabis. But just forget about Ann Arbor, various Michigan authorities have stated that it can’t happen because “it’s” against State and Federal law.

      It isn’t just the Ignorati that just don’t understand our system of dual sovereignty either. We’re talking State Governors, Attorneys General and upper echelon LEOs that don’t have a grasp of our legal system. Detroit had to be taken to Court to get the question on the ballot despite the fact that THE LAW was very clear and the city authorities were compelled by THE LAW to put it on the ballot.

      I’ve got a question for Mr. Kleiman: Where the heck is “the LAW is the LAW (blah, blah, blah)” crowd when authorities decide to break the law and violate their Oath? Up in the peanut gallery cheering that lawbreaking like the hypocritical partisan hacks that they are is where. Yes Mr. Kleiman, I mean you.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        I do mean the above to be stated in the nicest way possible.

        Don’t worry though, I can’t deal with going to Mr. Kleiman’s blog because his hypocritical name for that dog and pony show makes me nauseous. Like he would know a fact if it jumped up and bit him on the ass.

    • n.t. greene says:

      I’m curious as to what that different charge would be.

      I mean, I am of the impression that there really isn’t a way to do that differently.

  7. Freeman says:

    OK folks, let’s be diligent about civility when we go over to RBC to tell Kleiman how wrong he is. I suspect he’s trying to bait legalizers into making the sort of comments he can point at to paint us all in a negative light.

    Here’s what I wrote (edited to fix a link):

    pretend it’s for medical use

    Are you denying that there are legitimate medical uses for cannabis? Are you a medical doctor, Dr. Kleiman?

    But Matthew Davies isn’t in the same category as Aaron Swartz.

    Are you saying providing medicine in ways banned by federal law is morally different than providing information in ways banned by federal law? Your hero-worship of someone breaking federal law to provide information that legally wasn’t his to provide contrasted with your vilification of someone breaking federal law to provide a medically-beneficial plant that legally wasn’t his to provide (federally-speaking) says something about you, especially given the fact that the marijuana provider was following state law and the information provider had no law allowing what he did.

    Or are you just trying to bait “legalizers” with this claptrap so that you can make them look like bad guys (footnote) when they call you out on it? It’s no wonder you get “mistaken” for a full-on prohibitionist drug-warrior after you write something like this post. Keven Sabet would be proud.

    • Freeman says:

      Just as I suspected, Kleiman’s nuking comments right and left over there. I’ve only read one of the four or five that are already marked as deleted before it got nuked, and it was pretty damned innocuous. Something about the litmus test for the integrity of a policy analyst in response to a comment about a litmus test for the integrity of a prosecutor. I’m now saving the whole page every few hours trying to catch the text of his next round of nuked comments.

      By this standard, Mark has broken his guidelines by quite a bit in comments he’s left here at least twice that I can recall and readily link to (no time to find them now, I’m on lunch break, but I’ll link to them later on tonight). He’s exposing his hypocrisy like a pervert exposes his junk — he’s flagrantly waving it at us!

      • strayan says:

        My post was in response to this;

        Criminal justice professors Joseph Senna and Larry Siegel propose the true measure of a prosecutor. In their view, a litmus test for the integrity of a prosecutor is how he or she answers the following question: ‘When you exercise discretion, are you more concerned with fairness, the likelihood of conviction, or political considerations?’”

        I said:

        What’s the litmus test for the integrity of a drug policy analyst?

        When you formulate policy, are you more concerned about fairness, rates of use or, maintaining an appearance of political neutrality?

        Copied verbatim

        • Freeman says:

          Yep, that’s the one. Thanks for posting it — I was going to try to fetch it from my browser cache.

          That’s some pretty selective moderatin’, eh?

        • Peter says:

          Is Kleiman’s removal of that post a sign of cognitive dissonance I wonder?

        • Freeman says:

          Peter, Dan Kahan would probably call it cognitive illiberalism due to identity-protective motivated reasoning. I’m somewhat new to Kahan’s theories, but that’s what it looks like to me.

        • Freeman says:

          Here’s another nuked comment that got the poster the following rebuke:

          Comments must not insult posters or other commenters.
          You may re-post – once – in coformity with the (long-posted) rules, or find another place to comment.

          Mark Kleiman never met a ban he didn’t like. John Lee does re-post his comment with apologies for what amounted to mimicking the tone of the OP.

          There are five deleted comments on Mark’s deliberately provocative post by my count. Judging by the two we’ve recovered, it’s looking to me like Dr. Kleiman’s getting a bit thin-skinned of late. (I blame DC for calling him a tool once too often!) ;>)

          Here’s John Lee’s original comment:

          Mark Kleiman and William Portanova are dangerously wrong on several levels.
          1. NO reputable lawyer anywhere in California is telling their clients “they can safely run massive enterprises growing and selling marijuana as long as their customers pretend it’s for medical use”. This perpetuates the ignorance of those who have no concept of the laws of California.
          2. “if you’re growing 2000 plants at a time, and making money at it, you’re precisely the sort of large-scale, for-profit operator Eric Holder promised to go after. Keeping your books accurately is a fine trait, but it doesn’t make illegal activity legal”. The way Matthew Davies operated, California law allows for the amount of plants and his books reflect quite simply that “collective overhead and costs associated with members” was properly accounted for , by California Law. This was NOT the large scale, for profit operation Holder says he is going after.
          3. “California “medical” pot-dealing is a lucrative business precisely because you can go to prison for it.” Just plain useless and ignorant statement. Serves no purpose other than to antagonize by relating medical marijuana to pot dealing. If you don’t understand medical marijuana or the related Californa laws, and lack the will or intelligence to do better research, or totally lack compassion for fellow human beings, don’t comment on it. By displaying contempt for what Davies knew or should have know identifies you as an antagonist and more or less self righteous.
          4. Again, more carcasm at Davies and his families intelligence reeks of Special Inteterst tactics to discredit others. Your purpose for these comments is in question.
          5. Playing games with semantics or comparisons to others and using a holier-than-thou tactic to support Federal abuse again exposes ignorance or organized disruption. Read the Consitution (I doubt you really will). Understand what it says abouf freedom, individual rights and State’s rights. Learn from what has happened in Colorado and Washington. Learn from the major polls who all agree that a majority of US citizens support medical marijuana. Learn how there are provisions in the constitution that address the fact that the Federal GOvernamnet is not always right and there are ways to correct it.
          6. Your all for “rethinking” the structure of Federal sentencing? But you have no problem thinking about another harmless, non-violent, compasssionate, family man going to jail? You both should be sent to jail for your anti-American and anti-Constitution stances. But that seems silly and there is no way THAT would ever happen….look Davies wife and kid in the eye and tell them there is no comparison to their situation.

  8. Dante says:

    Bottom Line:

    We ARE the “bigger fish” the government seeks to catch.


    Think about it – homeless addicts have nothing. Middle class cannabis users have cars, cash, houses, retirement plans, valuable assets, etc. Which group of humans/assets would Law Enforcement rather focus on?

    When the goal of Law Enforcement morphs from “follow the money to solve the crime” into “seize the money, regardless of whether there is crime or not” those people who have assets worth seizing are all potential “criminals” regardless of whether a crime has been committed or not. The police want money, and those who have it are their targets.

    Protect & Serve (Themselves!)

    The motto that makes sense of the insanity of LE.

  9. darkcycle says:

    Agreed, Pete. I am always civil when I post out in the world. But Francis is right.

  10. Jose says:

    Tell Obama to shut down alcohol pushers.

    We the People petition Obama to replace liquor stores with marijuana dispensaries.

    Any liquor store that stops selling alcohol gets an automatic license to sell marijuana.

    • stlgonzo says:

      Please stop posting this. You have posted the exact same thing under a few posts now.

      Prohibition does not work. The best way to win the “War on Drugs” is not to shifting it to another drug.

      Also scotch, wine, and beer can be some beautifully crafted beverages. (I know there are others but those are my favorites.)

      What is your problem with alcohol anyway?

    • Jose says:

      I really do not see the logic behind a petition like this.+1 to stlgonzo, prohibition does not fix prohibition!

  11. allan says:

    Perhaps Dorothy will let Mark join her on her trip to the Emerald City, rumor has it the Wiz can give him a heart.

    Pardon me Mr Kleiman, but dude, shit like this post of yours does nothing to advance your case or improve an already scarred public profile. I’d really advise staying away from the Calvina/Harpy, snarky, dumb-ass public offerings. Seriously.

    I mean really… a mother w/ two young daughters fears losing her husband and her daughter’s father for years – and you mock her? Really?

    Didn’t your mother breast feed you? Is that why the Prohibition teat is so attractive to you now? I know some aunties and grandmas would love to sit you down and straighten your crooked young ass out, ’cause dude, you’re twisted a tad too far off center of normal.

    Disgusting spew from Kleiman, hardly what one could call a “contribution” to the discussion.

  12. stlgonzo says:


    Of course no-where do they address one of the main solutions to this problem. Everyone here knows what it is for gods sake.

    Study finds corruption on rise among border agents, rep says security ‘at risk’

    “Just one employee collaborating with a drug smuggler or terrorist can put our entire nation at risk,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

    Read more:

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