Monday, June 23, 2014

As I have been saying all along, pot is STILL illegal.

Like it or hate it, there it is.

"State law irrelevant."

Holder's Spokane Visit Doesn't Dim (Federal) Prosecutors' Zeal in Pot Case

The so-called Kettle Falls Five continue to face possible prison time.

Medical marijuana user Larry Harvey, Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., Americans for Safe Access Executive Director Steph Sherer and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., speak at a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Kettle Falls Five co-defendant Larry Harvey, left, is seen alongside Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access and Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., during a May 7 press conference in Washington, D.C.


Attorney General Eric Holder swooped into Spokane, Washington, without public notice Friday to visit with federal prosecutors, but his trip didn’t immediately benefit a group of indicted medical marijuana patients nicknamed the Kettle Falls Five.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington, based in Spokane, is not backing down in its multiple-felony case against four family members and a friend who tended a rural marijuana garden for what they say was personal medical use.

The case, easily the highest-profile prosecution involving medical marijuana this year, is nearing trial as federal lawmakers consider cutting the purse strings for such enforcement.
Prosecutors argued Monday during a conference call with federal Judge Fred Van Sickle and defense attorneys that the defendants should not be allowed to tell jurors the marijuana was for medical use.

[RELATED: House Votes to Deny Funds for Action Against Medical Marijuana]

“There is no right to present irrelevant evidence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard said, dismissing the applicability of state medical marijuana law to federal charges. “Medical marijuana is not a defense.”

“What they were doing was illegal under federal law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said. He also cast doubt about the defendants’ "false and phony claim that it was for medical purposes.”


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