Marijuana Supporters Win Big In Washington State

The “Kettle Falls Five,” clockwise from front: Larry Harvey, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, Jason Zucker, Rolland Gregg and Michelle Gregg. (Dan Pelle)

The jury in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from Washington State, known as the Kettle Falls Five, acquitted the three remaining defendants of all but one charge of manufacturing less than 100 marijuana plants. The charge carries no mandatory minimum sentence and defendants Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 56, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 36, remain free until sentencing on June 10th at 10am.

“The verdict in the trial of the remaining defendants in the “Kettle Falls 5” case is a stinging rebuke for federal prosecutors and a shot across the bow of the US Department of Justice (DOJ),” writes Steph Sherer, Americans for Safe Access, in a press release. “The DOJ spent an estimated $2 million dollars on the trail, despite the fact the Congress passed a budget in 2014 that prohibits the agency from spending money interfering in states with medical cannabis laws.”

ASA championed the cause of the Kettle Falls 5 in the national media and brought defendant Larry Harvey all the way to Washington, DC, to talk to members of Congress face-to-face about the federal attack on medical cannabis. This is the kind of effective strategic work ASA can do with your ongoing support.

In August 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the Kettle Falls 5 and seized sixty eight cannabis plants, charging the five with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cannabis, manufacture and distribution of cannabis, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possession of firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

The DOJ dropped charges against Larry Harvey, who is terminally ill, and another defendant took a plea deal before the trial. The remaining three defendants were only convicted on cultivating fewer than 100 medical cannabis plants – a crime that does not carry a federal mandatory minimum sentence.

ASA says it was with the help of their members that they were able to keep the Kettle Falls 5 case on the national radar and set the stage for this victory. “The DOJ may now think twice about  the benefit of prosecuting medical cannabis patients in defiance of Congress’ new prohibition on medical cannabis interference and intimidation.”

2 Responses to “Marijuana Supporters Win Big In Washington State”

  1. Sandi

    This IS a great development, however in Washington State if people who live in low income housing which is funded through HUD, and Federal Agencies are caught smoking Cannabis in their apartments they will lose their apartments and become homeless once again. Something has to be done about this. It is immoral to evict someone who smokes cannabis and make them become homeless.

  2. Jd

    Go congress!

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