Newsbrief: Virginia Man Lucks Out with Only Two Years in Prison for Sharing Joint with Teenager 10/18/02

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Staunton resident Lynn Dell Phillips, 42, was sentenced to two years in prison October 9 for taking a toke with a group of people that included juveniles. In March, a jury convicted Phillips of distributing marijuana to a juvenile more than three years younger than himself after hearing a Virginia state trooper testify that he witnessed Phillips hand a brass pipe to a 17-year-old boy outside his son's high school graduation ceremony in June 2001. Although Virginia law mandates a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for that offense, the jury refused to impose it.

Last week, Augusta County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Rupen Shah asked Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wood to suspend all but two years of the 10-year sentence. Woods agreed, sentencing Phillips to the lowest term possible under Virginia law. Phillips has been in jail since July.

According to testimony, Phillips was attending his son's graduation and stepped outside to cool off. He encountered a mixed group of adults and juveniles, including friends of his son. The state trooper testified that Phillips handed a brass pipe -- found to have marijuana residue -- to a youth, then grabbed it back and threw it in the bushes as the trooper arrived. Phillips testified that he was unaware pot was being smoked, asked for a cigarette, was given a menthol cigarette, and returned it to the youth because he didn't like menthols.

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Issue #259, 10/18/02 Election 2002:00:00 The Initiatives | Election 2002:00:00 Arizona | Election 2002:00:00 District of Columbia | Election 2002:00:00 Nevada | Election 2002:00:00 Ohio | Election 2002:00:00 South Dakota | Election 2002:00:00 Local Ballot Issues in San Francisco and Massachusetts | November Coalition Journey for Justice Roars through Michigan | Drug War Corruption in Colombia and Mexico | Newsbrief: New Compilation of California Medical Marijuana Guideline Info on MarijuanaInfo.org | Newsbrief: San Diego Medical Marijuana Activist Arrested on Federal Charges | Newsbrief: Damned Sad -- MADD Sues DAMMADD | Newsbrief: This Week's Cop Corruption Story | Newsbrief: DARE Attrition Continues in Kansas City, Kansas | Newsbrief: Canada Study Looks at Marijuana for HIV/AIDS Woes | Newsbrief: In First, British Marijuana User Wins with Medical Necessity Defense | Newsbrief: Virginia Man Lucks Out with Only Two Years in Prison for Sharing Joint with Teenager | Newsbrief: BC City Governments Ask for Tougher Grow Penalties | Newsbrief: Florida School District Wants Positive Drug Test Kids to Pay for Own Counseling | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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