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Medical Marijuana: Eddy Lepp Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison

California medical marijuana grower, spiritualist, and activist Eddy Lepp was sentenced Monday to a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence on federal marijuana cultivation charges in a case where he grew more than 20,000 pot plants in plain view of a state highway in Northern California's Lake County. US District Court Judge Marilyn Patel also sentenced him to five years probation. He must report to federal authorities by July 6.
Eddy Lepp (courtesy
Lepp contended that the plants were a medical marijuana grow for members of the Multi Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari and legal under California law. But during his trial, he was not allowed to introduce medical marijuana or religious defenses. He was found guilty of conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute more than 1,000 pot plants and of cultivating more than 1,000 plants, which carries a maximum life sentence.

According to California NORML (CANORML) and the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, there were gasps and sobs from Lepp supporters in the courtroom as Patel passed sentence. The sentence was "extreme," Patel conceded, but said her hands were tied by federal law.

In a nod toward the current turmoil over the status of federal prosecutions of medical marijuana providers, Judge Patel said Lepp could apply for a rehearing if the laws changed. Lepp and his attorneys plan to appeal the verdict and the sentence.

Lepp attorney Michael Hall told Patel the sentence was "incredible."

"Incredible is what the law requires," Patel responded, adding that legalizing marijuana appeared to be Lepp's driving passion. "Maybe you want to be a martyr for the cause," she said.

Sentencing Lepp, a 56-year-old veteran in ill health, to prison is a travesty and a waste, said supporters. "This case sadly illustrates the senselessness of federal marijuana laws," said CANORML's Dale Geiringer. "The last thing this country needs is more medical marijuana prisoners. Hopefully, we can change the law and get Eddy out of jail before he completes his sentence."

"Locking up Eddy Lepp serves no purpose and is a huge waste of life and scarce prison space," said Aaron Smith, California policy director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "The community would be a lot better served if we taxed and regulated California's $14 billion marijuana industry rather than continuing to incarcerate nonviolent people like Eddy, who are clearly of no danger to society."

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Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

TIME 4 R3VOLUTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Historic Medical Marijuana Admendment

I rode my bicycle 4200 plus miles across the United States in 2006 for Medical Legalization in All states. Journey for Justice Seven J4J7. and again in 2009 Tour for Compassion.

Now that the House has passed this Historic Amendment, We the patients can openly and collectively shared our knowledge and medical success stories with the House and our Medical Knowledge and Wisdom Grow....

Now That the House has passed the Historic Medical Marijuana Amendment, Eddy should be free. 

Free EDDY Today.

Helping to dismiss/pardon federal defendants

Hi, I've created a web page that asks people to sign 8 petitions involving medical marijuana, marijuana, and dismissing cases against federal defendants charged with the "crime" of following state medical marijuana law. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes. Please see (this page isn't linked from my Best Lodging hotel reservations home page). Thanks, Bryan Epis

web page petition

Bryan, the sample letters are written in such an antagonistic tone that will not likely bring a positive response.

How about:

Pres. Obama, I thank you for your stance against using fed $$ to prosecute those being jailed although they were within state guidelines for medical marijuana use/growth. Please look at the case decided this week,it's really apalling and unjust. Please help as soon as possible. We must stop wasting lives and money on these prosecutions and incarcerations. Thank you for you attention to this urgent situation.


Recommend this letter for petition

I have to say that you have good intentions here, but I don't know if I would write the letters the same way?  I mean I don't think your being rude or harsh...just not sure if that is the point that really needs to be made.  We need to push the idea of medical cannabis for those who deserve to smoke based on their condition or compare the positives of marijuana against what is currently legal like tobacco or alcohol that has been harmful in many studies.

Now with the DEA raids that have taken place in California and Washington (along with many other States I am sure) some of those places were illegally selling to those who weren't medically cleared.  They were selling to dealers on the street in some cases.

Here is a link to something I found related to the State of Washington (wouldn't take much to adjust to reflect your point, but sounds a bit more informative and those screening these letters will take a bit more seriously because it is written to emphasize the positive side of legalizing rather telling the President he is a failure...I am sure plenty of letters come in like that daily!

I would also recommend for your own safety and security (not sure if your a medical marijuana user) that you separate your Best Lodging site from your petitions.  Probably not a great business move in my opinion.  Sends the wrong message to those against marijuana and I wouldn't attach my name or anything related to my business or family to the public about marijuana in the current social, judicial climate in America these days!  You might be joining Bryan very soon...

Respectfully, Shaggy

tired of this

Why do so many cry so loudly for "taxation and regulation" of cannabis? We don't pay taxes on cannabis now, why do we protest that we WANT to pay a tax on it? Maybe we have used this a "selling point" for the prohibitionists for so long that we have begun to believe ourselves that it is a good idea. Rather than plant a seed or two in my own backyard, free of fear, recrimination, or prosecution, I should frist register with the government so that they will know what i'm "up to", then pay them for the privilege of exercising my personal freedoms.

Turn the government into the violent drug dealers rather than the violent drug prosecutors. Right?

It is the "tax and regulate" position that keeps me from donating one red cent to those who would see cannabis "decriminalized". Stop telling the prohibitionists how this will benefit them! IT IS NOT WHAT WE WANT!

Useless atagonism

The attitude you are expressing is extremely stupid, poorly thought out, and the antagonism is extraordinarily harmful to our movement

At the moment we are desperately trying to remove the stigma and dogma associated with cannabis. The goal is stop having people jailed for possession and trade of cannabis. The goal is to allow people to get access to the medicine they need, or the recreation they want without suffering terrible persecution.

Thus, the goal right now is get discussion started on regulating marijuana in a similiar way to alcahol: taxation and regulation are a part of this discussion, both as a selling point, and as a reasonable method to go forward (it is unacceptable to suggest that marijuana should be available to everyone regardless of age, for example).

Once we, as a nation, have decided to go forward with legalisation, taxation, and regulation, then we can decide exactly how to conduct this regulation. Probably the first iteration won't be entirely to my liking, but almost anything is better than the situation as it stands.

Regardless, your delusional, freakish rantings come completely from left field. Most discussion regarding cannabis regulation and taxation tend to center around following the alcohol model. I have several friends who brewed their own wine or beer, to drink themselves or share with friends. None of them had any fear of any kind of prosecution for these activities. Wouldn't you like to be able to do the same with growing marijuana?

If you hope to grow and sell cannabis commercially, it's entirely reasonable to register with the government and pay taxes. This protects the consumer.. you would have to do the same if you wanted to sell food.

In short, if you don't have anything helpful to contribute, please keep quiet. If you'd like to have a dialog about how to contribute in a positive way, please contact me through my website.

Thank you very much for

Thank you very much for showing your intelligence! I appreciate it very very much =]




AGREE WITH *TIRED OF THIS*....The Gov't gets enough of my money.

SallyOh's picture

Another sad day in the USA

What a sad sad day. The judge could have kept him out. Judges have a lot of power and she could have allowed his testimony and she could have abated his sentence. But she has no guts. Vote her out if you can. "Maybe you want to be a martyr for the cause." Patel sure ain't gonna be no martyr for nothing.

Jury Nullification

What idiots on the Jury actually voted "guilty" in this case? What the heck is wrong with these people? To think that these jury members actually thought they were serving justice by making this peaceful/non-violent citizen go to prison, to be imprisoned among murderers, rapists, and thieves is a shocking embarrassment to the history of this country. I'm ashamed of my country and my fellow-citizens. A jury of this man's fellow-citizens was his last hope of defense against a tyrannical government refusing to give up an archaic and outdated form of puritanism (prohibition laws).

This jury may have judged Mr. Lepp as guilty for growing a bunch of stupid plants. But *I* stand in judgment of THEM. THEY are guilty of disregarding the a god-given right to grow a stupid plant that our government, in it's divine wisdom, has decreed to be "illegal". THEY are guilty of being ignorant of the right to self-determination, the 4th Amendment, the 10th Amendment, and much more.

Any single one of these jurors could have voted "not guilty" for any darned reason they choose. They are disgraceful.

I grew up there in the 70's

I have an ex wife there..... I live in Florida... just far enough away !! Do you really think they wouldn't stack the pool? Besides limiting his defense ....? how can that be lawful? Mr. Lepp is one of my heros! Sounds like that judge is just plain lazy and took the easiest way out.By the way my last name is Roach.... ya think they'd summon me for that case?

marijuana scheduling

The law is evil. The government knows that cannabis is a benign beneficial herb that has never killed anyone. The DEA's own administrative law judge after extensive hearings said that marijuana was one of the safest therapeutic substances and should be reschedule so doctors could prescribe it. Eddy is a hero for standing up to the government and Obama should embrace the science, the will of the people, and the DEA's own administrative law judge, as well as the Commission on Marijuana that recommended adults be able to use this plant. Free the herb, free the people
one love Jeff Brown

Damn IT !!!!!!! Another

Damn IT !!!!!!! Another GREAT AMERICAN - Taxpayers should be Outraged!!!!!!!!! SHAME ON AMERICA- Freedom Fighter Flowerally

this is discusting

burn baby burn start with goveners mansion should be the call in california .eddy should be the new govner of california

Criminals, Authoritarians, and Prohibitionists BEWARE

I so look forward to the day the criminals, state & federal, responsible for marijuanas illegal prohibition are rounded-up, beaten, and dragged off to prison - let them try to justify their criminal behavior to their cell-mates - between ass rapes!

I for one would love to exercise my 2nd amendment right to ram a big loaded gun up uncle scams ass and blow his brains out... for violating my 4th amendment rights.

Where was the jury nullification? And how is it possible that a 'mans defense' is limited to what the criminals responsible for the drug war say it is?

Fight Domestic Terrorism: Stop Paying Taxes & OverGrow The Government!

American Injustice is such

American Injustice is such that one can commit murder, rape, burglary, even armed robbery and get less time in prison than this man who was merely growing a plant for consumption by willing adults.

"God bless America?" Yeah, RIGHT. I don't think so!

Shall we continue to stand by...

We have the moral right to defend ourselves against aggression, whether the aggression is initiated by an individual or by a government. So my question is, how many innocent people need to have their lives and liberty stolen from them before we stand up? Because no one should have to beg for inherent rights, and because the state system we have seems intent on maintaining the power afforded it via drug prohibition, relying only on the ballet box is a craven exercise in futility. We should begin organizing for our self-defense, which would yield the best results if peacefully conducted -- at least in our current situation. If 5,000 + of us, say, formed a human chain around someone convicted by a criminal jury, then, even if the state breaks us, we will have accomplished something great, something the whole world would take note of. If you or anyone you know would be interested in networking to form a group of people committed to traveling on rather short notice for such future endeavors, let me know. Once we have the numbers, we should do our best to defend future Eddy Lepps. Email [email protected]

Ever since the sixties

There's been this split over who gets high on what.If your drug of choice is alcohol,you can do as you will,often resulting in some pretty outrageous conduct.If you want to smoke a joint or pop a pill,not so lucky.We swore that we would be the generation to legalize marijuana.We were very naive.This guy had how many plants?I get that he was just trying to make a point,I do.Reality is that no government will allow it's citisens free access to a drug.We had some poor guy arrested for cultivating poppies a while back.You'd have thought there had never been poppies grown all over the country every June since who knows when.Wait till they start ripping peoples gardens up.Don't think these zealots will hesitate.Drugs have become a dirty word ever since it became associated with protest over the Vietnam war.Politicians lose their minds whenever the issue comes up.This is not something that's gonna go away.It's been a 100 year mistake and the bad taste will remain long after the drug war is gone.Don't expect any reprisals against the criminal behavior of federal enforcement agencies.Just be happy when people stop telling you how to live and what you can put in your body.As a person that's made all the bad choices,it's the prohibition and it's enforcement that makes the bad choices so easy to make.

man this is some bullshit

this inosent man is locked away for wut cause they cant tax and sell a fuckin plant this poor old man is probly a father/grandfather and now his kidz and grandchildren have 2 suffer because 12 dumb ass mother fuckers want to send a inocent elderly man 2 prison 4 somthin as simple as growen a plant what the fuck is their problem

He isn't a father. This

He isn't a father.

This wannabe cult leader just might be the only person in california who actually deserves to go to federal prison.

He was supposed to be growing all this pot for his wife with cancer, well she died because he never did.
Trying to start a cult was always more important to Lepp than providing medicine to the poor sick people who had fronted him the money for it, may he ROT in prison and may we welcome him like THIS if he survives the term.h

Occult follower???

Your ignorance is simply appalling... A holistic life style is in fact a productive healing agent to his now departed wife. Let me guess, you are a devout bible thumping activist that has no inclination of just what paganism is truly all about!!! Get back on Noah's Arc because your lack of understanding with your casting of stones is what is killing the unity of this world...

Don't let your self guess

Don't let your self guess. No no let me guess my ass is smarter than your ass.

Choices lead to Consequences

What did he expect? He violated the law knowingly. Anyone who breaks the law is subject to the consequences and must accept them unless and until the law is changed. Where is the other side in the article? Even the judge is defensive or some reason. This guy is not harmless. I'm not opposed to very ill people using marijuana as medicine in a controlled and regulated way, but I don't want unauthorized people growing this plant, which gets into the hands of kids through medical marijuana dispensaries. Under prop 215, healthy 18 year olds get marijuana cards on the false pretenses of pain or anxiety. Everyone has anxiety, and pain can be treated without getting high or smoking. We don't need more stoners or deadbeats or dropouts in our society. And I've seen plenty of kids whose futures have been severely compromised by the smoking of this weed. My own brother started in high school, never got a steady job and ended up a total loser and addict who can't support himself. And his brain doesn't function properly. Very sad. What people do with their bodies does affect society because people live in society and our actions impose costs on society. Everyone knows or should know the legal, economic, and social consequences of his or her own decisions, and take responsibility for them.

Reply to Anonymous "Choices Lead To Consequenses" 5/23/2009

You wrote, "What did he expect? He violated the law knowingly. Anyone who breaks the law is subject to the consequences and must accept them unless and until the law is changed."

Interesting intro! Here we go. If MLK didn't violate the law by coordinating an illegal march in Alabama, segregation and the Jim Crowe laws would still be in effect today. God bless Rosa Parks for violating the law knowingly! God bless Washington, Jefferson, Revere, etc. for violating the laws back in their day to get where we are today! Chew on this, many of those who are labeled "criminals" by some are in-fact revered as "freedom fighters" by others. Read a history book!

You wrote, "This guy is not harmless." You have no proof nor produced any facts to substantiate your claim which makes your pseudo-hyped statement 100% bogus!

You wrote, "I'm not opposed to very ill people using marijuana as medicine in a controlled and regulated way, but I don't want unauthorized people growing this plant, which gets into the hands of kids through medical marijuana dispensaries.

The citizens of California legally voted in favor of those with a medical marijuana card the legal right to grow their own marijuana. That means, anyone who is legally authorized by a physician to use marijuana for medicinal purposes are authorized to grow it themselves too. Why should people be forced to buy a plant that is so easy to grow themselves. This is the United States of America, not the former USSR! I love how you include, "which get into the hands of kids through medical marijuana dispensaries." Gee, I wonder where all the kids from the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, and early to mid 90's got their pot from back when medical marijuana dispensaries in California didn't exist. Obviously the same way people bought alcohol during the prohibition days, through people like the Kennedy family, that's right, JFK and RFK's original family business, bootlegging! What about all the kids buying alcohol from licensed liquor stores? Are you going to jump up on that bandwagon too? Have you ever been to a high school party where there was no alcohol? Come on! Where have you been living, the Moon? By no means am I condoning underage drinking, but now you are playing doctor assuming all those who are 18 with a medical marijuana card are 100% "healthy". Are YOU qualified and licensed with the AMA to make such a claim?

You wrote, "Everyone has anxiety, and pain can be treated without getting high or smoking. We don't need more stoners or deadbeats or dropouts in our society."

Again, are YOU a physician and if so, have you personally examined all those that YOU claim do not need medication to control their pain? Are you the Pain Police? God help us all!

What we don't need in our society are closed minded people like you standing in the way of medical AND social progress. It was people like you that created prohibition back in the 30's, essentially strengthening organized crime in the U.S. and abroad! Well, alcohol is legal now and the mob is still in business thanks to laws that are actually designed to keep them alive. Interesting, isn't it? By the way, when was the last time you had a drink? Let me guess, you're probably going to say you don't indulge... yeah, right!

You wrote, "And I've seen plenty of kids whose futures have been severely compromised by the smoking of this weed. My own brother started in high school, never got a steady job and ended up a total loser and addict who can't support himself. And his brain doesn't function properly. Very sad. What people do with their bodies does affect society because people live in society and our actions impose costs on society. Everyone knows or should know the legal, economic, and social consequences of his or her own decisions, and take responsibility for them."

I've seen far more peoples futures ruined by alcohol than any other drug combined! I've known a couple of people who have died in alcohol related car accidents. I've known more than a few people who have died due to Liver and other organ damage directly attributed to alcohol consumption. The fact is irrefutable, alcohol has killed and will continue to kill and ruin thousands of people's lives this year, next year, and so on verses the zero deaths that marijuana have produced! Sorry to read that you define your brother as a loser. I'm even more sorry to read it from his own sister who is convinced it is solely due to marijuana use. I do however, think his inability of securing a job has more to do with psychological reasons or perhaps even a learning disability verses solely blaming marijuana use as the answer. Perhaps your brother should seek psychological counseling and get properly evaluated by someone other than you.

I agree only with your last two sentences. However, they are actually far better suited to base a strong case banning alcohol rather than banning marijuana based statistics.

Sad miscarriage of justice!

10 years for growing a healing herb for the medical community.How idiotic to put this man in prison for his service to society.Another reason to legalize .Marijuana is a harmless herb and can be beneficial to many ailing from various maladies.Why are people still going to prison for growing one of mother natures gift to humans?STUPID!!!

Please legalize the use of medicinal cannabis!

ITsuffer 24/7 from several autoimmune disorders.   Chronic and disabling PAIN throughout  my entire body.  I have been a victim of having to pay HIGH PRICES to BIG PHARMA for drugs that are ruining my internal organs when MedIcinal Marijuana, high IN Canibidiols (CBD) does NOT make a person "HIGH" but STOPS ThE PAIN!  PLEASE CONSIDER LEALIZING THE MEDICINAL USE OF CBD FOR CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERORS! I ADMIRE THOSE BRAVE ENOUGH TO HELP CHRONIC PAIN PAIENTS USING NATURAL, HOLISTIC METHODS THAT DON'T CAUSE DEATHS!

Land of the Free?

What kind of people incarcerate their own for using and/or growing a non-toxic plant? Ten years in prison is BS!


To all of the people who

To all of the people who thein that Eddy should be in prison.
Well te judge if somone should go to prison or not we need to look at the facts. Fact one no one was hurt is his growing of plants- non violent crime. Fact two marajuana is illegal. Fact three sent to jail for 10 years for not hurting anyone and growing plants that judging by the US constitution should not be illegal. Fact four to send him to jail would put him in the same place as murders, child molesters, and things of that sort. Fact five . so looking at all of the facts I and i belive that anyone else who would look at this as jsut another person would have to just let him go.

Now my personal opinion,
My father was a friend to Eddy im not quite shure how well he knew him, because he didnt talk about him much but i remember when this whole thing came up my dad said that there is another injustice handed out by a fucked up government. Well thats my thought on this whole thing, and i seriously hope for Eddy, and all of the other people in jail for non-violent crimes that one day we will stop wasting time and money on generally good people.

I appoligize for any mispellings or errors in puntuation

It seems to me that he got

It seems to me that he got what he asked for. I have respect for those who grow for those who need it. But 20,000 plants in plain site? I think he was trying to make a statement. And he got a reply. I feel for him but think he made his bed.

The law is an Ass

...the most troubling part is the where he was not allowed to bring his defense to the fore. We all know the original laws would ask a defendant to swear on the bible to tell the truth, in that same bible there are *no* laws on Cannabis. It is a God (YHWH) given herb and plant.

The 10 commandments have no laws against Cannabis. Therefore swearing on the bible (which would have had hemp paper back in the day), would annul any *law* on Cannabis. It is a sick system that currently exists around broken, corrupt lying bent money loving greedy misled politicians and their like.

If to me God is the law, I love his creatures, planet and plants including Cannabis, and the court says this it is 'illegal' to love the good herb, who is wrong God or man? Man of course in his pomped up, farcical, broken, myopic judgmental ways is. If God gave us this plant then it is legal period. No judge should go against that, but of course they are not judging for God but for their $$$'s not for righteousness, for their sneering arrogance, not for truth, of course for the lies that they love.

I could go on, Free Cannabis, love the planet, love your brother (&sister) and we all be one.

Jah bless the Cannabis growers!


Being Real

Lets be real about this. Can you even believe , that we are putting people in jail for a plant. And how many lives has been destroyed by the system, because of a plant.Me personally I have a hard time when I see everyday, a murderer, a rapist, a maniac, a serial killer,a child molester, and all the pedifiles out there looking for someone to hurt, or to cause them harm. And they just get slapped on the wrist and sent back out there to do it again, or they classify them as sick put them in a hospital for a year than turn them loose. But they give someone 15 years for growing a plant. We are really smart .  I don't think anyone should be in jail for a plant. We should be worrying about the real crimes in this world instead stepping on people lives for a plant. It comes back to the same answer it has been for awhile, its no longer we the people,But its we the Goverment or go to jail. I also know that the people that  don't want to legalize medical marijuana   do not know anything about it,even judges or doctors or lawyers. If they truly did they would se the light on they other side of the tunnel. In case you  all do not know there is  approx. 130,000,000 people right now in our united states, includeing doctor lawyers, judges, nurses,state workers, city workers and of course everyone else that either smoke it on a regular daily bases or medical purposes wow people wake up no one is asking you to smoke yourself or anyone else for that fact,But we are Americans and Christians and we need to help the people we can  and let everyone make there own choices and not be condemed for doing that.Is that why they call the USA the land of the FREE.   

                                                                                   LOVE ALL THE TIME

                                                                                   KEEP A SMILE ON YOUR FACE

                                                                                   GIVE ALL YOU GOT

That's powerful!

If that is truly an accurate figure (130 million) that is roughly 1/3 of our nations population (roughly).

I also fully agree with you on the topic of those who don't understand the importance of legalizing it. 

To be sent to jail for a plant is a terrible thing in this country (well for a marijuana plant at least).  Now if evidence proves your not registered to sell cannabis and do so any ways to people who are not medically approved is against the law and I support that because it has to do with taxation on the legal side.

time for change now

if we do stop the feds and free the ones that they put in prison . all they were tryn to do is helping others that are in pain what the hell free eddy come on stoners unite they will never stop us

How can they keep these

How can they keep these people in jail? It seems like a real waste of tax payers money. I believe if the offences are non violent and the only drug was weed, they should be released. Save everyone some time and money.

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