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Charlie Lynch Sentenced to Jail for Medical Marijuana

Submitted by smorgan on
Today, Charlie Lynch was sentenced to one year and one day in jail for operating a medical marijuana clinic that was legal under California state law. U.S. District Court Judge George Wu declined to impose the 5-year mandatory minimum that federal prosecutors deemed appropriate and I've been informed that the U.S. attorney was visibly upset with this outcome. In contrast, Reason reports that Lynch's attorneys "seem extremely happy and relieved with the sentence and are convinced they will knock it down much lower and that Lynch will not be in prison anytime soon."

In that respect, today's outcome brings back memories of the government's epic campaign against Ed Rosenthal, in which federal prosecutors exhausted phenomenal resources, drew virulent public criticism, frustrated the trial judge, and ultimately walked away disappointed. Rosenthal's persecution and ultimate vindication galvanized national support for medical marijuana, thus the Lynch trial feels very much like a parting shot from an entrenched clan of desperate drug war demagogues who've all but expended their legal and political resources while alienating the American public at every turn.

The fatal flaw in the federal war on medical marijuana has always been that if you try hard enough to put people in jail for it, you'll lend urgency and credibility to the movement for reform.

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