Medical marijuana advocate gets 3 years probation in Las Vegas

November 10, 2006

, Associated Press

A medical marijuana advocate was sentenced to three years probation in a case that had been seen as a test of Nevada's medical marijuana program.

A judge told Pierre Werner, 35, that he was getting a break instead of prison time after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Clark County District Court Judge Valerie Adair said Werner no longer could supply marijuana to other people.

"Right now I'm going to believe that the people you sold to were people who really needed it," Adair said during sentencing on Thursday. "But you don't get to decide that anymore."

Werner could have gotten up to four years in prison. The judge warned him that if he is found him in violation of any state law, she will sentence him to prison.

Werner has a license to use marijuana to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder. He said he grew pot for 50 other medical marijuana users because conflicting state laws made it difficult for them to get the drug.

Authorities said police found 45 marijuana plants and two ounces of the drug at Werner's home in 2004.

A prosecutor on Thursday called Werner "nothing more than a glorified drug dealer."

Werner has sued the state Department of Agriculture, which regulates medical marijuana, claiming state law gives him the right to operate a medical marijuana store in Clark County. That case is pending.

Nevada voters in 2000 approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes, allowing patients with state licenses to keep up to an ounce of marijuana to treat doctor-diagnosed medical conditions.



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