Charlie Lynch appeal gets help

July 10, 2012

, Cal Coast News

An appeal of the federal conviction of former Morro Bay medical marijuana dispensary owner Charles C. Lynch has been joined by a national advocacy organization.

Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed an amicus “friend of the court” brief Tuesday in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit Court.

Lynch’s establishment, Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers, enjoyed widespread community support and endorsement from local government, but fell afoul of federal enforcement of anti-pot laws. The dispensary was shut down in 2007 and Lynch was later arrested, tried and convicted. His sentence of one year and one day in a federal prison will be argued on appeal this winter.

“We feel strongly that the federal government is abusing its prosecutorial discretion on medical marijuana cases like Lynch’s,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the brief in support of Lynch. “These types of prosecutions against medical marijuana providers continue unabated under the Obama Administration based on more than 70 such indictments since the president took office.”

ASA has filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration to reclassify medical marijuana, now considered a Schedule I drug. The federal government’s present position is that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and has a “high potential for abuse.”

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