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Jerry Duval (left) with his son Jeremy
Last month, on June 11th, Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval surrendered to federal authorities to serve a whopping 10-year prison sentence, even though he was never in violation of the state's medical marijuana law. Jerry is a kidney-pancreas transplant recipient who also suffers from heart disease and glaucoma. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration saw fit to arrest, prosecute, and imprison Jerry at a cost of more than $1 million.
This is not just a tragedy for the Duval family, though they were hit hard (as a result of the same case, Jerry's son Jeremy is serving 5 years and the Duvals lost their family farm to forfeiture), it's also an outrage that we have to foot the bill.
However, two other milestones recently occurred that give Jerry and the rest of us hope for his release sooner than planned. Before Jerry even began serving his sentence, attorney Andrew Greenlee of Brownstone filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Jerry and his son Jeremy. We'll be watching that one closely.
The other milestone -- a Compassionate Release Request filed with the federal Bureau of Prisons -- also occurred before Jerry's imprisonment, however a recent Change.org petition is picking up steam and a lot more supporters.
According to a press release issued by Kari Boiter:
Organizers hope the public pressure will convince leaders to favorably respond to Duval’s request by granting his immediate release.
The Change.org petition has nearly 3,000 signatures and each time a name is added to the growing list an email is sent to President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Michigan’s Congressional delegation, as well as the Director of the Bureau of Prisons and the Warden of the medical prison where Jerry is currently locked up.
Be sure to go to Change.org and sign the petition! If not for Jerry and all the other medical marijuana patients impacted by the federal government's war on medical marijuana, then do it for the taxpayers who shouldn't be footing the bill.
We are in dire need of a commonsense, public health approach to medical marijuana policy. We demand Peace for Patients!