Michael Teague Is Free at Last, as Federal Judge Questions Another Federal Medical Marijuana Prosecution
September 25, 2007 | Joe Elford
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter terminated the supervised release of Michael Teague fifteen months early in response to a motion filed by Americans for Safe Access. Michael was one of the first federal medical marijuana prosecutions in California. He served nearly seventeen months in federal prison, and a month and a half in a halfway house, before serving almost 33 months of a four-year term of supervised release for cultivating 102 plants. In cutting Michael loose early from the onerous drug-testing and other conditions of supervised release, Judge Carter commented on Michael's exemplary conduct. What made the hearing interesting, though, is that Judge Carter went to lengths to explain that it was tragic for Michael to have been harmed so severely for being caught in the conflict between state and federal law. Through these statements, Judge Carter joins Judge Breyer of the Rosenthal case as federal judges who have openly criticized or questioned federal criminal prosecutions of medical marijuana patients.