Pages tagged "Kettle Falls 5"

  • Three remaining Kettle Falls Five defendants found guilty of manufacturing less than 100 plants, likely to appeal

    In an unexpected verdict today, the jury in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State, known as the Kettle Falls Five, acquitted the three remaining defendants of all but one charge of manufacturing less than 100 marijuana plants. The charge carries no mandatory minimum sentence and defendants Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 56, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 36, remain free until sentencing on June 10th at 10am.

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  • Government continues prosecution despite Congressional ban on interfering with implementation of state law

    The Kettle Falls 5Trial starts Wednesday in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five. The Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who claim to have been growing for themselves in full compliance with Washington State's medical marijuana law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also choosing to try them in defiance of a recent Congressional ban on DOJ interference in the implementation of state law.

    What: Trial of the Kettle Falls Five, medical marijuana patients growing for themselves in eastern Washington State
    When: Jury selection begins Wednesday, February 25th at 8:30am and the trial is expected to run until next week
    Where: Room 902, Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse, 920 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201

    Last week, the federal government agreed to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, 71, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, but fought against the dismissal of charges against the remaining four defendants. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the Kettle Falls Five based on DOJ funding restrictions established last year by Congress, however the defendants have vowed to appeal.

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  • Welcome Congress Home by Demanding Peace for Patients

    shutterstock_130720814-525x275.jpgFreedom. Americans dedicate an entire day to celebrating it, yet our country is home to the world’s largest population of prisoners. Several of these men and women are serving time for medical marijuana, even though they were following state law allowing their activities.

    In a recent New York Times article entitled Lock ‘Em Up Nation: Mandatory Sentencing for Medical Marijuana, Timothy Egan writes, “if Larry Harvey, at the age of 70, with his gout and high blood pressure and bum knee, gets the mandatory 10-year term, he’s likely to die in prison, certainly not the last casualty of the assault on our citizens known as the War on Drugs. For him, freedom is just another word his congresswoman likes to throw around on the Fourth of July.”

    Like so many others before him, Larry Harvey is staring down the barrel of a federal prosecution for growing less than 70 plants on his 34-acre property, along with four other authorized patients. U.S. Attorney’s have also indicted Larry’s wife, his son and daughter in law, and a family friend. Together, they are known as the “Kettle Falls Five.” If trial proceeds on July 28, defense attorneys will not be allowed to argue the cannabis was being grown for medical purposes. Just the opposite, a federal judge recently granted a continuance to allow prosecutors to alter video evidence in order to edit out doctors’ recommendations and a large sign with a green cross, so as not to “confuse the jury.”

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  • Congressional vote expected this month to restrict DOJ enforcement against state-compliant patients like the "Kettle Falls 5"

    Medical marijuana patient Larry Harvey, 70, traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to persuade Congress to stop funding unnecessary federal prosecutions like his. Harvey is one of the "Kettle Falls 5," a federal medical marijuana case that is scheduled to go to trial as soon as this week in Spokane, Washington. Despite repeated claims by the Obama Administration that it is not targeting individual patients, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has spent more than $3 million so far to prosecute five patients who were each growing less than 15 plants in accordance with state law. If convicted, the DOJ could spend as much as $13 million to send them to prison.

    The "Kettle Falls 5" is made up of mostly family members, including Harvey, his wife Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 35, and friend of the family Jason Zucker, 38. All five are legal patients with serious medical conditions. Larry and Rhonda are retired and have a home in rural Washington State near the town of Kettle Falls. In August 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the property and seized 44 premature marijuana plants. Federal agents also confiscated the family's 2007 Saturn Vue, $700 in cash, their legally owned firearms, and other personal property.

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