Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ramifications of Raich

What a day. Bombs in London. The warbloggers response finally pissed me off enough to mount a challenge and there's the mother of all severe storms just to the west of me. There's a tornado watch here until 10:00 tonight. I'm going to try to get a couple of posts in here before the power goes out, which it inevitably does when we have severe weather.

So this just in. The first sentencing post-Raich in a medical marijuana case is less than comforting. I couldn't find a URL to a story but from the ASA press release:

San Francisco -- Robert Schmidt, a medical marijuana dispensary operator, cultivator, patient, and researcher was sentenced today by Judge Stephen Breyer to 41 months in federal prison, and 3 years supervised probabtion.

Mr Schmidt's dispensary in Sonoma County, named Genesis 1:29, was shut down by federal agents in a raid in September 2002. Today's sentencing was the first since the US Supreme Court decision on Gonzales vs Raich, in which the court decided that state-legal patients and caregivers could still be prosecuted under federal law.

Mr Schmidt pled guilty to charges of cultivation and possession of 265 kilograms of marijuana more than two years ago, but Judge Breyer postponed the sentencing until after the Raich ruling.

In today's ruling, Judge Breyer invoked the Booker ruling from earlier this year, which gave judges more latitude in determining prison terms over the federal guidelines. He departed 2 points in the sentence, and then further dropped the sentence by 10 months because Robert Schmidt would be ineligible for a prison drug treatment program because there was no evidence he had a drug problem in at least the 12 months prior to sentencing.

Robert Schmidt has already served 7 months of his sentence, and will commence the remainder of his sentence in a minimum-security prison on September 1.
So much for the feds contention that they don't use their tax funded resources to persecute sick people.


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