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Plead Guilty or Go to Prison for Life: The Medical Marijuana Grower's Stark Choice

ducks13 Wrote: Jan 02, 2013 6:48 PM
Thanks for writing the column. Mandatory minimums and the lack of appropriate prosecutor discretion create a large legal problem for us. Nice to see is on Townhall.

Chris Williams, a Montana medical marijuana grower, faces at least five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 1. The penalty seems unduly severe, especially because his business openly supplied marijuana to patients who were allowed to use it under state law.

Yet five years is a cakewalk compared to the sentence Williams originally faced, which would have kept the 38-year-old father behind bars for the rest of his life. The difference is due to an extremely unusual post-conviction agreement that highlights the enormous power prosecutors wield as a result of mandatory minimum sentences so grotesquely unjust that...