In yesterday's The Daily Chronic, Americans for Safe Access reported that federal medical marijuana defendant Larry Harvey goes to Washington, D.C. to lobby the United States Congress in order to stop funding federal prosecutions like the his. A federal case that is scheduled to go to trial on May 12th in Spokane, Washington involves Harvey, 70, who is one of the “Kettle Falls 5.”
The “Kettle Falls 5″ are legal medical marijuana patients with serious medical conditions who were indicted in February 2013 and charged with six felonies each. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has spent more than $3 million so far to prosecute the five patients who were each growing fewer 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 U.S.Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided the Harvey's property and seized premature marijuana plants in August of 2012. Agents also confiscated the family’s car (a 2007 Saturn Vue), cash, their legally owned firearms, and other personal property.
Under federal law, patients like the “Kettle Falls 5″ are typically prohibited from raising a medical necessity or state law defense in federal court because of marijuana's illegal status. Harvey wants to make sure Congress knows what’s happening so that they can fix the law.