8000 pot plants get federal probation, and no jail

Jul 01, 2013 8000 pot plants get federal probation, and no jail

In the midst of the drug war madness, sometimes sanity takes hold, as happened last week in a federal court sentencing of two years of probation and no jail over 8000 marijuana plants. Judge Bernard A. Friedman, a Reagan appointee, departed below the sentencing guidelines’ incarceration recommendation, to give probation to Michigan farmer Edwin Schmieding. 61, who is recovering from throat cancer, after he entered a guilty plea to marijuana manufacture and intent to distribute the marijuana.

In sentencing Schmieding to probation, Judge Friedman said, among other things: "This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break." "It’s a bad thing that’s happened to you but you’ve lived a good life." To all judges: May you all always reach into your hearts as deeply, compassionately and honestly as did Judge Friedman here.

The story is here and here.

For your convenience, I have obtained and uploaded the following key documents in this case, from the online PACER docketing system:

Criminal complaint; indictment; defendant’s sentencing memorandum (with support letters here and here, and botanist’s report); prosecution’s sentencing memorandum; guilty plea form; and case docket.

Legalize it.

Chalk it up to the jury -- not the judge -- for chalking acquittal
Winning a jury acquittal over eight pounds of marijuana in the defendant's rear carseat
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