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8000 pot plants get federal probation, and no jail

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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.

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; prosecution’s sentencing memorandum; guilty plea form; and case docket.

Legalize it.