| Posted on Mon, February, 2nd 2015 by THCFinder
Larry Harvey is a 71 year old man that was growing marijuana with his family on the property of their rural home in Washington state. They claim that the plant was for their personal medical use but yet Harvey and his family are facing year in prison if they are convicted in a high profile federal case over growing the marijuana. But the feds are being told to drop the case, as it conflicts with new medical marijuana protections that are contained in the newly enacted $1.1 trillion federal spending bill.
Attorney Robert Fischer argues that the family was growing the pot for their own medical use and that this case undermines the Washington state law. By threatening patients with jail time and prosecution, it prevents states from implementing their own laws. Fischer says that the federal government is completely disregarding the recently passed Congressional protections for the states that have been passing medical marijuana laws.
“The law that was signed last month by President Obama was designed precisely for patents like Larry Harvey,” said Steph Sherer, executive director for the medical marijauan advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, in a statement. “If this law doesn’t stop federal prosecutions like the Kettle Falls Five, nothing likely will."
The federal government has long since stood by the idea that marijuana is a seriously dangerous and addictive drug. However, with the passing of recent legislature, the feds aren’t allowed to interfere with states that have implemented their own laws about marijuana. It names the 23 states that have legalized medical marijuana, including Washington, which is where Harvey lives. There is also an additional 11 states included that have legalized the use of the non-psychoactive marijuana-based oils that have been shown to benefit patients suffering from severe cases of epilepsy. But even though the omnibus package was passed, it didn’t change the attitudes of the federal government, who still are convinced that they should be fighting a plant.
Harvey’s family, referred to as the Kettle Falls Five, consist of Harvey, his wife Rhonda, their son Rolland Gregg, Rolland’s wife, Michelle Gregg, and close family friend Jason Zucker. All of them are facing federal marijuana charges for growing around 70 cannabis plants on the Harveys’ rural home in Kettle Falls, Washington. All of the people involved are state-legal medical marijuana patients. Through the trial, they have consistently maintained that their crop was in compliance with state law. In 1998, Washington realized the effect of medical marijuana and in 2012, passed another bill recognizing recreational marijuana. Each of the defendants are being charged with multiple felonies, as well as manufacturing, distribution, and possession of marijuana as well as possessing a firearm.
The Harvey home was raided back in August of 2012. When officials inspected the property, they found 74 plants growing near the house. The officers assumed that the family was growing the cannabis for a collective, rather than individually, and they seized 29 plants so that the family would be compliant with state law, which limits collective crops to no more than 45 plants at a time. State authorities did not press charges or seize anything else. But a week later, federal authorities raided the house, taking the rest of the marijuana plants, along with five pounds of raw cannabis and some edibles. They also took a 2007 sedan, money, personal belongings, and firearms.
Harvey suffers from symptoms related to gout, inflammation, and chronic pain, his attorneys said. His wife suffers from osteoarthritis and has undergone many joint and bone surgeries. She uses medical cannabis to ease the inflammation and the pain. Rolland Gregg and Zucker use cannabis to treat back injuries and Michelle used cannabis due to wasting brought on by a medical condition that she didn’t want to comment on. During pre-trial hearings, Harvey was also diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer and if he is convicted, he may not even survive until the end of his sentence, which started off at 40 years to life but was plea bargained down to three years each. But seeing as how the average life expectancy for a patient with metazoic pancreatic cancer is only three to six months, Harvey may not even see the end of the trial without access to his medicine.