| Posted on Fri, February, 13th 2015 by THCFinder
Larry Harvey, 71, thought he was doing everything right growing medical marijuana for his personal use. His home state of Washington legalized medical cannabis in 1998, and Harvey says his cultivation of plants with his wife, other family members and a close friend complied with the law.
But in 2012, state and federal law enforcers raided the Harvey home and shut down their operation. Harvey; his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Gregg's wife, Michelle Gregg; and family friend Jason Zucker all face federal marijuana charges that could land them in prison for 10 years.
But Harvey may not live long enough to see prison, let alone serve out his sentence. In recent months Harvey has developed cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver. The average life expectancy for a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer is three months to six months.
In the coming days, a federal judge will rule on a motion Harvey filed to dismiss his case because it conflicts with new medical marijuana protections in the recently enacted $1.1 trillion federal spending bill that says the Department of Justice shouldn't interfere with state medical marijuana laws. The judge may also drop charges against Harvey when he shows proof of his deteriorating health.
Federal law classifies marijuana a Schedule I substance "with no currently accepted medical use." The judge has told the group they may not invoke their status as state-legal medical marijuana patients as a defense.
This is Larry Harvey's story:
I live about nine miles north of Colville, Washington. We have about 34 acres on the side of a mountain over there. My wife Rhonda grows a big vegetable garden and she cans and freezes everything out of that garden. We have wild game on the property here -- turkeys, grouse, we eat a lot of venison. We’re both hunters. We try to live off the land all we can.
I’ve got a real banged up knee -- the meniscus is gone in my left knee and if I walk a quarter-mile, I’m crippled the rest of the day. I got it mostly from about 4 million miles from shoving a clutch, as well as some foolish things when I was younger.
But about four years ago, a friend of mine gave me a marijuana cookie. I was sitting in my chair, my knee throbbing. I ate that little cookie and in about five minutes the pain was completely gone. It’s kind of like having a toothache. Every time your heart beats it kind of boings. It’s such a relief. I didn’t feel “stoned” or whatever at all. The cookie I had was small and all it did was relieve the pain. So I felt like we needed to grow some of this stuff.
There were five of us -- my wife and I, her son Rolland and his wife Michelle, and then another family friend Jason. We all pooled together and we grew some pot. Everything was going good until the cavalry showed up.
The Civil Air Patrol was flying in the area. They spotted our grow and they called the Forest Service. The Forest Service, of course, is a federal outfit, so they got a hold of the DEA and sheriff and all that and they flew over. But they didn’t say a thing about the white flag with a green cross I was flying above the grow. In fact, they are editing that green cross flag evidence out of my trial because they don’t want the jury in a federal court to know it was a medical marijuana grow. It’s federal court, and we’re not to mention that we are legal medical marijuana patients in the state of Washington.