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Indybay Feature
Thu Oct 22 2015 (Updated 10/24/15)
Kettle Falls Patients Get Federal Prison Sentences
Thu Oct 22 2015 (Updated 10/24/15)
President Obama Urged to Pardon All Three Kettle Falls Defendants and End Prosecutions
Federal prison sentences were handed down October 2 for the three remaining defendants in the Kettle Falls Five case in Washington State. The case has received national attention as an example of federal interference with state-qualified medical cannabis patients. Lobbying by Larry Harvey, a defendant in the case who died last month from cancer, was instrumental in getting Congress to restrict Department of Justice enforcement in states with medical cannabis laws.

Larry Harvey’s widow, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, and her daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg were each sentenced to one year and a day. Rhonda’s son, Rolland Gregg, received a sentence of 33 months. All three were released pending appeal.

They were each charged with multiple federal felonies that carried stiff mandatory minimum sentences after a 2012 raid on the family’s personal cannabis garden in rural Washington State, even though there was no evidence of distribution and the garden was clearly marked as medical. The defendants were barred from raising a medical necessity defense, despite being qualified patients in Washington State. The jury acquitted them of all the government’s primary charges but found them guilty of “manufacturing” fewer than 100 plants.

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