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Feb-22-2009 22:17printcomments

LA Medical Marijuana Patients Protest Sentencing, Call for Change

Protesters will gather on the corner of Main Street and Temple St outside the federal courthouse at 12:00 PM on Monday, February 23.

Previous rally in LA for Charles Lynch
Previous rally in LA for Charles Lynch
Photo courtesy: friendsofccl.com

(LOS ANGELES) - Medical marijuana patients and advocates will gather in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles at noon on Monday to protest the upcoming sentencing of Charles C. Lynch, who was convicted for operating a medical marijuana dispensing collective in Morro Bay in August of last year.

Organizers want to draw public attention to Lynch's case in hopes that Judge Wu will use his discretion to impose a lenient sentence on the 46-year old Lynch, who could face decades in federal prison.

"People need to know that Charles Lynch is going to federal prison even though he was obeying state and local law," said event organizer Cheryl Aichele. "It is not fair that he should be caught in the crossfire between state and federal law."

California is one of thirteen states in which medical marijuana is legal, but federal law prohibits its use under any circumstances.

On February 4, White House Spokesman Nick Shapiro said that President Obama did not want to waste federal law enforcement resources circumventing state medical marijuana laws, and that he expected his new appointees to consider this when setting policy for their agencies.

On August 5, 2008, after an emotional trial in which the defense was not allowed to give any evidence whatsoever about medical marijuana, Lynch's city business license, or California state law, Lynch was convicted on all counts. Drew Carey's account of Lynch's struggle with the federal government on Reason.tv helped the case to receive national media attention.

His case has galvanized local medical marijuana patients and supporters, who regard him as an unnecessary casualty of former President Bush's anti-medical cannabis policy. Lynch will be sentenced in Los Angeles on March 23.

Protesters will gather on the corner of Main Street and Temple St outside the federal courthouse at 12:00 PM on Monday, February 23. The street address for the federal courthouse is 312 North Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles.

White House Statement on Medical Cannabis: safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=5665

Picture of Lynch at Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony for his dispensary: safeaccessnow.org/img/original/Lynch_Photo.jpg

Drew Carey/Reason TV documentary short on Lynch: reason.tv/video/show/413.html

Recent Los Angeles Times story on the trial: latimes.com/news/local/la-me-weed26-2008jul26,0,6418930.story

Friends of Charles C. Lynch website: friendsofccl.com

Source: Americans for Safe Access




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