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Jul-09-2009 03:20printcomments

Walking the Last Free Mile with Eddy Lepp

Eddy tried claiming medical and religious protections but the arguments were not allowed in Federal Court.

Eddy Lepp
Once we got to Lompoc we pulled over for a photo opp under the signs pointing to the Prison. Photos by Charles C. Lynch

(PISMO BEACH, Calif.) - Today Eddy Lepp called me at about 10:30 a.m. and said they were getting ready to pass through Pismo Beach. I hopped into my car and caught up with them on the freeway and followed them to Lompoc.

Eddy's wife is comforted
by the Minister of his church.

There was a traffic jam on the way down and I figured that in Eddy's mind there was probably no big rush as he was on his way to serve a 10 year mandatory sentence in Federal Prison for growing Marijuana.

Eddy had a farm where he was growing over 25,000 plants when he was raided by the DEA in 2004.

The feds prosecuted Eddy in Federal Court and he was convicted of growing more than 1000 marijuana plants which has a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence.

Eddy tried claiming medical and religious protections but the arguments were not allowed in Federal Court.

It was a sad moment as Eddy his wife and followers realized he was only minutes from a long sentence in Federal Prison.

I was angered to think that Eddy was being taken from his family for marijuana. Eddy and his clan were a classic hippie family.

They were dressed in tie die outfits and many of them had tattoos of marijuana leaves. Some of his followers talked about strong religious beliefs they had.

The last walk in freedom.

It was here I understood the importance of freedom of religion. Although I might not have had the same beliefs as Eddy and his followers, I thought how people have to 'tolerate' other peoples beliefs even if you don't understand what they are talking about.

So Eddy with swollen eyes from years of battling the Federal Government and a strong conviction that he had done the right thing hopped into the van for his final ride as a free man.

During that last mile, Eddy stated that he was not afraid of jail as his camera man and others listened in great admiration and sorrow.

They passed around one more cigarette of the sacred herb and Eddy drank a Dr. Pepper as his camera man recorded Eddy's testimony.

I fought back tears as other grown men cried outwardly.

I asked Eddy about his release on bail pending appeal and he said the judge didn't even read the motion and denied it.

As we drove up to the penitentiary I just couldn't stop thinking how wrong this is to put people away and to break up families for marijuana.

Eddy and his wife: treasured moments.

It just seemed so cruel to take Eddy from his wife, his friends, and from society.

Two "Marijuanan Americans": Lynch & Lepp

They were not hurting anybody, they are just living the kind of life that makes them happy, the kind of life that millions of Americans live on a daily basis.

We walked Eddy into the building, and my internal outrage boiled quietly as the self-righteous Federal Agents did their jobs, as did the Nazi Prison Camp Guards, and took Eddy into custody and told everybody to leave.

As we turned and left the American POW camp I couldn't stop thinking what a cruel nation America can be to it's 'Marijuanan American' citizens.

I realized with great appreciation that I was a lucky man as I am out on bail pending appeal for a one year sentence for 'marijuana crimes'.

I was really lucky compared to what was happening to Eddy Lepp.

Two men, separate lives, separate life styles, separate beliefs, separate destinies but one common cause.

Eddy whispered to me as he held back his emotions 'keep the message alive'.

See recent Salem-News.com report: California Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Medical Marijuana


Charles C. Lynch is the former owner and managing Caregiver for Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay. The dispensary opened in 2006, operated for almost one year without any major problems. On March 29, 2007 the Local Sheriff and DEA agents raided the Dispensary and Home of Charles Lynch. Less than two months later, the Dispensary closed permanently. In July, Charles Lynch was arrested at his home and charged with Federal Marijuana Distribution. Lynch pleaded not guilty and went on trial July 22, 2008 in Los Angeles.

On August 5, 2008 Lynch was convicted in Federal Court for operating the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers. On June 11, 2009 Charles C. Lynch was sentenced to one year and one day in Federal Prison. The case now moves to the ninth district court of appeals.

Reports about Charles Lynch: Meet California's Lawless Sheriff

Dirty Sheriff?

Medical Cannabis Protesters Ask Obama for Hope & Change

Will a California Court Martyr Charles Lynch or Avoid Disaster?

Sentencing in Charles Lynch California Medical Marijuana Case Delayed

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Cali Chronic X February 27, 2010 3:07 pm (Pacific time)

And as almost a year has passed most have forgotten Eddy Lepp and his plight. Out of sight Out of mind. Here in LA we just experienced HEMP Con enjoying the rapidly expanding freedom we have with access to Medical Marijuana which we should thank Jack Herer, Tommy Chong, George Clayton Thomas, Buddy Duzy, Capt Ed, Ed Forchin aka The NJ Weedman and of course EDDY LEPP. Most that I named are still alive except Capt Ed, Jack is in failing health but only Eddy sits in prison for 9 more years for his part in the quest for legalization. He lost his Farm, his home and his wife. He just got out of solitary confinement because of a clash with another convict ~ Eddy is in a living hell. We are trying to gather support by selling "Free Eddy Lepp" T shirts of which $1 from each sold goes to Eddys Prison Account at Lompoc Federal Prison. Eddy has already approved and thanked us for this campaign. http://freeeddyapparel.com

ronan o malley February 4, 2010 2:41 pm (Pacific time)

this is an injustice to an honest man. A disgrace.# rf5m4

CandiceJean October 10, 2009 10:37 am (Pacific time)

one thing and one thing only FREE EDDY LEPP!!!!!!!!!!!

coolworld August 27, 2009 1:55 pm (Pacific time)

It's ironic that the FED's put this man away and our governor of California initiates a project to research the legalization of retailing medical marijuana. I think eddy know's more than anyone in Federal law about our rights and they want to keep him shut down, so to not educate a massive source of intelligent people, that can overthrow the government. They might as well abolish the constitution, if they can dismiss our rights in a federal court case. The only tax on medical marijuana should tax for a defense fund for all whom stand to exercise their constitutional rights and religious beliefs. The revolution is going to conquer in do time, just respect Eddy for having to be one to sacrifice in order to prevail. Keep the faith and never give in, and we will win. God bless you Eddy, to a man I only know in spirit. I feel and understand you to the fullest. May you be released soon, so that you can provide your wife the care she deserves and needs, that no one else can do for her but you. Shame on the Fed's and Karma is a Bitch!

Fred Hood August 16, 2009 8:30 am (Pacific time)

send money we must defend this man!!!!!

Christopher Kreis July 16, 2009 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

love ya papa. your in my prayers....

free wheeling frank July 11, 2009 9:54 pm (Pacific time)

Its the money,If its legal the price goes down. Now find out who gets the most money ,DEA,FBI,and it goes on to prisons,shit stop paying taxes.

Thomas Jefferson July 10, 2009 11:14 am (Pacific time)

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

foam July 10, 2009 2:15 am (Pacific time)

We love ya Eddie!!

Cherokee.Fred.Jesus July 10, 2009 6:10 am (Pacific time)

When will we stand up and take our rights back. How many kind old men must we sacrifice? To protect the corporations that are feeding off the bones of our own people! We must stand together and fight to have our right to free choice restored. If you had treated our founders in this manner destroying their cannabis and putting them in jail. They would have took up arms against the tyranny... Cherokee Fred Jesus

Chris Bennett July 9, 2009 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

I am fighting a freedom of religion case in Federal Court in Canada: http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/07/07/Pot_Activist_Takes_on_Canadian_Government.htm Upon a victory here, I vow to go to the USA and initiate a similar case there and do what I can to help free my brother in the Tree of Life, Eddy Lepp. Chris Bennett freeshiva@hotmail.com

Richard Steeb July 9, 2009 6:31 am (Pacific time)

Cannabis prohibition is not only murderously stupid, it is an abominable ongoing atrocity. I got yer "Godwin's Law"; there is nothing short of the Holocaust with which to compare it.

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