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Chris Williams’ ‘We The People’ Petition Passes 25,000 Signature Mark


Federal marijuanaFirst Petition for Presidential Pardon to Cross 25,000 Signature Threshold

Medical cannabis provider Chris Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 92 years in prison for operating a state-authorized outlet. This weekend, a White House petition to pardon Williams became the first of its kind to reach the 25,000 signatures required for a response from the Obama Administration.

Previous requests for clemency have been made via the “We the People” petition site on WhiteHouse.gov. Until now, none exceeded 10,000 signatures in the available 30-day time frame. The petition to pardon Williams collected that amount in the first 24 hours it was online.

Why the swell of support? Williams’s case is unique in many ways and eerily common in others. Out of over 70 cannabis caregivers indicted under U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Williams is one of only four to refuse all plea bargains and demand a trial by jury. According to the United States Courts, more than 90% of federal defendants plead guilty rather than go to trial.

By resisting federal pressure to take a plea bargain, Williams entered into a tense showdown with the U.S. Government over its raids of state-compliant cannabis providers. Like other caregivers convicted at trial, Williams and his attorney were not allowed to tell the jury about relevant medical marijuana laws or reference the state Constitution. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen ruled that state law is inconsequential in the case because Williams is charged under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which meant that attorneys could not argue that Williams strictly followed Montana law.

On September 27, 2012, Williams was found guilty of eight federal felonies, including conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He was denied release pending appeal and is currently in federal custody awaiting sentencing on January 4, 2013. Advocates believe Williams is being targeted for his refusal to buckle to federal intimidation and for his role in suing the U.S. Government over its medical marijuana policy.

Contact: FreeChrisWilliams@yahoo.com


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  1. It is insanity and I am a proponent of Medical Marajuana. It helped me through a horrific 22 months of my life and it needs to be legal, and places to go to buy it without fear. What they are doing is insanity. Put them all on Chemo therapy for a few days a powerful amount then let them tell me if it should be legalized and we are able to purchase it from reputable people like Chris Williams. Let them walk in my shoes back in 1992 for a week and you would see grown men and women who know nothing cry like babies and be in horrific pain and then they would khow important Marajuana is.

  2. They haven’t been “denied,” simply ignored. They are only obligated to issue a response if a petition reaches its goal, and every time it has just been some generic form letter BS that barely even addresses the issue. I’m sure this will be no different. These online petitions are worthless and are a waste of our time, which could be better spent circulating REAL petitions, or at least working to educate the public.

  3. Johnny Bloomington on

    Here is what I put into the feedback section:

    First thing you should do is stop ignoring people’s petition’s about Marijuana!

    I’m sick of seeing Gil Kerlikowske’s copy and paste response!

    No one should be seeing mandatory minimum sentences or, in the case of Chris Williams, 80+ years in jail for selling state approved Medical Marijuana! That’s more than rapist and some killers!!!


  4. That’s great! Unfortunately every petition request related to marijuana or marijuana-related crimes that has been addressed by the administration so far has been denied. From what I’ve seen, this petition process is pointless, as the current regime has no intention of actually acting on any request from the public.

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