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New Judge Assigned In Federal Medical Marijuana Case Of Kettle Falls Five


Gavel marijuana miami prosecutorA new judge assigned to hear the widely watched federal medical marijuana case of the Kettle Falls Five has continued the federal trial scheduled to begin today in Spokane, Washington. Senior Judge Fred Van Sickle has been replaced by Judge Thomas O. Rice, who set a new trial date of February 23, 2015.

The change in trial date comes as the U.S. Senate plans to consider a measure later this week that would prohibit Department of Justice (DOJ) funds from being spent on medical marijuana enforcement in states where it’s legal. Advocates say that federal prosecutions like the Kettle Falls Five, as well as pending asset forfeiture cases in California, would be impacted by the passage of such a measure.

After the House made its historic 219-189 vote in May to curb DOJ funding for medical marijuana enforcement, U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) filed a similar budget amendment in the Senate. The bipartisan amendment filed in June is expected to be voted on in a House-Senate conference committee as early as Wednesday.

The change in trial date also came soon after CNN ran the latest national media piece on the Kettle Falls Five, discussing the contradictions between Washington’s adult-use and medical marijuana laws and the prosecution of state compliant patients like the Kettle Falls Five.

By contrast, implementation of Initiative 502 is in full swing, with the Washington State Liquor Control Board overseeing the licensing of more than 500 adult-use marijuana businesses, including 252 for cultivation. In particular, there are 19 licensed cultivation sites in Spokane, the city in which the Kettle Falls Five will stand trial, and two in Colville, within 10 miles of the site where their legal garden was raided by federal agents.

In addition to the Kettle Falls Five, there are a number of other federal cases being vigorously pursued by U.S. Attorneys in California, Michigan, and Washington, despite written policy and official pronouncements from the Obama Administration that seem to indicate otherwise.

Further information:
House budget amendment approved in May by a significant majority of members:

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Johnny Green


  1. Captain Obvious on

    Hopefully interstate cannabis commerce will be allowed too. Legal mail order is the only way the majority of oppressed regions can exercise their constitutional rights immediately. Plus, I think the medical states responsible for this victory deserve the ability to send to any state or country to correct this. They already pay ridiculous taxes anyway and have earned that right.

  2. [Federal] Judge Could Smash Marijuana Law
    A U.S. District Judge in California is examining the legality of America’s marijuana laws, and she may be on the verge of throwing the entire system into chaos.

    “It’s earth-shattering to even have this hearing,” per Stetson University College of Law Professor Adam Levine.

    Case: “United States v. Pickard, et. al., No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJ”

    This could be Huge! No matter which way the judge rules, the case will be appealed to the next-higher court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    This is a story more than worth following. About $14 billion worth.

    ” .. if all 50 states and the federal government legalized cannabis, combined sales for both medical and retail marijuana could balloon to $35 billion a year by 2020.. If the federal government doesn’t end prohibition and the trajectory of state legalization continues on its current path, with more, but not all, states legalizing marijuana in some form, the industry in 2020 would still be worth $21 billion..” according to a new report from GreenWave Advisors, a research and advisory firm that serves the emerging marijuana industry in the U.S.

    Update: Nov 18, 2014 – “Last week, the district court directed the prosecution and defense in U.S. vs. Schweder to file simultaneous briefs on the constitutionality of cannabis being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by December 17.”

  3. It is sad that the House measure only had 49 Republicans in support. Maybe they repent of the war on the young, the poor, and Blacks and mass murder of the sick. And unfortunately the Democrats were not unanimous in support of medicine.

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    The Reagan – Bush administration tried to suppress the finding that cannabis is effective against cancer. You can look it up.

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