Mercy for the Merciful?


In a letter forwarded by the Marijuana Policy Project, Scott Imler says he and two other officers of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center (LACRC) plan to plead guilty on Monday to federal charges of "knowingly opening and maintaining a place where [marijuana] was manufactured, distributed or used." Imler and his colleagues– Jeff Yablan and Jeffrey Farrington–decided against going to trial because they knew they would not be allowed to explain the purpose of their organization: providing marijuana to patients who are permitted to use it as a medicine under California law.

Without a plea, the three would have faced additional charges, carrying mandatory minimum sentences of 20 years or more. "While no promises have been made regarding potential sentencing under the plea," says Imler, "we are hopeful that the judge will be fair when considering our actions within the totality of the situation."

The LACRC was shut down by the Drug Enforcement Administration in October 2001, a month and a half after 9/11. It's good to know that neither the war on terrorism nor the war in Iraq has distracted the government from the war on sick people and those who try to alleviate their suffering.