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.

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  1. The marijuana laws are completing depressing and galling.

  2. Forget Iraq, we need someone to liberate us from laws like this.

  3. I love how G.W. and his cronies believe in States Rights so long as it doesn’t interfere with their legislation. Get the government off my back unless I am trying to buy medical marijuana.


  4. I get bummed when I hear about the government

  5. Oops. I should’ve put down the pipe first.

  6. Couldn’t the state charge them first, convict them, and pardon them? Wouldn’t this make and federal prosecution double jeopardy?

  7. The US gummint’s tendency to ban (read, criminally outlaw), rather than regulate, activity it doesn’t like is arrogant, hypocritical and totally at odds with natural law. From prostitution to drugs to cloning to nuclear weapons and even “evil”, we apparently believe if a law is passed the problem will be eliminated. This failure to accept that human life and its attendant freedoms are imperfect but well intentioned will be our undoing.

  8. But wait a minute–haven’t you all heard the news on TV…”It’s more dangerous than we thought.” That’s why they’re persecuting sick folks. If it says so on TV, it HAS to be true!

  9. Too bad these people are copping a plea bargain. I was looking forward to seeing some jury nullification, and I am sure that the Feds were quaking in their boots at the prospect.

    If there was ever a single-issue litmus test that the electorate needs to apply, it is whether a candidate for office pledges to challenge the drug war at every opportunity provided by the office sought. By now, everyone should see that the drug war is not identical — not even effectively overlapping — with the goal of reducing drug abuse. We gave the drug war a fair try — decades longer than we gave either alcohol prohibition or the Viet Nam wars after THEY were seen as failures. If tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of ruined lives could win the drug war, it would be won and done by now. That’s never going to happen. We need to accept, move on, and try something completely different. We need to recognize vigorous support for the drug war as being inversely proportional to the intelligence of the person or politician advocating that view.

    I’ve heard that social security is no longer the third rail of politics. We need a new third-rail, and I propose the drug war be it. Advocate or vote on Capitol hill for continuation or escalation of the drug war and ZAP, your political career is dead. Nobody is going to do this for us — the people must lead.

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