Update on Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner Charles Lynch

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Charlie Lynch is the California medical marijuana dispensary owner convicted in federal court of selling drugs. Lynch scrupulously complied with all state laws but is facing as much as 100 years when sentenced in November. Watch his chilling story here:

On October 6, supporters of Lynch gathered to protest his treatment. Reason.tv's coverage of the event is here:

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  1. Depressing. Well seeing as how no class for me today, I’m going back to sleep.

  2. Well forgive me… but I don’t get how the marijuana dispensary people thought they could get away with it. Whatever California says, the Feds are all uptight about drugs and I’m no legal scholar but it seems pretty clear that judicial precedent makes Federal law enforceable everywhere anytime (despite reasons to beleive the contrary when looking at the founding document only). Did they seriously think they could sell weed without having a major problem with gummint?

    Not that this isn’t horrible and everything.

  3. It is just silly that the weed enjoyers need to pretend that they want medicine. How about just legalizing it (WITHOUT “taxing the hell out of it”, please) and be done with these antics?

    If this issue is not settled by Feb. 09 . . .

  4. Even if you are a conservative or a liberal, you must be tired of the drug war.

    It goes on and on, without a victory. Yet we must press on. For seventy years. The drug war may be older than John McCain.

    And in the meantime, we get armed paramilitary police, increased government surveillance, and an endless stream of scumbags overlooked because we were busy looking for drugs.

    It’s a total failure. Dump it.

  5. Yeah, Guy. That little old lady in the wheelchair couldn’t possibly be looking for medicine, she’s just rented Fantasia and wants to make it even groovier.

    Not that I don’t think marijuana shouldn’t be legalized for people who just want to get high, but to pretend there are no medical uses for marijuana is pretty stupid.

  6. This is one of the very few positives for libertarians if Obama wins.

  7. If Obama wins, he will have the power to pardon Lynch and any other dispensary owners convicted of following state law. Let’s see how serious he is about this.

    My prediction: the backpedaling begins on Jan 21. DEA raids will not cease, and pardons will be not even a subject of discussion. For the children.

  8. I had to think about the way you worded the first part of your last sentence for a minute BakedPenguin, but after checking your user name I decided you are user friendly. I totally agree that not only should anything Cannabis be clompletely legal for both medical and personal use, but Medical Marijuana should be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. I am against the dispensary operators who sell their product at black market prices. That kills a big part of the incentive to get a legal card. Sometimes you can beat dispensary prices on the street, that should not be. Total Legalization of marijuana is the only answer. I agree with you Chuck, the backpeddling plan is already developed its just not the right time to implement it yet. Thought…Should I throw away my vote on Ron Paul, or should I vote for Obama and hope for the best???

  9. “This is one of the very few positives for libertarians if Obama wins.”

    Perhaps you didn’t notice his running mate is one of the biggest promoters of the drug war?

    Chuck is right – the obama backpedaling will begin minutes after the inaguration and nothing will get done to stop, or even slow the drug war. Need I mention his backpedaling on FISA?

  10. Everything should be legal as long as it doesn’t involve the initiatory use of force, fraud or coercion. So simple. (No, you can’t have sex with a kid so don’t even ask.)

  11. As an avid smoker of cannabis and advocate for its recreational and medicinal use I find this atrocious. Unfortunately they are within the rights of the law to raid these dispensaries no matter how much I hate it. I feel for Charlie Lynch and wish him the best of luck. I myself am on probation for the very same herb, so although I am no where near what he is being charged with I feel his pain.

    One thing that really gets me, is that there is a bill in congress right now. H R 5843 I believe, sponsored by Barney Frank and Ron Paul. It would decriminalize the responsible use of cannabis for adults. Although this is most likely not pass, I couldn’t help but ask myself a question about it: If it were to pass would the government uphold its “federal law trumps state law” stance they are taking with these dispensaries? Because even if it were to pass state laws would not be effected as I understood it.

  12. Should a woman with oxygen tubes in her nose be… smoking marijuana? Sorry, just have to ask.

  13. Paul – she may be using a vaporizer, or she might make tea, brownies, etc.

  14. Paul

    Yeah there are many ways of ingesting cannabis other than smoking. I don’t want to quote percentages here because I would be pulling them out of my ass but I have heard that a majority of MMJ patients don’t smoke it. The various methods range the gambit from vapor to lip balm.

  15. DEA = Domestic terrorism

  16. “If Obama wins, he will have the power to pardon Lynch and any other dispensary owners convicted of following state law. Let’s see how serious he is about this.”

    I am as cynical as yourself on this subject, but imagine if it happened:

    “I have today pardoned several people who were convicted in federal courts for purely local activities – growing, selling and smoking marijuana within the boundaries of a single state, and therefore outside the federal Commerce Clause jurisdiction.

    “I know that a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court think this is constitutional, but a majority of Supreme Court justices thought the Sedition Act of 1798 was constitutional, too, and President Jefferson still pardoned those who had been convicted. You see, folks, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not some court’s bizarre interpretation of it.”

  17. Mad Max

    Wouldn’t that be nice. A president that actually upheld the constitution for once. Up until the 1920s most people believed the constitution upheld your right as a citizen to do what you pleased with your own body. In the constitution itself it says that the congress has the sole right to make laws, and the court system is supposed to uphold the law as it applies to the constitution. Unfortunately the whole system has become convoluted.

  18. “This is one of the very few positives for libertarians if Obama wins.” Perhaps you didn’t notice his running mate is one of the biggest promoters of the drug war?

    True, but Obama has promised the end the DEA raids on these clinics, and the Veep position is largely ceremonial.

    OTOH, Obama also promised to take only public financing. So who knows.

  19. Disclaimer: I know that the South’s states’-rights rhetoric has tended to be as situational and inconsistent as the North’s, but I thought I’d play on the South/States rights stereotype to make the following version of the Confederate national Anthem.

    (Apologies to General Albert Pike, author of the version of “Dixie” which I’m ripping off)

    Potheads, hear your country call you,
    Up, lest worse than death befall you!
    To arms! To arms! To arms, for MJ!
    Lo! all of the bongs are lighted,
    Let all hearts be now united!
    To arms! To arms! To arms, for MJ!

    (Chorus)
    Advance medicinal MJ!
    Hurrah! Hurrah!
    For this joint in our hand we’ll take our stand,
    And live or die for MJ!
    To arms! To arms!
    be at peace with MJ!
    To arms! To arms!
    And be at peace with MJ!

    Hear the oppressive federal fuzz!
    They’re coming here to kill our buzz!
    To arms! To arms! To arms, for MJ!

  20. “”””Even if you are a conservative or a liberal, you must be tired of the drug war.

    It goes on and on, without a victory. Yet we must press on. For seventy years. The drug war may be older than John McCain”””

    Victory for them is not the ususal definition of victory. To them it means the ability to whoop your ass, so in their own mind, they are victorious every day.

    “””””Should a woman with oxygen tubes in her nose be… smoking marijuana? Sorry, just have to ask.”””

    A vaild question. But who should decide? The feds, the state, or the individual? I say the individual.

    “””You see, folks, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not some court’s bizarre interpretation of it.””””

    I’ll take phrases Bush will never say for a hundred.

  21. The only negative physical side effect that science can pin on marijuana is an increased risk of gum disease.

    Why doesn’t anyone cite the London College of Medicine’s (the EU’s Harvard for those who don’t know) comprehensive study of the side effects of marijuana? What they found is that marijuana smoking results in *no* correlation to lung cancer?

    Or how about that marijuana is CA’s largest cash crop, more than corn and wheat combined? CA alone would make up 10-20% of its budget deficit by taxing marijuana.

    If we can just shake our societal hipocracy for a second, we’d see it’s absurd to prosecute (and not tax) the wide spead use of an utterly benign yet potent drug while we allow alcohol and tobacco to run rampant in every single one of our communities.

    Come on legislators and middle America, look at the science, do the math, and read our Constitution again!

  22. On the dixie song… Dixie was originally written about the “Land of Dixes” BKA Louisiana where the only trusted currency was distributed in the age of “Wildcat Banking.” With the current credit collapse, I wish there was still a Dixes Land to be way down in.

    I view the whole anti-cannabis store fiasco as equal opportunity for corner kids. Why should the young thugs juggling pot have a percentage of their sales diverted to white-collar entrepreneurs? The DEA, FDA, etc. are just defending the children… the children selling eighths at the bus station.

  23. On Dixie: I should clarify that Dixes is just one of the theories of the origin of “Dixie.”

  24. Come on legislators and middle America, look at the science, do the math, and read our Constitution again!

    .. yeah, that’s gonna happen ..

    .. in about a hundred million billion trillion years ..

    .. “Zillion” Hobbit

  25. Obama may pardon these guys, though I doubt that he will. What he’ll never so, however, is justify a pardon on commerce clause grounds. To do so would undermine liberals’ favorite justification for sweeping federal legislation.

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