Drug Policy

Should Charlie Lynch Spend the Rest of His Life in Jail, Or Even a Single Day, For Operating a Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary?


Above: Watch "Raiding California," Reason.tv's Drew Carey Project video about the Lynch case. Go here for iPod and HD versions and more. 

Charlie Lynch is a California resident who owned and operated a medical marijuana dispensary that was fully legal under a Golden State law. 

In 2007, federal agents and San Luis Obispo sheriffs raided his home and dispensary and in 2008 he was found guilty in federal court of five counts of distributing drugs.

Because he was tried in a federal court, Lynch's defense team was not allowed to argue that its client was fully complying with state law.

On Thursday, April 23, 2009, Lynch is scheduled to be sentenced. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and, despite some positive statements from the Obama administration's Justice Department about respecting state laws regarding medical marijuana, Lynch's future is darker than midnight. Indeed, the simple letter of the law dictates he go to prison.

The polite term for Lynch's predicament is Kafkaesque. He is a guiltless man who genuinely helped the sick in his community and is being punished for caring. Now he faces at least five years—and potentially much more—in one of the most sickening and barbaric displays of how the drug war is carpet-bombing huge swaths of American life. Indeed, to call Lynch's plight Kafkaesque is to hide the brutality of America's longest-running and most-destructive war behind an aesthetically comforting phrase.

Charlie Lynch's life has been destroyed by policies and priorities so idiotic and corrosive that they create or exacerbate every negative outcome they purport to address. It is the logic of bombing the village in order to save it raised to an exponential degree and all Americans who believe in the smallest doses of freedom, compassion, rule of law, personal autonomy, and federalism should bear witness to the horror of what has already happened and will likely be made still worse on April 23.

Reason has been following Lynch's story since it began. Below is a chronology and selected bibliography of our print and video coverage of Lynch and the monsters who have prosecuted him like some warped Inspector Javert.

We will be reporting live here on April 23, as soon as the Lynch verdict is announced.

Charles Lynch Chronology

April 1, 2006 … In accordance with state and local law, Charlie Lynch opens Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California.

March 29, 2007 … Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies raid Lynch's home and dispensary.

April 7, 2007 … Lynch reopens his dispensary with the blessing of the City of Morro Bay.

April 14, 2007 … The DEA threatens Lynch's landlord with forfeiture unless he evicts the dispensary.

July 17, 2007 … Federal agents arrest Charlie Lynch, and charge him with violating federal drug laws. Lynch spends three nights in a federal detention center before being released on $400,000 bail. Lynch is confined to home detention and monitored by federal agents.

June 10, 2008 … Reason.tv exposes a national audience to the Lynch saga with the documentary short Raiding California: Medical Marijuana and Minors.

July 28, 2008 … Reason covers day one of U.S. vs. Charles C. Lynch: Entrapment? Lynch Trial Update 

July 29, 2008Silencing Owen: Lynch Trial Video Update

                        "Jesse Baldridge": Lynch Trial Update

July 30, 2008Earthquake in the Courtroom: Lynch Trial Update

July 31, 2008Charlie Takes the Stand: Lynch Trial Update

August 1, 2008Lynch Checked with DEA Before Opening Dispensary: Lynch Trial Update

August 2, 2008The Penultimate Day: Lynch Trial Update

August 4, 2008Waiting for the Jury: Lynch Trial Video Update

                           Charlie's Fate in Jury's Hands: Lynch Trial Update

August 5, 2008GUILTY: Lynch Trial Video Update (includes exclusive interview with jury foreperson)

                            Charlie Lynch Found Guilty in Gross Miscarriage of Justice

October 6, 2008Free Charlie Lynch Rally: Video Update

November 2008Medical marijuana makes conservatives forget federalism

March 23, 2009Fate on Hold: Will Charlie Lynch Spend Decades in Jail? (Video Update)

March 25, 2009Will the Justice Department's new medical marijuana policy save Charlie Lynch?

April 20, 2009Obama's DOJ Won't Intervene in Charlie Lynch Case


NEXT: Update on an Accurate Tallying of Bloggers

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  1. Charlie Lynch is a political prisoner in every sense of the term.

  2. What a crying injustice.

  3. It blows me away that the government can tell you what your defense can and can’t be. I have never seen that as one of the enumerated powers of any branch of government. That you can’t probably goes to show what cowards prosecutors are and how intellectually and morally vapid the law is. It the law is so certain of its own credibility, what does it have to fear? Oh yeah, that we might learn how totally fucking full of shit modern day jurisprudence is.

    Right now we are bitching because Iran and North Korea have journalist. But, like Scott said, we have our own political prisoners.

  4. Obama is being presidential. He has to govern.

  5. This is one of the most disgusting things i have ever read. This is a violation of the constitution and the will of the people both in that state and throughout the country. To have this done in the name of justice is a travesty.

  6. Meanwhile, Oaksterdam is alive and thriving. Talk about your selective prosecution.


    If Cali had any balls, the next time the fed tried to raid, the Sheriffs should blockade the DEA, and then arrest the DEA if they try to go into a building. that would send a ripple, after all, the shops are operating lawfully under state law, the law the sheriffs must uphold. Therfore the DEA is Breaking and eneting and commiting armed robbery while kidnapping the owners.

  8. Thread jack sort of:

    Early news reports indicate the conservatives on SCOTUS are going for strip searching 13 year olds girls cause drugs is bad . . .

    We is so fucked . . . .

  9. Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers

    To be fair, I have heard that C4 is explosive.

  10. An absolute travesty. Free Charlie!

  11. Early news reports indicate the conservatives on SCOTUS are going for strip searching 13 year olds girls cause drugs is bad . . .


  12. It’s my understanding that Judge Wu asked for a copy of the “new Policy” in writing. Judges don’t normally like to let the prosecutors interpret the law for them and since it appears Judge Wu did not get his request filled, he may still hold off and demand his request be filled. If AG Holder is not willing to put the so-called “new policy” in writing then it means we are in fact living under a secret law. That would be Unconstitutional. Judge Wu followed the SCOTUS ruling to the letter, fair or not, when he banned discussion of medical use as irrelevant. Being that hardnosed of a Jurist might just serve in Charles favor, but no one should get their hopes up.

  13. Like I kept on telling people, you vote democrat or republican, you get nonsense like this. Where is the humanity? What happened to compassion? And since when did a Sheriff decide that what is good for the county? I guess when you have a county seat at stake, nothing else matters but your job.

  14. No. Charlie Lynch should not be in prison for running a marijuana dispensary.

    If Cali had any balls, the next time the fed tried to raid…

    Have there been any raids since Holder declared them to be off-limits?

    And states rarely have balls. (Sorry, North Carolina.) It’s all about one or two individuals with (metaphorical) balls, like Lynch.

  15. Why not legalize all drugs in California, and let the drug maniacs go there?

    We’re spending too much on enforcement. Most people don’t want their kids near the stuff, because outside of a handful of examples, the people who use drugs are screwups.

  16. I definitely feel some sympathy, but shouldn’t someone who’s opening a pot dispensing outfit check with a lawyer first vis-a-vis the issues outlined above actually coming to pass? Wasn’t he openly defying the feds and they lawfully albeit perhaps malignly decided to make an example of him? Shouldn’t you try to change the law rather than whining afterwards about the impacts of defying it?

  17. thank god Pat Hedges isnt running again free Charlie Lynch

  18. It’s all Bush’s fault.

  19. I definitely feel some sympathy, but shouldn’t someone who’s opening a pot dispensing outfit check with a lawyer first vis-a-vis the issues outlined above actually coming to pass?
    He did. He consulted the sheriff and the mayor, and had support from law enforcment and the city

  20. The Constitution was made a mockery of in Gonzales v. Raich which allowed this travesty (the feds trumping state law for even home grown personally consumed medicinal marijuana under the commerce clause, (seriously). Check the case out on wiki….Thomas’ descent was a thing of beauty.

  21. I’m sure one of the links has the nice picture of Lynch posing with the mayor and (I believe) members of the local C of C. He wasn’t some stealth outfit.

  22. Why not legalize all drugs in California, and let the drug maniacs go there?

    We’re spending too much on enforcement. Most people don’t want their kids near the stuff, because outside of a handful of examples, the people who use drugs are screwups.

    4/10. You need some more caps and misspellings. Plus the first sentence was too over the top. Good effort though.

  23. The law’s the law. He choose to break it now he has to suffer the consequences.

  24. Andrew: Good call. I would go one further and say that I would gladly allow my taxes to pay for every herion addict to get as much free dope as they want in luxurious state-run facilities if it meant we could drop the war on drugs now and forever. It would not only be cheaper, but it would be far less intrusive to the lives of ordinary citizens.

  25. Have there been any raids since Holder declared them to be off-limits?

    Yes. The Holder statement that the DEA would not raid as long as there was no violation of state law was shown up as a sham when the DEA subsequently raided a dispensary based on allegations that their sales taxes weren’t in order.

    No, I am not making that up.

  26. The Constitution was made a mockery of in Gonzales v. Raich Wickard v. Filburn which allowed this travesty (the feds trumping state law for even home grown personally consumed medicinal marijuana wheat under the commerce clause, (seriously).

    It always goes back to FDR, doesn’t it?

  27. Most people don’t want their kids near the stuff, because outside of a handful of examples, the people who use drugs are screwups.

    That would include half of the adult population. More if you correctly include alcohol.

  28. Forgive me for I am about to sin.

    I definitely feel some sympathy, but shouldn’t someone who’s opening a pot dispensing outfit check with a lawyer first vis-a-vis the issues outlined above actually coming to pass? Wasn’t he openly defying the feds and they lawfully albeit perhaps malignly decided to make an example of him? Shouldn’t you try to change the law rather than whining afterwards about the impacts of defying it?

    Tell it to the suffragettes, underground railroad conductors and Rosa Parks.

  29. Oh yeah –
    STFU lonewacko.

  30. The federal government is illegitimate. And if adults started acting as if they knew that, perhaps we’d see a bit more freedom in this country. That is, instead of acting like sheeple and applying for a permit in order to hold a “revolutionary” tea party. Ugh.

  31. Scott’s right. Lynch is a political prisoner, and Amnesty International should be taking up his cause.


  32. The law’s the law.

    You can always gauge someone’s stupidity and/or vapidity if they trot out a fucking tautology as an argument. Let’s hope the law is the law else language as a means of communications would be fucking useless.

    By the way, he was obeying “the law.”

  33. It blows me away that the government can tell you what your defense can and can’t be.

    I have a friend who got fucked over by the scientologists that way. Google for Keith Henson for the details. Charlie Lynch is just one of many defendants who’ve been prevented from presenting a defense.


  34. This case is just another in a long and disturbing line of such cases…didn’t the governor and ALL law enforcement officers take an oath to PROTECT THEIR CITIZENS. IF Medical Marijuana is LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA, where is the Governor in using the State Police and the California National Guard in forciably evicting the DEA…yes, eviction. If they will not respect California’s STATE RIGHTS, and California’s LAW, then the governor needs to REMOVE them from the state.

    I would go so far as to suggest that the governor also has a duty to chain shut the Federal Courthouse until this State’s Right issue surrounding Medical Marijuana in California is settled…since I already know that Arnold is a Ball Less twit, a man that signed the law, but will not stand up for, I would STRONGLY encourage every 420 Friendly Fold in California to stage a peaceful sit in at said oourthouse, make it impossible for the sentencing to go on. It’s called CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE FOLKS, and like it or not, if you want to end the war on drugs, it is going to take more than sitting around toking and discussing the issue….we need PROTESTS, just like back during the days of the Vietnam War.

  35. jcr and troy-

    IMO, there can be no rule of law if the state gets to change the rules, bend the constitution and immunize itself from liability for actions that would be actionable against private actors.

    That is why the rule of law is a joke.

  36. Arnold has turned out to be one huge disappointment. What a fucking fraud and what a phony. Nobody would have ever heard of him if it was not for his relentless use of steroids. Of course, I have no problem with anybody juicing-but let us not forget reality. Arnold never would have won any contests and would not have appeared on the cover of any muscle mags without dianabol.

  37. J sub D – Lonewacko was actually 1) asking a real question, 2) without being insulting, 3) didn’t flog his blog and 4) without any of his usual bullshit.

    Oh, and BTW Lonewacko, he called either the DEA or the DOJ (I forget which) prior to opening the dispensary. They told him if he followed state laws, he would not be prosecuted.

  38. This man is a saint! To all you self-righteous asses out there who are going to try to deny the value of medicinal marijuana I give you a hearty SCREW YOU! I have seen what it does to help people with MS. MY WIFE HAS MS! Don’t sit and tell me all the usual BS about how it doesn’t work and it is bad for you. Once you are wracked with spasms that knock you out of your wheelchair and are faced with the prospect of becoming a human doorstop then you can comment, until then I don’t want to hear you worthless opinion! FU! Oh, and to all of you who would advise me to use legal drugs, I look forward to your $3500 a MONTH for my wife’s medication that our insurance company won’t cover because it is prescribed by a doctor, but not on their list for drugs used for MS. Charlie Lynch is a saint! FREE CHARLIE!

  39. Wasn’t he openly defying the feds and they lawfully albeit perhaps malignly decided to make an example of him?

    He was trying to help people who needed what he was selling. There is no constitutional authority for the war on drugs; Charlie Lynch is in compliance with the law, the DEA is not.


  40. Hey, Haberdashery…….. that’s a bit like what I was thinking. One would think that in California, of all places, it would be relatively easy to get 5000, 10,000, or even 50,000 people to mill around the courthouse and demand justice.

  41. According to http://www.icasualties.org, we lost 4,274 American lives in Iraq since 2003 and 1,133 American lives in Afghanistan since 2001. According to the last estimate I read in the Wall Street Journal, the War on Drugs kills 2,000 Americans each year. That’s around 10,000 in the five years since we started in Iraq. We are doing more damage to ourselves than even the most bitter jihadist ever could.

  42. By the fed’s estimates about 90 million American’s have tried marijuana and are not currently in prison for it. If each past/present marijuana user made an annual phone call to congress supporting legalization, then Capital Hill would get around 200,000 of these calls a day, 7 days a week indefinitely. I know I’m probably preaching to the choir, but darn it, why aren’t congressional phones ringing off the hook?

  43. Oh, come on. Political prisoner? I think the marijuana laws are silly too but the guy was clearly in knowing violation; it’s hard to work up a whole lot of sympathy for him. It doesn’t matter that what he was doing was legal under state law– plenty of federal crimes lack state parallels (indeed there wouldn’t be much point to federal criminal law of it was fully coextensive with state law). Yes, the law against dispensing marijuana, medical or otherwise, is stupid, but it’s equally stupid to think you can ignore it with impunity.

  44. If you support legalizing marijuana for adults in California, please support Assembly Bill 390 by visiting

  45. SpongePaul sez If Cali had any balls, the next time the fed tried to raid, the Sheriffs should blockade the DEA, and then arrest the DEA if they try to go into a building

    What? And risk their share of the next property seizure or block grant?

    jcr sez Charlie Lynch is in compliance with the law, the DEA is not.


  46. It is unconscionable that this man is facing such politically sanctioned injustice at the hands of our government – or any other government, for that matter.

    It’s a frakkin’ weed, nature’s gift to us all. Jimboland Jots feels 420 is Code for Happiness and Health! Check it out @ http://tinyurl.com/d46lvz

    There is clearly national momentum building in several areas indicating that the American people are ready to move beyond the lies, misinformation, and propaganda that has so badly distorted common folk knowledge about the use of marijuana, for either responsible recreational or medicinal use.

  47. The CA Constitution directs the constitutional officers to uphold the State Constitution and laws, even against Federal law, up to the point that any state-federal conflicts are resolved in court. Gonzales v. Raich was, IIRC, an extremely important decision because, prior to that, CA citizens could hector their elected officials to resist the feds and fight for States’ Rights, at least in the matter of medical MJ. After Raich, unfortunately, the locals had to fall in line with the Federales.

    As hard as it may sound to do, either we have to get Congress to repeal Prohibition II, or we have to get the Supremes to reverse Wickard v. Filburn, and then Raich.

    If we fire all the incumbents, we might have a shot at getting a legislative solution. Otherwise, fat chance, imho.


    Nope, in case you didn’t know, merijuana is currently illegal and involves severe penalties.

    There is no constitutional authority for the war on drugs; Charlie Lynch is in compliance with the law, the DEA is not.

    Nope, the CSA is constitutional because of the commerce clause. The Feds can regulate interstate commerce, because it cannot be proven that drugs have crossed state lines, in the CSA it is assumed that they have.

    To all you self-righteous asses out there who are going to try to deny the value of medicinal marijuana I give you a hearty SCREW YOU!

    Sorry about your wife. Marijuana was declared by the CSA in 1971 to have no currently accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. We don’t approve drugs by referendum. Assuming that marijuana is proven by the FDA to be safe and effective, it could be available by prescription. In the meantime, no one has the right to use drugs that are not approved by the FDA.

  49. “It’s all Bush’s fault.”

    I blame Reagan

  50. Wow! Is this the freedom hating, liberty loathing government I risked it all for? It’s a good thing I’m dead or these modern day tyrants would be hosing me too.

  51. In general I am against drugs of any kind that are not dispensed by a licensed doctor.I am also against legalising drugs from a moral standpoint but I believe the only reason drugs like these are not legal is because too many people are making money off of them. As long as Congress can steal they really dont care. They fail to pay their taxes,reward their family and friends with our tax dollars and hide all their illegal activities while controlling the rest of us and dictating. It is time to leaglise and control these drugs and that is from a common sense standpoint whether I like it or not. Keep the dollars at home legally.

  52. @Elfego: I am also against legalising drugs from a moral standpoint

    And what moral standpoint might that be? Certainly not one that says things like freedom and autonomy are virtues.

    The War on Drugs is not merely ineffective and expensive. It is an attack on liberty and man’s natural right to live as he pleases, so long as he doesn’t hurt others.

  53. John- What a freakin ego you have. To sit there and tell me that MM has no effect!? You, sir are a moron. I HAVE SEEN WHAT IT DOES. I don’t quote some BS orginization, I HAVE SEEN THE DIFFERENCE. Tell that to my wife. Tell her how after she smokes her spasms don’t go away. Tell her how after she smokes she no longer falls out of her wheelchair. Make the arguement that you don’t care if you like, because quite honestly we don’t care if you like it or support it or not. But to sit there and tell me what it does or doesn’t do is reprehensible. Quote who you like, I will believe my own eyes. Pray you don’t end up with an uncurable, completely undeserved (you are born with MS) disease and get to listen to morons like yourself tell you that MM does nothing. If you or anyone would like to contact me and discuss this further feel free to email me at jpocali@yahoo.com, but do me a favor… have some REAL experience or an open mind, not just some facts from some light reading you did whilst sitting on your couch.

  54. BTW, here is a list from your FDA with drugs they deemed safe and effective….


  55. Not to mention that placebos, which have NO medicinal properties, are not only legal, but are routinely used by doctors.


    If they have no known medicinal properties why are they sanctioned?

    Also, in 1971 the government said IUD’s were a great way to prevent pregnancy…. my how things have changed.

  56. March 29, 2007 … Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff deputies raid Lynch’s home and dispensary.

    Given that Lynch was not violating state law, why was the SLO county sheriff involved in the raid?

  57. You know, while I believe that drugs should be legal, I also think that drug dealers, knowing they’re breaking the law, knowingly run a risk of getting caught/convicted/jailed and that’s got to be a price they’re willing to pay.

    But this wasn’t the case with Lynch. The man obeyed the law. He was doing nothing illegal under California state law. The mayor was at the ribbon cutting ceremony for goodness sake.

    I think that just as important as the raid on Lynch is the fact that the Governor appears to have no real problem with what is happening in his state, on his watch.

    I honestly don’t understand why there isn’t more of an uproar.

  58. @wayne: Given that Lynch was not violating state law, why was the SLO county sheriff involved in the raid?

    Because the SLO Sheriff is a reactionary tool bag who knew he could circumvent his own department’s laws by involving the feds. The decisions in cases like this, which say that federal laws supersede local ones, give the green light to rogue cops who have a grudge against the local laws.

  59. I would like to know how much it cost the government for one person being busted with medical marijuana. Starting from the investigation to the search warrant to the search and siezure to the arrest the stay in jail to the prosecuting attorneys time to public defenders or personal lawyers time. From the very beginning to the end of time served? Let the white house know how much it cost on one case of medical marijuana. I asure you it is in the millions.

  60. The one thing i was genuienly hopeful about in an Obama administration was that a smidgen of sanity would come into drug law.

  61. This is unbelievable. What a disgusting abuse of power. I’m speechless.

  62. this abuse of power is sicking. The goverment needs to fallow local law or our system is a failed one.

  63. This is an absolute urination upon the bill of rights and constitution.

  64. Did they prove that he was moving stuff across the state border? Otherwise I don’t see what they have on him. Ridiculous either way. Feds need to pull their heads out.

  65. I lack the words to express my outrage.

  66. To be honest I don’t even think ANY Drug should be illegal, but ignoring that, we are looking at a man being sent to prison (till he dies) because he gave medicine to a needing patient. Did the drug work? YES. was the patient happy? YES. Should he go to jail for helping someone? NO! For Christ’s sake, this is the perfect example of governments ABUSING human rights. ANY adult has the RIGHT to put ANYTHING in there body, as long as it does net lead to someone one else’s harm. END OF.

  67. This is beyond an abuse of governmental powers. This is more disturbing than words can describe.

    A man who helps his community is jailed, yet my mother’s doctor won’t administer the necessary testing and monitoring for her diabetes.

    Where is justice when the saviors of the sick are prosecuted and the worst of the medical practitioners can’t be held liable for their real crimes?

    No Justice! No Peace!

  68. While I don’t care for the video, and I don’t like the emotional manipulation with the opening sob story, I am outraged at the possible sentencing over medical-marijuana.

  69. Let the man sell pot in peace! It was legal & it was helping people, what a huge crimminal this Lynch guy must be!

  70. USA has demonized marijuana for far too long.
    The Lynch case is an example of the absurd extremes this paranoia meme has caused in our culture. It’s time to take back reason and rationality on this matter.

  71. Just another example of our oppressive federal government doing it’s best to show the American people “who’s boss”.
    This is why I vote Libertarian.

  72. Oh wow, the question only remains how can we help stop this atrocity.

    What is the deal with this war on drugs. If it’s hurting more people than it’s helping surely it’s an unworkable system.

  73. This is the 21st Century. We have gotten off to a horrendously quick start. Yet, we are still forever chasing people for legally providing a service.

    Marijuana is still a Class 1 Narcotic which modern science has rendered mute. It could be said that it may be a mildly narcotic. But to the extent that nicotine and tobacco are highly addictive and has caused recorded deaths in the millions. Marijuana has not caused one death since science started recording narcotic potency.

    Marijuana distributors go to prison while Tobacco Executives get penalized with taxes. But hey, as long as their product has MADE IN AMERICA stamped on it… They really couldn’t give a damn.

  74. There is no excuse for this.

  75. I can’t believe that things like this can happen in the United States. I hope this can be overturned and some degree of common sense shown.

  76. Free Charles Lynch.

  77. I am not American… but I think it would be disgracefull if Charlie Lynch serves a single day in prison. What he has been put through so far is utterly appaling and he should be given a public apology dfrom the DEA and the Justice Department of the United States.

  78. No way. He is not guilty of any crime/offense.

  79. What a disgusting turn of events. So much for his precious ‘rights’.

    Ya’know, some time ago I had the briefest case of insanity by wanting to visit the USA. I got better.

  80. We need to put the DEA agents behind bars they are the real criminals they have killed many more people than marijuana. Charlie Lynch is a hero he should be treated as one. dose the majority of the population really agree with this course of action? this is an outrage!


  82. It is far better to let ten guilty men go free than to convict one innocent man. To convict the innocent is to spit in the eyes of justice.

  83. A sad day for America indeed. To think that such a thing can happen is a disgrace, and people act like we are so much better than everyone else.

    I really hope Obama does a little better, but the way things are going, it would seem that Obama is just your average democrat, nothing special really.

    Oh, also, fuck Ron Paul. He can lick ass crack.

  84. injustice does not begin to describe this. Yet another example of the millions of the government abusing their power

  85. This is just ridiculous, this War on Drugs is unbelievable stupid.

  86. This sentence is outrageous, absurd and evil. Reconsider, please.

  87. yes it*s a shame but quite common for your country.

    FYI: The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeds the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
    (source: http://skeptically.org/recdrugs/id8.html )

  88. A monumental misuse of government power. A horrible draconian law. I could puke! Free Charlie!!!


  90. This makes me want to cry. We are all disgusted and disappointed with Mr. Obama, who has turned his back on this very important subject and for not pardoning Dr. Lynch. Charles Lynch you are on all of our mind and in our hearts. You are not a criminal, but an American Hero.

  91. Here is a website that you can go to to actually help this man.


    I emailed Mr. Lynch this afternoon to give my support to him and he actually returned it within the hour. Remember this man is being sentenced tomorrow!

  92. This is disgusting. There needs to be some drastic, and I mean DRASTIC, retaliation against this kind of abuse.

  93. marijuana is not a drug, i used to suck dick for coke

    have you ever had to suck dick for some marijuana

  94. I used to think California was a forward looking state. Wrong. Come join the rest of the world California. Grow up!

  95. It is depressing to know that someone can be punished for life when the person broke no laws. The American people have taken a lot of crap from the government, but hopefully enough people come together and stop this BS from happening and stop most of it, if not all BS that the government may have stirring up for the future.

  96. It’s things like this that make me ashamed to call myself an American. This is sickening.

  97. I find it ironic that the government spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to shut this man down and send him to trial for a legitimate business when the government has used illegal drug sales to finance covert operations in the past.

  98. The FDA know what they have done is wrong. But they don’t want to admit it and hence pull tricks in the courtroom. Telling someone what their defense cannot be.

    Disgusting and in a first world.

    I mean who was the moron in the FDA that even approved this. And the sheriffs office that participated should be ashamed of themselves themselves.

  99. This is a very obvious example of the tyranny that has become the hallmark of former president bush’s style of running the government. it is easy to see why so many countries hold us in such low regard.

    i hope president obama can help fix this mess and i wish to see a full pardon from the president himself on this matter. to punish a person for reaching out to help those suffering from diseases such as cancer and aids is nothing to be punished, let alone with this severity. we need to get our priorities strait and commend people such as charles lynch for thier humanitarian efforts.

  100. It comes down to this (mostly). The federal government isn’t makinng money off medical marijuana. I’m sick of the politicians in this country. They should all be killed and replaced with compassionate human beings.

  101. Please, America. Do not fail me, do not preform such an injustice on my dollar.

  102. I’m glad I don’t live in a Fascist colony

  103. This is barking mad

  104. Can they actually WITHHOLD EVIDENCE!?!?!?!?
    This is just sickening to think of the resources wasted on apprehending someone OBEYING THE LAW!!!

  105. how strange to first alow one to set up a shop, let them go through ALL the trouble of establishing a working distribution of pain relief… and then assault it with the law when it is decided, without warning, to outlaw it.

    how very very political… if you live in a country where the laws don’t work in the cervice of the people, then the law needs to be changed. how about it? send an inocent doctor to jail for 85 years? or get some laws that actually work?

  106. Who will watch the watchmen? A chilling example of corruption of the system to be sure. Sombody deserves to go to prison, but not Lynch. Whoever decided to abuse the power they were lent by the American people should be behind bars. We need to send a message to law enforcement and politicians that their authority is what we say it is… not what they want it to be.

  107. This is incredibly upsetting.

    What can we do?

    Run away to Canada Mr. Lynch!

  108. Please lets move into the next timeline with respect and undersatanding for our earth and its plants. cannabis saved my life. nobody would say that about METH!

  109. Why is there still no room for common sense in court? Why must we continue to suffer the BS of misapplied technicalities and political bias when the fate of an honest, well-meaning citizen is on the line?

    MJ is far less dangerous or addictive than codeine or morphine, yet nobody goes to prison for selling those drugs to people with prescriptions for them. How embarrassing.

  110. This Country has been on the down hill slide for years.I don’t think Marijuana should have been made against the law in the first place.When a man can go to prison for selling marijauna longer than a Murderer I have lost faith in our judicial system.They are no longer credible.Charlie is a hero not a criminal. The great crime is what the government is doing to him.May they that are responsible rot in Hell!All those booze guzzlin cops that make their living off of busting people that smoke Marijauna should be ass raped with a cactus.Marijuana is natural, thus it is not a drug.Americans need to stand up and fight for their rights! This is a shameful time for America when we have so many other REAL problems. Come on get real Marijuana ain’t no Goddamn drug.The shit that you get prescribed has more side effects and is more detrimental to your health but it is perfectly legal? Oh the drug companies lobby the politicians and put money in their pockets Hmmmmmmmmmm I guess that makes it okay. What a pitiful petty unjust Country we have become. Free Lynch! He dosen’t deserve to spend one minute behind bars.Period!

  111. It is a shame that a travesty of justice such as this can happen. I was raised to think that the law should punish people according to the severity of the crime. What has he done to merit this treatment? Oh yeah, he helped ease the pain of some people and did it legally. We really need to make some major changes to our system!

  112. As a medical practitioner, I am appalled at this miscarriage of justice by the DEA. I urge California to take charge of it’s state’s rights and free this man immediately, and take his case to the supreme court. The constitution makes no mention of marijuana, and this is left to the state to decide. I’m not a lawyer and my reading of the founders’ words are fairly clear to me. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition must also get involved, and we should urge our new president, who by the way HAS a brain, to pardon this man from federal charges.

  113. utter fricken nuts! What a travesty of justice.

  114. Its crap like this that makes me HATE the world more and more. This is just ludicrous. He should be free, given an apology, and reimbursed for everything he lost. To quote a great man “the problem with america is that there are to many lawyers” -Frank Zappa, and this just proves it.

  115. Shame!

  116. Free Lynch!
    ’nuff said

  117. America needs to finally put this issue to rest. There are so many stories concerning marijuana and the Federal Government’s religious hatred for it. The Feds abuse their power concerning this issue, waste billions of taxpayer dollars on it, and send peaceful people to jail because of it. Whether you’ve used marijuana or not, you got to be sick of the stupidity of the Federal Government’s actions concerning it. Legalize it already and save us some money and headache!

  118. Doesn’t the government have bigger fish to fry then this wast of time and money? Obama should pardon him and get this out of the courts (and look into all other similar cases) Make room for the real criminals so they must serve their entire sentence rather then get early release.

  119. Charles Lynch should be freed immediately and have his business reinstated and the DEA agents that arrested him should be4 on trial for kidnapping and assault.

    Perhaps its time for dispensaries such as this to hire (or get voluntary) armed guards to prevent this kind of assault by the government.

    Forget the Republican usurped, Koch-funded Tea Party nonsense, take some real action.

  120. We in India look up to USA to aim at high senses and good decorum. But cases like these make me thank so much that I have been borned in a place where atleast the corruption dosen’t favour wrong people to such a degree. I am sick of thinking that USA is governed by the most ignorant people who misuse their power and harm those who want to help.

  121. The arrogance of many of our American leaders is something to be abhorred. They need to chuck their ridiculous fantasy based beliefs and leave people alone. They are a major hindrance to the progression of the intelligent, peaceful human spirit. There are far too many asses in high places. Let’s take them down a rung or two or better yet, remove them from places of power, NOW! The DEA should be dissolved immediately. My fear is that it (the DEA) has become such a huge business that it will take an act of congress to put a stop to this terrorism from within. Write your representatives and tell them NO MORE TERROR FROM THE DEA! STOP THEM NOW!

  122. WTF has said it all!

    Might I add that government has no right to dictate medical treatment, especially where extreme conditions, which include intense chronic pain, are concerned.

    It’s time Marijuana stops being a political football. The people against it can just keep on getting drunk and smoke their lungs out legally. No laws against that!

  123. Only in America… I think that only know are we starting to see the real damage bush infllicted on USA.

  124. You know I have so much outrage over this travesty of justice that I feel like spitting nails. The Feds, Wall Street, CIA, pharmaceutical companies, you name it must not want marijuana legalized, because then it would be taxed and have to be accounted for where they are probably making lots of money and deals keeping it illegal. Think of it when did you ever hear of a man smoking a joint going home and beating his wife, or a car accident involving just marijuana, or fights starting when people have smoked. Could it be the government would lose a lot of money with fines? Now that there is indisputable proof that marijuana has a medical purpose and they still will not legalize it if for only that purpose. Why is it that all substances God made are illegal and the one man made booze is not? Maybe they just don’t want us finding out the truth.

  125. When the state of California issued Mr. Lynch permits to manufacture medical marijuana, that act assumes legal protection. What is Cal. doing to help this man.


  126. What can be done to stop this? My intuition is a change in the zeitgeist toward most people wanting cannabis legal. Isn’t that what effected civil rights legislation, and more importantly, a general shift in consciousness that made people act in a different way? Presently, what kind of legal avenues and pressures of the public could allow for a pardon of Dr. Lynch? What about a Presidential pardon?

  127. California should send state police to Charlies home and stop the Feds from coming to get him. This whole thing is bogus. If the Feds have stated that they aren’t going to prosecute anyone unless they violate federal AND state law, then why is there even going to be a sentencing? How can you sentence someone for something that has just been declared NOT a crime by the people who arrested him in the first place?

    Good luck Dr Lynch.

  128. This is horrible. This a misuse of authority and now an innocent man is going to suffer for it just for trying to help people.

  129. Heartbreaking. I apologize to Manas. Some are fond of saying “Not all are like that.” The contemptable seem drawn to authority- though not all with authority are abusive. Hopefully it is a symptom from a bygone affliction and the youth will save us. If there is hell, then that sherriff has a spot- see Dante for the specific location.

  130. Why is it so difficult for you people to understand that something can be a federal crime even if it is not a state crime? This is not a difficult concept, folks. If you break a federal law, you should expect to be prosecuted in federal court by the federal authorities. The fact that there may have been no criminal prohibition on your conduct under state law is entirely irrelevant.

    Have any of you heard of the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the Constitution? A quick refresher:
    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    In other words, the fact that California declares something legal means jack sh!t to the federal government, and anyone who thinks he can get away with blatantly violating federal law because California says it’s okay is an idiot.

  131. JRD- That is true, but court records show the Mr. Lynch called the DEA four times to verify that what he was about to do was, in fact, legal and was informed by the DEA’s office that it would be up to the county and city he lived in. This is misleading at best and entrapment at worst.

  132. This is such a shameful thing to have to experience as a citizen of this country. I really had high hopes we’d be somewhere better by now. Charlie Lynch is possibly facing more years in prison than a person found guilty for murder in the first? I don’t know it just seems a little scary and a lot wrong.

  133. So… it’s better to murder someone than to give marijuana to sick and dying people….

    … uh …


  134. So, I was watching The Wire yesterday (S3 – Amsterdam), at the same time thinking about Charlie Lynch and the ridiculous drug laws. And it suddenly hit me that without these stupid nanny laws there would be no Soprano’s, no Wire, the police force would easily be cut in half, the various agencies committed to the war on drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc., would pretty much go away. Clearly this isn’t rocket science and this is an obvious fact, but it just became, I don’t know, so much realer to me. The Lynch thing makes, at least to me, tangible the ridiculousness of these laws and how easily all this crime could go away if the government would just stop trying to “protect us from ourselves.” It makes me absolutely crazy. I just, I don’t get it. The man did everything he was supposed to do and is being subjected to a witch hunt. It’s Kafka at its best/worst.

  135. This is utterly ridiculous; California should step in and oppose the federal government in this case. It’s a horrible case of Jus Malus coming about from differing legislation. The feds obviously have a hard time dealing with the real criminals who are covert and quite happy to kill, so they target someone who’s out in the open and not a murderer and who happens to be doing things legitimately. Yeah, the feds are saving your kids from … oh, wait, Charlie Lynch never sold drugs to just anyone.

    This is a great example of the feds abuse of power; folks, kick those bastards in the nuts and put them in their place because if you don’t, we’re becoming a police state run by high school flunkees. The federal government needs to get its act together, listen to what the medical community has been saying for over 40 years, and set Charlie free. I don’t know if a pardon would be enough; the guy never committed a crime (except in the eyes of some rabid morons).

    The feds really have a bug up their ass about marijuana; meanwhile hospitals can stock cocaine. morphine, and hordes of other potent drugs. It’s simply a matter of regulation, and Charlie was following the state regulations.

  136. What a disgusting abuse of Federal power. To do this in spite of State laws making it legal really shows the contempt for the people that some of the worst actors in the Federal government have.

  137. And just what the heck is Obama’s State Department doing about it? Do these jackasses give a damn about gross injustice?! How do we end up with such heartless callous scum running our institutions?

  138. For shame! This is not the America that I want. It’s reached the point I’m embarrassed to tell people I visit in foreign countries where I am from. It is my fervent hope that logic and reason will prevail in this case. My thoughts and hope go out to Mr. Lynch and his family. How in the world do we as citizens rollback the corrupt and bloated Federal Government?

  139. It’s incredible, how shameful is this? He was operating LEGALLY, what’s wrong with these people? FREE this man!

  140. This is a disgrace.
    I see no reason why medicinal marajuana shouldn’t be added to the list of world’s leading painkilling drugs.
    Everyone knows antidepressants don’t work and they’re dispensed like candy.
    Medicine and the world’s governments needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

  141. It seems the government does not have important things to focus on.
    This is beyond stupidity.
    I am pretty sure that the Pharmaceutical companies are behind this.

  142. Was Lynch distributing beyond the state border as well as minors? I just don’t know what holds more weight: State Law or Federal Law? If a parent says their child can have a cheese sandwich in their house and sends the child to school with a cheese sandwich, where such meals are prohibited, who has jurisdiction over the child’s lunch: the fascist school or the kids’ parents?
    The State claims Lynch was operating legally, so Feds: Fuck Off.
    The Fed seems to enjoy creating criminals at the taxpayers’ expense for privately owned prisons for profit. Good luck.

  143. If Lynch goes to prison for this That is Some Bullsh*t!! The government wants to pump out all these drugs to minors for depression & being hyper & run this country like a herd of sheep. Why don’t they wise up, pot has been proven over & over to be a positive more than a negative for thousands of years. What a happy country this would be if the government could get their priorities straight!!

  144. I am amazed that your great nation can make such an embarrassing blunder. What’s worse is that noone is stepping up to the plate to rectify it.

  145. R.J Reynolds and other tobacco companies + Anheiser Bush and others are the ones funding this I think. Why don’t they just make it legal, tax it, and let’s all get stoned?

  146. i think it is a bunch of crap. i think it should be legal as long as it is mediclly necessary.and i think the sheriff is nothing but a trouble maker! what if it was his child in pain and everything and that was the only thing to help the child not suffer.and both state and federal laws should be the same without conflict. it just seems anymore you can’t do this or that or you get in trouble.

  147. What a shame…Legally done…We voted on it…We are the people…This is BS…We need to do something…God Bless You Owen….Anything you can do plz don’t hesitate to ask. Does our vote count for anything. Eric Holder said the DEA has not right to continue this assault…

  148. Well as an average Joe that is not a dumb ass plumber but a Army Veteran I think this man should be released along with the other hundreds of thousands serving sentences for something that grows. Its no differnt than the the hops and barley in all you drunks drinks… You can drink for fun but we can’t take medicine thats real fucking american! Glad I could serve ya..

  149. When Federal law and State law differ, the stricter of the two laws is the enforceable one. In this particular case, Federal law prohibits growing, consumption, possession and distribution of of marijuana. Lynch’s situation is unfortunate. He was doing something that is legal in the state he was operating in, but it is still illegal on the Federal level. Federal law enforcement agencies such as the DEA are still responsible for enforcing the Federal law throughout the entire country. This means that the DEA can (and obviously has shown they will) arrest people that are distributing drugs even if the person is acting legally in the state they are distributing in.
    Lynch’s defense team was not able to argue that Lynch was operating within California law because the California law was not the one that Lynch is accused of breaking. He is accused of breaking Federal laws regarding the distribution of illegal drugs.
    I feel sorry for Lynch. He was trying to help people and he got screwed by a system that allows states to enact laws that are useless.

  150. He should not spend a day in jail. And should in fact be entitled to some form of reparations to cover his legal fees and the trouble the feds have caused him. His business was completely legal. If anyone is being persecuted no one is free.

  151. What!??!!?


    This is almost the absolute lowest quality of criminal “justice”.

  152. ?This is outrageous! If the jury would have invoked jurynullification, this would not have happened. Judges should have to inform all juries that they have the right to invoke jurynullification.

  153. This is an outrage!

  154. Sorry you have to be a martyr Charlie. We are behind you

  155. This is in every way wrong!
    Charles does not deserve to be treated in this way.

  156. Charlie Lynch deserves praise for his good work!

    Let us all hope that he will be set free.

  157. This is horrible sick and wrong. This man has no place in jail. He only wanted to help people. This is corrupt. I feel sick just to be a citizen. I hope there is reason. This man put in jail would not just be a injustice it would be a atrocity.

  158. just get him out of jail…..oh wait…nvm, he was doing something legal, no..no he;s totaly fucked….if he raped or killed someone he woulda been out a while ago….sorry guys, i keep forgetting we live in a retarded world where not only justice remains blind, but so do the people who deliver that justice -_-

  159. Absolutely outraged! This is nothing short of straight terrorism against our own citizens!

  160. I think the comments above me accurately sum up this situation. This is ridiculous! Let the guy go! He didn’t do anything wrong. This makes me very disappointed to be a US citizen. The fact that a murderer or a rapist would get out sooner than Mr. Lynch frustrates me to no end! Where are your priorities, America?

  161. Of course he doesn’t deserve to go to jail. Medical Marijuana should be legal in the US, not just California, and the fact that he is being treated like this is just horrible. I can’t believe the cruelty of the authorities, and the embarrassing abuse of power they have displayed. They should set Charlie Lynch free and stop abusing their power.

  162. Unfortunately, there are people in the US that simply do not care how the laws they set up impact everyone else.

    This is why the rights of the individual need to be protected.

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