Civil Liberties

White House Won't Comment on Clemency Petition for Montana Medical Marijuana Grower


If you signed the petition you already know. In an email sent yesterday to 29,536 signatories calling for a presidential pardon of Chris Williams, the Montana medical marijuana provider who faced at least 80 years in prison, the White House explains it "can't comment."    

Reason's own Mike Riggs noted on December 12th that the petition had exceeded 25,000 signatures, the threshold that triggers a response from the Obama Administration. But the Administration's petition site ("Your Voice in Government") invoked the terms of participation: "the White House may sometimes choose not to respond to petitions addressing certain matters."

But, as Jacob Sullum wrote earlier this week, federal prosecutors offered Williams a rare post-conviction deal, reducing his sentence to as little as five years in return for waiving his right to appeal. Williams accepted on December 18th and will be sentenced in February.

In related news, Chris Lindsey, one of Williams' business partners and the president of the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, was sentenced yesterday to three months of house arrest and five years of probation after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises.