After 17 Years, the Feds Stop Trying to Imprison a Licensed Medical Marijuana Provider: Charlie Lynch’s Ordeal Is a … – Creators Syndicate

Seventeen years ago, the federal government raided Charlie Lynch’s medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, California, and charged him with five drug felonies. Lynch, whose business complied with state and local regulations, has been fighting to stay out of prison ever since, and last month he finally won that battle.

The Justice Department, which had been insisting since the first iPhone was released that Lynch should be incarcerated for at least five years, suddenly agreed to a deal that will spare him that punishment and erase his criminal record. The case, which proceeded on autopilot even as marijuana prohibition collapsed in one state after another, is a vivid reminder that the unjust, massively unpopular policy persists at the federal level thanks to presidential and congressional inertia.

Lynch, a software developer who lived in San Luis Obispo County, started mulling a new line of work after he obtained a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana to treat his cluster headaches and found there were no nearby dispensaries that could supply his medicine. He conferred with a lawyer, local officials and even the Drug Enforcement Administration before opening Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in downtown Morro Bay in April 2006.

California had legalized medical marijuana

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