"A Southern California man faces ten years to life in prison for operating a medical marijuana dispensary, despite the fact that such businesses are legal in the state of California.
Rancho Cucamonga resident Aaron Sandusky was convicted in a federal court Friday of two marijuana-related counts. The first is conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants and maintain a drug-involved premises. The second count is possession of marijuana plants with intent to distribute — which essentially means he was running a pot shop, notes LA Weekly. On each count, the jury found that Sandusky had worked with at least 1,000 marijuana plants.
Sandusky, 41, faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison. He was taken into custody after the trial and the sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2013.
The charges stem from Sandusky's three medical marijuana collectives, known as "G3 Holisitic," in the Inland Empire cities of Upland, Colton and Moreno Valley. The U.S. attorney's office had sent Sandusky letters in Oct. 2011 warning him that the stores were violating federal law, and in response Sandusky closed two of them.
The next month, federal agents raided the remaining store, in Upland, twice. They seized marijuana plants and $11,500 in cash, effectively wiping out Sandusky's entire business.
The conviction at the federal court level is a blow to the medical marijuana community in California, some of whom have been supporting Sandusky through a website raising money for his legal defense.
His case also underscores the contrast between California — which recognizes the medicinal properties of pot and protects marijuana dispensaries — and federal law, which classifies marijuana as an illegal controlled substance with no accepted medical use."* Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola (Host, TYT University) discuss why a medical marijuana dispensary owner could possibly face such a harsh sentence when his shops were perfectly legal in California.
*Read more form Anna Almendrala/Huffington Post:
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