Growing marijuana is legal in w, but it is a felony from a US perspective. Three growers based in Spokane were recently found guilty of growing marijuana, but found innocent of the more serious distribution and firearms charges.
Though US prosecutors asked that the growers be put into jail until sentencing, US District Court Judge Thomas Rice refused to do it. Because it is illegal under national laws, the family, who was growing marijuana for personal medical purposes, was tried under federal law. In the August 2012 raid of the family farm, $700 and 4 pounds of marijuana were seized.
There were initially 5 defendants in this case. One was dismissed after a diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, while the other cut a deal with the Feds for a 16-month sentence and testified that he fronted $10k to the other three for starting the crop.
Now to play devil’s advocate, marijuana was being grown before Washington laws legalized it. On the other hand, Washington also threw out hundreds of similar pending cases because of its legalization. The Feds, for some reason, felt that this case of a family growing medicine still needed to go to trial. Prosecutors alos lobbied hard and won the right to prevent the three defendants from telling jurors that they grew their pot for personal medical use only.
Sentencing is set for June 10.