Montana Medical Marijuana Patients Have Started Dying in PrisonSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Mon, 12/03/2012 - 13:59
Code of the West is a revealing look at the battle for medical marijuana in Montana. The rural red state threw open its doors to medical marijuana for a few years before slamming them shut again in 2011. Caught in middle were patients and growers, some of whom got eighty years in federal prison for growing pot. On The Nation‘s blog, Liliana Segura catches up with filmmaker Rebecca Cohen who is working to update Code of the West. How does a guy get eighty years in jail for growing a plant? Mandatory minimums.
“Prosecutors often use these threats of draconian mandatory minimums to force people to take pleas. You see almost none of those cases go to trial because rational people [fear] the charges against them. Chris was growing and selling medical marijuana. He had guns at the growhouse. So, in terms of those facts, he’s largely guilty of what he’s accused of. Most people wouldn’t want to test that in front of a jury. But Chris really wanted his day in court, and he wanted to expose the story of how unjust these prosecutorial tactics are.