Prosecutor: I wanted prison for pot farmer

A light sentence for a farmer caught growing more than 8,000 marijuana plants doesn't mean it's "open season" for pot growers, the chief federal prosecutor in Michigan warned.
AP Wire
Jun 30, 2013

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she's disappointed that a judge this week chose to sentence Edwin Schmieding to two years of supervised release, or probation, but respects U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman's authority to set the punishment.

McQuade said her office wanted a minimum prison sentence of seven years. Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Barrington Wilkins didn't push for it in open court after Friedman met privately with attorneys beforehand and signaled he was going to be lenient with Schmieding.

"I don't want anyone who grows 8,000 plants to think they're going to get a similar sentence of probation," McQuade told The Associated Press. "I don't want anyone to think it's open season for growing marijuana in Michigan. ... We will continue to enforce cases like this."

Schmieding, 61, is recovering from cancer and had many letters of support from friends and family. The judge seemed moved, saying Schmieding had "lived a good life."

Schmieding's wife, Linda, told police in 2011 that they were growing marijuana to sell to people who were permitted to use it for medicinal purposes. But there's nothing in state or federal law that allows a large-scale medical marijuana operation.

In Michigan, medical marijuana consumers can possess up to 2.5 ounces of ready-to-use pot and keep up to 12 plants in a locked place. A registered caregiver can grow marijuana for up to five people. Commercial sales through shops are prohibited.

Police who made the bust at Schmieding's farm two years ago said they were disappointed with the sentence. Lenawee County Prosecutor R. Burke Castleberry Jr. said he's researching whether Schmieding could be hit with additional charges in state court.

Comments

bigdeal

Below is the guy you people elected. If your representative Bill Huizenga had his way we would all still live in the 1950's, well, you read his letter to a local business owner...

Thank you for contacting me to share your views on state laws legalizing marijuana for medical use. Federal law prohibits the sale and use of marijuana for any purpose. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act, Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. Marijuana is placed on Schedule I because it has a high potential for abuse and currently is not accepted for medical use in the United States. I oppose legalizing marijuana use, even for medical purposes, for many reasons. The Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly rejected marijuana for medical use because its known negative health impacts far exceed any positive benefit resulting from its use. Marijuana increases the heart rate by as much as 50 percent, affects mood, senses, reaction and coordination, concentration and memory on a short-term basis. Marijuana is harmful to the lungs, containing many chemicals that irritate lung tissue and are known to cause cancer, and has been shown to impair lung function more than cigarettes. Animal studies have shown persistent changes in the structure of brain cells after repeated use. Marijuana use has been linked with lower levels of testosterone and diminished sperm counts in human males. Marijuana also interferes with the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, and creates severe risks for unborn children. While the negative implications of marijuana use are clear and well-defined, the most proponents of use can show is that marijuana offers some sick people a cheap release from pain. In reply, scientists at the National Institutes of Health have recently concluded that existing preclinical and human data give no evidence that smoked marijuana might be superior to currently available therapies for glaucoma, weight loss associated with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer therapy. Thank you again for contacting me with your views. Sincerely, Bill Huizenga Member of Congress

rukidding

BD - we all know, or at least most should by now, that Huizenga is several watts short of being bright; you get what you vote for, and well, there you have it. I was going for polite and not offensive here, if I really shared my thoughts I would be hit by the moderators.

And easy Wing, I hate to see you flirting with the edge, you might fall in.

Wingmaster

Well BD, I don't see anywhere that he said he wants to go back to the 50's but I understand you said that for dramatic impact.

What he said about the law is also true, so not sure what your beef is there.

I can see where you can contest the studies, because I'm sure there are plenty on both sides of the issue.

If you don't like how he represents you, vote him out if you like. Problem with being apolitical ;-) is you will never be happy with who you get.

Just so you know, I think it should be decriminalized and taxed so the stoners are paying more taxes.

Dang, I almost sound like a Democrat...next up legalizing ??

rukidding

You'd have to be almost incoherent to sound like, I can't even say it without bile forming in my throat.

Lanivan

A feeling not unlike those first few seconds upon waking on the beach after a night of summer frolic....

ghjhs

As far as Huizenga,he will do whatever his Republican party tells him to do..Devos tells Trickey Rickey Snyder what to do Trickey Rickey tells Bill and the rest of them what to do so if you think Huizenga or the rest of them repersent us good luck,how has that been working for us so far, they do what ever will be in their best intrest..I mean money.

Lanivan

Here we go again with the puzzling and perverse habit of Republican obsession with human reproductive anatomy and function as argument for faulty policy. "Marijuana use has been linked with lower levels of testosterone and diminished sperm counts in human males. Marijuana also interferes with the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, and creates severe risks for unborn children". Don't hold back, Bill!

And then there is this insensitive comment: "the most proponents of use can show is that marijuana offers some sick people a cheap release from pain". Really - how wonderful for people suffering from end stage and chronic pain issues to have a "cheap" release from pain. Having some experience helping people with serious pain issues, I can say wholeheartedly that to deny a "cheap" option that might work for them is indeed criminal.

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