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A Fifty Five Year Prison Sentence For $350 Worth Of Marijuana?

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weldon angelos prison federal mandatory sentencingThe story of Weldon Angelos is one that every marijuana reform supporter should know. Weldon Angelos is currently serving a 55 year prison sentence for selling $350 worth of marijuana while having guns in his home in 2004. A lot of people don’t know that possessing a firearm while selling marijuana results in huge federal penalties.

If you get caught possessing a firearm during a drug transaction, federal law requires a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison for the first offense, and 25 years for each subsequent offense. Also, there is no parole for federal offenses. These rigid guidelines are way to harsh, and don’t allow any flexibility when it comes to sentencing. In Oregon we have minimum sentencing for some offenses (not marijuana), and they are horrible public policy.

“There is no question that Mr. Angelos committed a crime and deserved to be punished. But 55 years?” Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy said, according to Fox News. “Mr. Angelos will be in prison until he is nearly 80 years old. His children, only 5 and 6 at the time of his sentencing, will be in their 60s. American taxpayers will have spent more than $1.5 million locking him up.”

Mr. Angelos lost his original appeal, and his case was denied by the United States Supreme Court. The only option now is a pardon by the Obama Administration. A 114 person coalition is asking for exactly that. An ex-FBI director, former judges, prosecutors, scholars , politicians, and celebrities have signed a request asking for the Obama Administration to step up. I’d go one step further and urge federal lawmakers to reform mandatory minimum sentencing in addition to a pardon for Mr. Angelos.

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  3. Kathryn McElroy on

    Preach it brother. I used to innocently wonder how so few can control so many and now we have discovered that they do not care about right and wrong. That authority figures are duplicitous in their actions. We must figure a way around that. It would take some good renegade cops & lawyers to expose some hypocrisy and start busting the congressman for coke and all the drugs & things they do instead of letting them skate. But hey…that takes courage. They would be the new heroes. I’m real happy that the Florida tea party senator got busted. THAT WAS A FREAKIN MIRACLE.

  4. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so sick of my hard earned tax dollars going to this kind of nonsense. Where’s the petition to help this guy, and so many others? I’ll sign in spades and if anyone has some suggestions for other ways to help I’d love to hear them.

  5. William Clinton on

    Damn right! We take that dangerous plant seriously, hell, it gives people the MUNCHIES ohhh god, the horror!!! And he had guns, no, that’s just totally unacceptable, the second amendment was meant for drunks only. You know the same drunks who get so hammered their brain functions get lowered and they shoot some innocent person. But that’s besides the point, He sold an ounce or two of a plant!!!

    I hope the judge and jury members and anyone else that has a bit of responsibity in this sad case people they care about get raped by someone sent to prison and let out on good behavior (in 3-5 of course, because well damn he wasn’t selling pot, just raping people..) maybe that would make them think about the poor guy whose life they took away, for a couple measly ounces of a plant while using the 2nd amendment rights. (note the founding fathers never said, right to bear arms, unless you are using/selling weed). Also noteworthy, a felon in possession of a firearm, gets 5-10 years, where the hell does this guy get 55 from? Oh wait, that super dangerous and addictive substance that’s killing the fridge’s food supply, and making people sit on the couch for extended periods of time.

  6. William Clinton on

    Yep, when a rapist does less time than someone who sells a ounce of pot, that’s when you know the laws are fucked up, as to how the government keeps claiming the american people, they majority of California voted to legalize medical use, and the feds were raiding them left and right. Hell CNN or some other news outlet had a poll (mind you not everyone in america voted, but I think quite a big number did) anyways, more than half of American’s voted that they would like to see marijuana legalized, MORE than half that voted voted yes. It’s all about money, tobacco and alcohol companies give the American politicians money, and in return they want certain things done a certain way, Keeping cigarettes legal (totally stupid) keeping alcohol legal (slightly less stupid) and keeping pot illegal (very stupid compared to the other two) all because change to anyone of those things would fuck up sales.

    Instead of saying the american people, they should just tell it how it is, My campaign funders! Honestly, if everyone who supported legalization just started blatantly growing and smoking it, either laws would get changed or more than half the country would be imprisoned and the government would collapse (from lack of citizens paying taxes, and tons of people in prison eating up taxes)

    TL;DR FUCK THE GOVERNMENT (at least until they fix these fucked up laws where people selling pot get more time than rapists and murderers)

  7. William Clinton on

    Lets see, have you ever known a pot head to get super violent and want to kill someone over some stupid bullshit? Hmm, now take the same person and make him drunk, and the guy starts trying to fight someone for nothing at all. More than half the country supports legalization of marijuana, so it looks like your view of (potheadhippiegotwathedeserves) is a minority view. Most liquor store owners keep a gun by the cash registe, 90 years ago, they would have been hardcore criminals.

    Rapists can get out in 3-5 with good behavior, and you’re saying this guy deserves more than someone who raped someone? I hope your wife or daughter gets raped, THEN you can tell me this guy selling 350 dollars worth of pot deserves more than the rapist.

  8. William Clinton on

    Selling 350 dollars worth of pot probably 2 ounces(please note the price is only that high because of prohibition), nets him 55 years without the possiblity of parole, meanwhile the rapist gets out after 3-5 with good behavior. Do they really fear this plant this much? Hopefully he is seen as more of a martyr then super criminal…

  9. i honestly think that the goverment is twisted and just trying to put money in there pockets. with that being said idk y they wouldnt just let us smoke medicinal weed i have a eating disorder and weed helps me eat ya i love to get high but if i could quit i would but i cant without going without eatin. i love my country but i hate our president and goverment. our goverment aint no better then the ppl we are fighting against just a bunch of greedy money hungry retards.

  10. It’s hard to comment on this one.

    On one hand you have a guy just selling an ounce of pot with his personal protection devices in the same building. On the other hand you have a guy with guns in his domicile where he is selling drugs. 2 very different point of views for one subject depending on which side of the law you are trying to view it from.

    I guess if it is illegal to have firearms where you are selling pot……..DON’T have firearms where you are selling pot and this wouldn’t be a discussion or another black eye for the movement.

    The folks at the fore-front of the movement really need people to pay attention to the rules set forth allowing medical use. These black eyes really hurt progress which is hard enough already.

    When I started setting up the grow we removed all firearms from the growing facility and replaced them with swords, spears, machetes and, my favorite, crossbow pistols with night vision! There are ways around ‘laws’ without total submission. You can defend yourself with deadly force without firearms!

    The mandatory sentence is the problem here. Every sentence should be up to the Judge and Jury of that case. Period.

  11. Haddi Halldor Sigurdsson on

    In the not so distant future we will look back at how crazy society was with regards to cannabis. This is like the witch hunts back in the days.

  12. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    at mmar .ca they grew super lemon haze for 30 an oz in southern Ontario Canada in a greenhouse. im appalled when i see it going for 2or 3hundred in America and 80 an eigth in some places . shows pot can be good as well as cheap.well see if money grabbers take over in Col. and Was. Happy 420

  13. I hope that I never belittle anyone, and I’m sorry if you took it that way. As an MMJ patient in New Mexico, a program that’s not working, I’m interested in the places where the MMJ industry is working. But to get a complete picture, you have to get information from real patients, which is hard to come by, no matter where they are located. In the new survey that just came out on New Mexico’s program, only 25% of patients asked to submit responses actually did. I don’t understand why the response is so low from patients and I wish I did. Without patient feed-back, the program is severely hampered.

    Also, since I’m new to MMJ, I’m always curious about how good bud is in other places. When the news came out about PPS supplying MMJ here in the states, I wondered about the quality of its medicine, and so that led me to the 3% THC article. And here we are.

    A truce it is! May you have a Cannabuttery Holiday Season.

  14. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    im not going to supply someone like you any info to belittle Canada with im a pot advocate for 40 years now and have been reading your posts for some time. im angry because of your seemingly flippant and dismissive attitude about Canada’s med pot scene. you forget that atho you think its a joke, real people are suffering here including folks i know.we gave up on these pps long ago. they seem to have improved tho and others besides them will be suppling patients now . lots of others , its almost impossible to get med pot here that’s why 28000 or so out of a possible 400000 who need it can get it .we got the same problems you do , moneygrabbers are hijacking the whole thing.till its legalized those who need it cant access or afford it .thats my main concern .btw im the king of nice till somebody makes fun of sick people in my country . truce?

  15. Okay, keep your incorrect perceptions, nothing I can do about that. But I’m still waiting to see proof of your 95% figure. Or any link where I can read about the percentage of patients who grow their own as compared to those who go through Plant Prairie Systems. Perhaps YOU are not interested in the patients who have to get their medicine through PPS, but I am concerned about how they are faring.

  16. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    you read 1 article and took it as gospel then used it to put Canadians down. other articles say you are wrong . weve known about these growers for more than 10 years and they are shunned.you just found out ? lol you are as i said an ugly American and and a self appiointed know it all . we dont have to put up 100,000$ to open a dispensary or put up a million in escrow either lolol we dont have robberies at ours either . fix your own problems first .you are not exactly one of natures noblemen either pal

  17. I spent 5 years in Federal Prison for a marijuana offense. I learned firsthand
    that the Feds don’t give a damn about time. It means nothing to them.

    Unless something changes…unless this wrong is corrected, Mr. Angelos could very
    easily spend many more years in prison. Once behind that wall, a human being
    becomes nothing more than a number. Another
    body to be fed, watered, and sheltered until released…or, until his death.

    A citizen truly does not understand what is being done in our great country until
    it happens to him.

    We are eye witnesses to crimes against humanity.

    George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry…they would
    all disown our cowardly, miserable, whining asses.

    Have we really come to this?

    What are we going to do about it?????

  18. america has become north korea ! american cops are like stalanist secret police , why do you guys put up with it in the name of security ,? its not secure if you arent rich the constitution is dead !

  19. This is truely horrible. How can anybody get along with that? The power of politicians, lobbies and lawmakers is so evil-aimed. So sorry for the people victims of this cruelty! And the ordinairy people with an illness, why are they denied the knowledge and the right to use a plant to heal ?…

  20. Kathryn McElroy on

    So much corruption. You can see what we are up against when there are legitimate protests in the streets and outrage. It’s tactically squelched. I’m really sick of politicians throwing the phrase out; THE AMERICAN PEOPLE…they don’t give a damn about the american people. Personally I used to believe in the law, but nobody can respect what people in power are doing these days. Politicians get the cops and lawyers to do their dirty work for them. We live in a lawless society now. It’s nothing more than an illusion; a facade for the powerful to hide behind. (Matrix anyone?) I am sorry that your friends had to find out the hard way about the bullshit drug laws. The good news is that it’s backfiring for some of the states. They have created such a horrible atmosphere for everyone(including law enforcement.) that it is unsustainable. What you said is so sad tho. See unfortunately your friends will never have any respect for the law again. They have poisoned their minds I’m sure.

  21. Dude, I don’t know what you’re problem is, but your perceptions of my “insinuations” are totally wrong. And if you have a link that shows proof of your 95% figure, I would love to see it.

    And if by “setting me straight,” you mean proving you don’t know what you’re talking about, then yes, you have set me straight all right. And I look forward to your setting me straight in the future.

    And you, stranger, are not a nice, fun or intellectually-stimulating person to be around. Tootalloo!

  22. Dude, I don’t know what you’re problem is, but your perceptions of my “insinuations” are totally wrong. And if you have a link that shows proof of your 95% figure, I would love to see it.

    And if by “setting me straight,” you mean proving you don’t know what you’re talking about, then yes, you have set me straight all right. And I look forward to your setting me straight in the future.

    And you, stranger, are not a nice, fun or intellectually-stimulating person to be around. Tootalloo!

  23. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    plant prarie systems are a joke in Canada .only a small percentage of people use their crap the other 95% of people get it off the street or grow it themselves which is being phased out. you made your point that your a nitpicker some reknown. i stand by what i said .im sure somewhere in the states theres crappy weed too but i wont make a federal case out of it and insinuate all Americans smoke it .you insult my country agan and ill be there to set you straight . you are a petty idiot wherever you live

  24. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    your putdown of Canada is not welcome under any circumstances . the PM is against pot Canadians r not .theres no 3 % weed period. there will be private entrerepeneurs who supply weed none of which will be crap. were not as dumb as you look. we wont allow 80 % tax either .worry about your own butthole. this is another example of the ugly American

  25. Note the tilted smiley emoticon, my attempt to convey a little humor, butthole. And If you’re Canadian, I wanna talk to you… WTF happened to your medicinal bud, man? What did the recent testing show, 3% THC from the government’s crop? What a waste.

  26. i have a friend that is still in prison for possesion in oklahoma they found it in his blood stream after 15days incarceration and when he refused the blood test it became court ordered which made him immediately guilty also meaning he had no choice but to take seven years for possesion inside of a correctional facility …. Now tell me thats right…. Also have another friend who got pulled over and did four years for possesion because they found what was beleived to be the outer peice of a seed it weighed 1/100th of a gram ….. WTF !

  27. You’re the real scumbag, you nasty lump of shite!
    If you and your ilk had been strangled at birth the world would be a much better place!

  28. Kathryn McElroy on

    yep. Thank you. The point is people in power get away with everything. At the same time, they are growing a prison industry as a new corporate venture! Here in Phoenix even lawyers are not immune to this bullshit as the Phoenix New Times as reported on over and over. They game wealthy people here as if it’s an open casino. It goes WAY beyond pot. It’s about trying to fine and fee everyone for any little thing. The fines are enormous. Do you know that Phoenix has a law that if you have a metabolite in your system from pot…A METABOLITE! you can get arrested and put in jail and convicted A guy is fighting this very charge right now…metabolites have nothing to do with intoxication.

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  31. potheadhippiegotwathedeserves on

    Where exactly did you get your made up statistics loser? High times magazine? LOL

  32. potheadhippiegotwathedeserves on

    Where exactly did you get your made up statistics loser? High times magazine? LOL

  33. kids are 5 and 6 now..
    he was caught in 2004, its now 2013
    the kids weren’t born..
    think about it… they would have been born in 2007 and 2008..
    simple maths…
    even without the guns, he would have gotten 25yrs by the look of it, for dealing…

  34. kids are 5 and 6 now..
    he was caught in 2004, its now 2013
    the kids weren’t born..
    think about it… they would have been born in 2007 and 2008..
    simple maths…
    even without the guns, he would have gotten 25yrs by the look of it, for dealing…

  35. Only drunks talk like that so you must be a drunk. Hey asshole did you know 85% of homicides are ALCOHOL related? Get over your dumbass self, oh yeah and SHUT the FUCKUP If I saw you I would blow the biggest hit right in your face ha ha ha fucking drunk asshole go sleep it off

  36. potheadhippiegotwathedeserves on

    VICTIMLESS CRIME?!? What about his kids? The danger of being a dealer and putting his kids at risk. I bet he smoked in the house with em too. Hell, he may have even sold to kids. Dealers have no conscience. Not victimless whatsoever.

  37. potheadhippiegotwathedeserves on

    Or…He could have just not been selling pot and then there wouldn’t be an issue. I mean guns, illegal drugs, intent to sell, all with his kids in the house? Don’t feel a bit sorry for the scumbag.

  38. Don’t worry, state laws can be just as heinous as federal laws, so it’s easy to get confused.
    No such thing as a dumb question, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. :-)

  39. I was referring to the practice in general of targeting cannabis lovers who happen to own guns. But it’s a great question. Did he purchase his firearm legally?

  40. That’s because we are all Pawns in a Game of Power and Control .On this side of the Board we say you can ,On this side we say You cant .

  41. Excellent post, but if I may be so bold, I think that you meant the mayor of Toronto, correct?

  42. Kathryn McElroy on

    Our society is so screwed up. The very idea of trying to feel good by smoking a little plant like our ancestors have from the beginning of time should lead to cops ripping you up financially, rip you away from your family, have an arrest record so you can’t be employed. IT’S SATANIC. But hey–if you’re the mayor of Vancouver. No problem. Do whatever you want.

  43. It seems like he isn’t really serving time so much for the weed, as for the guns. He committed a crime while in possession of illegal firearms… While I agree the judgement is steep, I am left to wonder who he would be maxed out is there more we are not being told?

  44. That was a dumb question, the amount of time he got and the method used by agents is clearly federal. Thank you though for answering my question, much appreciated!

  45. This would seem to be discriminatory against legal gun owners, so where’s the NRA? Oh, yeah, the NRA doesn’t really support gun owners, just gun manufacturers.

  46. What state was this in? Thats truly an outrageous amount of time ! Only country in the western world where a vitimless crime gets 55 years and a sex offender on first offense get 50 as in $50 to bond out. Very sad.