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Americans For Safe Access Announces Detroit Press Conference Tomorrow

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Americans For Safe Access press conference detroit michiganSeveral Michigan Medical Marijuana Patients Surrender to Federal Authorities to Serve Lengthy Prison Sentences
Advocates hold Detroit press conference Tuesday at Noon to draw attention to federal attacks on state lawful operations

Detroit, MI — Several Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers are being forced to surrender to federal authorities over the next few days to serve out lengthy prison terms, after being convicted in federal court without any opportunity to defend themselves on medical necessity or state law grounds. Some defendants went to trial while others pleaded guilty when they saw no opportunity to defend their actions under state law. Advocates are staging a press conference at the federal building in Detroit on Tuesday at Noon to draw attention to the Obama Administration’s ongoing imprisonment of state lawful medical marijuana patients and providers.

53-year-old Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval, a kidney-pancreas transplant patient with coronary artery disease and a strict medication regimen, was sentenced earlier this year to 10 years in prison and will be surrendering to FMC Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts on June 11th. Duval will be filing a Compassionate Release Request this week, urging the the Bureau of Prisons to consider his extraordinary and compelling circumstances. Three other Michigan cultivators, Dennis Forsberg, 59, his son Lance Forsberg, 32, and Ryan Basore, 36, who were sentenced to 3-4 years in prison will be self-surrendering to FCI Morgantown in West Virginia on May 30th.

What: Press conference featuring the imminent surrender to federal authorities of state lawful medical marijuana cultivators and their family members
When: Tuesday, May 28th at Noon
Where: Federal Building, 477 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI

AFI: Jerry Duval is available for interviews before his June 11th surrender date. Please call Kris Hermes at 510-681-6361 to set up an interview.

“Jerry Duval and his 10-year sentence is emblematic of how the Obama Administration has been undermining state medical marijuana laws, while persecuting patients who are in no way violating state law,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director with Americans for Safe Access, which is hosting Tuesday’s press conference. “President Obama and Attorney General Holder must start owning up to the unnecessary torment they’re forcing not only cultivators, but thousands of patients, to endure.”

To counter this aggressive stance by the Obama Administration, ASA and its members are mounting a campaign called “Peace for Patients” (#Peace4Patients). The Peace for Patients campaign is an effort to educate elected officials about the millions of federal dollars being spent on attacking law-abiding patients and their providers in medical marijuana states. But the grassroots campaign is also urging members of Congress to vote this summer for an appropriations amendment that would re-prioritize Justice Department resources away from the kind of aggressive enforcement that has been occurring in medical marijuana states.

Jerry Duval was convicted at trial in April 2012 of manufacturing with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and maintaining a drug premises. Because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, federal defendants like Duval are prevented from showing relevant evidence to the jury. To make matters worse, Unsatisfied with Duval’s conviction and 10-year sentence, the Obama Justice Department is trying to forfeit his home and farm land worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Duval’s imminent surrender comes less than year after Montana medical marijuana patient Richard Flor died in federal custody last August while serving a 5-year sentence for a similar conviction. The Justice Department also never provided evidence at any point that Flor had violated Montana’s medical marijuana law.

Duval and Flor are, unfortunately, only two out of scores of medical marijuana patients and providers targeted by the Obama Administration. Since President Obama took office in 2008, his Justice Department has aggressively prosecuted more than one hundred medical marijuana patients and providers, none of whom had an ability to bring a medical necessity or state law defense. In addition to the Michigan cultivators, several patients and dispensary operators have been sentenced over the past few months to several years in federal prison, including California dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky (10 years), Montana cultivator Chris Williams (5 years), Jerry Duval’s son Jeremy (5 years), and another Michigan cultivator John Marcinkewciz (5 years).

A cross-country educational caravan, called CannaBus, is adding a stop to their nationwide tour to support the Michigan federal defendants before they surrender to authorities. The CannaBus also trekked more than three thousand miles in January to attend the sentencing hearing for Montana cultivator Chris Williams, who is currently serving 5 years in prison.

Further information:
Peace for Patients campaign: http://PeaceForPatients.org
Jerry Duval’s Compassionate Release request: http://AmericansForSafeAccess.org/downloads/Compassionate_Release_Request_Duval.pdf

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

detroit michigan press conference americans for safe access medical marijuana

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About Author

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer." Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.

3 Comments

  1. Tres Waters on

    They look like people who work in an office. People who sell products of high value wear suits. People in managerial positions wear suits. Assholes who want to look more powerful than they are wear suits. People running a nonprofit who have little contact with the public don’t wear suits. I think they look great. In fact, I came down here to comment that they look like a real life version of the cast of “The Office”.

  2. Professor Me on

    Look at the pictures. Y’all look very unprofessional. Start wearing suits – they will take you more seriously.

  3. This will go on until enough elected representatives in local, state and federal government make it stop. If Michigan voters protest loudly and long enough, politicians will pay attention, if only to protect their jobs. Until then, expect to see more of the same.

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