Montana Medical Marijuana…and Federal “Justice”
Showing an elevated sense of conscious, the federal prosecutor in the Chris Williams case has agreed to dismiss 6 of the 8 outstanding marijuana convictions for Mr. Williams, this reduced sentence came in exchange as Williams agreed to abandon his right to appeal his case.
As well, the federal government has arranged to request of U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen to throw out the $1,728,000 fine awarded to the feds by a jury previously this year.
The hard-fought settlement was briefly delineated within a resolution filed Tuesday in the Montana U.S. District Court. As the paper work was signed by Mr. Williams, U.S. Assistant Attorney Joe Thaggard, in addition to Mr. William’s federal public defender Michael Donahoe, both noted that this agreement “establishes the final and best offer to resolve this matter.”
Christopher Williams, a state sanctioned, Montana medical marijuana cultivator, was unjustly convicted by a jury of his “peers” back in late September. Mr. Williams was then facing the very real and daunting sentence of between 80 to 90 years behind bars. As Williams was found in possession of a firearm at the time of his arrest, by law, any sentence that was handed down, needed to run consecutively.
As soon as Chris’s conviction was handed down, the federal prosecutor had offered to dismiss a handful of the charges; despite that offer his conviction would have mandated a 10-year minimum sentence. Williams of course, rejected the plea deal, noting that he was ready to spend the rest of his existence in the federal prison system as a means of fighting what he believed to be violations to his constitutional rights.
Within the most recent plea deal, the feds have dropped the outstanding convictions for conspiracy to cultivate and possess with the intent to sell medical marijuana; the manufacturing of marijuana; possession of pot with the intent to sell; in addition to 3 counts of owning a gun in connection with a drug trafficking crime. As his plea deal has been constructed, Mr. Williams will be convicted of one count of owning a firearm, and one count of possession with intent to dispense medical marijuana.
Williams currently faces a maximum sentence of 5 long years in a federal prison for the distribution of state sanctioned medical marijuana. Should the federal government have remained tough on Mr. Williams — he would’ve been facing a maximum sentencing of life in prison—due to the additional firearm-related charge.
Williams stated that “With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer,” Williams said in a statement released to the press. “Should Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the five year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son’s college graduation. This would most likely be impossible had I rejected the latest compromise.”
Mr. Williams was just one of four partner’s in “Montana Cannabis”, which after the 2004 voter approved legislation passed, operated distribution centers in Helena, Billings, Miles City and Missoula.
Montana Cannabis’s four partners — Richard Flor, Chris Williams, Thomas Daubert, Chris Lindsey, noted that it was always their intention to set the “gold standard” for a medical marijuana business, once Montana’s voters overwhelmingly approved legislation permitting medical marijuana for its people with physical ailments.
Yet, as the federal government’s crackdown on medical weed raged across the country back in March 2011, Montana Cannabis had a bull’s-eye pinned to their state approved marijuana business, and were just 1 of 25 medical marijuana businesses that were raided and shut down. Despite the fact that Williams had three partners, and there were an additional 24 raids carried out by the feds, Chris Williams was the only medical marijuana caregiver in Montana to fight his case and appeal for sanity.