Montana medical marijuana patient dies in federal custody

Posted on August 30th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Richard Flor, a Montana medical marijuana patient and caregiver who was sentenced in April to five years in federal prison on charges of maintaining a drug-related premises, died in federal custody Aug. 29. Flor, who suffered from a lengthy list of serious medical conditions, died in a hospital in Las Vegas, Nev., a day after suffering two heart attacks while in transit to an unknown Bureau of Prisons medical facility, according to his attorney, Brad Arndorfer of Billings. At Flor’s sentencing, US District Judge Charles Lovell recommended that he "be designated for incarceration at a federal medical center” where Flor’s “numerous physical and mental diseases and conditions can be evaluated and treated."

Flor's death came weeks after a federal judge denied an attorney's request to release the 68-year-old Miles City resident while he appealed his five-year sentence. US District Judge Charles Lovell wrote in his Aug. 7 ruling that it was "unfortunate" that Flor's transfer to a medical facility had been delayed, but "it is not factually or legally significant." Instead Flor was for months housed at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby, Mont., until a week ago, when US marshals began the process of transporting him to an unknown medical facility. 

Lovell sentenced Flor in April after he pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premises. Flor had been previously diagnosed with dementia, depression and numerous other conditions, and Lovell recommended that he be evaluated by federal prison hospital officials to determine what facility would be best for him. Flor had been held at Crossroads Correctional Facility, a private prison in Shelby, while awaiting the BoP decision on where he would serve his term. "It's incredible to me to take a man with dementia, failing kidneys, severe diabetes and unable to care for himself and incarcerate him," Arndorfer said. "He required nursing home care, and as far as I can tell he didn’t receive any care while he was incarcerated in Shelby. It doesn't make any sense to me." (AP, Great Falls Tribune, Aug. 30)


Graphic: Billings Gazette



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