Ninth Circuit upholds conviction of medical cannabis-growing couple

Posted on November 9th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaAn El Dorado County doctor and her attorney husband lost a bid before the US Ninth Circuit appeals court in San Francisco Nov. 8 to overturn their convictions and five-year sentences for growing what they said was medical cannabis. Attorney Dale Schafer began growing marijuana for his wife, physician Marion "Mollie" Fry, on their property in the town of Cool in 1998. She had secured a doctor's recommendation for the drug to ease the effects of chemotherapy following breast cancer surgery.

The couple began distributing cannabis to other patients in 1999, and contacted sheriff's deputies, who let them continue under California's medical marijuana law. In September 2001, however, federal agents and local officers raided their California Medical Research Center and their home. Schafer and Fry were indicted in 2005 and convicted in 2007 of conspiring to grow at least 100 plants.

US District Judge Frank Damrell of Sacramento called it a "sad day" when he sentenced them to the mandatory five-year terms in March 2008. He allowed them to remain free on bail during their appeal.

Schafer said the couple ran a humanitarian enterprise that served more than 10,000 patients from 1999 to 2005. But prosecutors said the couple collected between $750,000 and $1 million in fees for marijuana recommendations during the two years and two months covered by the charges. (San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 9; SF Appeal, Nov. 8)



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