Chris Williams Challenges Montana Medical Marijuana Raids as Trial Begins
A former medical marijuana provider scheduled to stand trial Monday over last year's federal crackdown will not be allowed to claim that government officials entrapped him by making statements that led him to believe he would not be prosecuted.
Jurors will also be told to ignore any mention of Montana's medical marijuana law. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen's jury instructions say state laws are irrelevant to the federal charges against Chris Williams, a co-owner of the now-defunct Montana Cannabis.
The bans are a blow to Williams, who is charged with multiple drug manufacturing, trafficking and weapons counts. He is the only medical marijuana provider to stand trial among the dozens whose businesses, houses and warehouses were raided in the March 2011 crackdown of the state's large pot operators.
"You must disregard any statements or argument about the defendant or others purporting to comply or not to comply with state laws concerning marijuana," Christensen's jury instructions read.
Williams had planned to subpoena several journalists about statements from Attorney General Eric Holder and other government officials that made Williams believe he would not be prosecuted under federal law for selling medical marijuana.
Christensen rejected those planned subpoenas in an order Friday and said Williams could not claim Holder and the others entrapped him because "he was not directly induced by government agents to manufacture or distribute marijuana."
- Read the entire article at The Missoulian.