25,900 People Want Obama to Pardon a Medical Marijuana Provider Facing Life in Prison. Will He?

A few weeks from today, Montana medical marijuana provider Chris Williams will be sentenced on four counts of “using firearms in furtherance of a drug crime,” due to the presence of guns at Montana Cannabis, the dispensary where Williams worked, and which the DEA shut down in 2011.

As Jacob Sullum explained last month, Williams, who has refused to plea bargain, will face a sentence of at least 80 years under federal mandatory minimum guidelines:

Specifically, prosecutors charged Williams, after he turned down a series of plea deals, with four counts of using firearms in furtherance of a drug crime, based on pistols and shotguns kept at the Helena grow operation where he worked. Federal law prescribes a five-year mandatory minimum penalty for the first such offense and 25 years for each subsequent offense.

Furthermore, the sentences must be served consecutively. Hence Williams, who was convicted of all four gun charges, will get at least 80 years when he is sentenced in January, even though he was not charged with wielding the guns, let alone hurting anyone with them. In fact, having the guns around would have been perfectly legal had he not been growing marijuana.

Because he has refused to plea bargain (an option that has netted Williams’ coworkers sentences ranging from probation to five years), Williams has one hope left: a pardon from President Obama.

– Read the entire article at Reason Magazine.

Comments

18 Comments

  1. JOHN MARCINKEWCIZ on

    congragulation fed gvt u convicted another non violent person with your throw in jail.sit and wait,waterboarding teckniks.if the feds can get qaeda to turn on each other us poor usa citizens have no chance.remember this people this is the end of probation for mj.a neww era is upon us.lets get it right the first time.unlike alcohol. take for ever to get it right.now with the internet the fed gvt and the dea cant keep the other 70 indictments from each other.i will start my name is john marcinkewciz i recieved 5 yrs beginning on jan8 2013,jaycob montague recieved 18 mo currently in perkins ill,shelley waldron recieved 18 mo her letter is on its way according to bop website.we are all a part of this state vs fed unjustice.i thought it started with we the people but i was wrong its we the people in power.from the way the prosecutors and legislators act they can pick and choose what they enforce and what not to.hey i dont want to pay taxes but i do why because its the law the people want it that way.belive me i dont think i should pay for school millages i dont have a kid in there. but i do. why because we voted for it. i didnt vote for it but i still have to pay for it.now just because the prosecutors legislators dea dont agree with medical marihuana how can they get away with throwing hard working,god fearing non violent people in prison.you cant have it both ways.the people have spoke in my state 63 percent voted it legal.in an election 63 percent would be a landslide.obama getting reelected should of sent a message to the fed gvt and obama.the medical mj voted for u because mitt would of been verry harmful to our cause.we helped him now its time to do the will of the people.2/3 of america wants medical mj.thats alot of votes no matter how u cut it.hopefully this will get the rest of federally indicted people to tell your story.lets hear from u.if u currently are awaiting trial u dont have to say anything but please let us know.god bless there is still more fight in this old boy.

  2. JOHN MARCINKEWCIZ on

    congragulation fed gvt u convicted another non violent person with your throw in jail.sit and wait,waterboarding teckniks.if the feds can get qaeda to turn on each other us poor usa citizens have no chance.remember this people this is the end of probation for mj.a neww era is upon us.lets get it right the first time.unlike alcohol. take for ever to get it right.now with the internet the fed gvt and the dea cant keep the other 70 indictments from each other.i will start my name is john marcinkewciz i recieved 5 yrs beginning on jan8 2013,jaycob montague recieved 18 mo currently in perkins ill,shelley waldron recieved 18 mo her letter is on its way according to bop website.we are all a part of this state vs fed unjustice.i thought it started with we the people but i was wrong its we the people in power.from the way the prosecutors and legislators act they can pick and choose what they enforce and what not to.hey i dont want to pay taxes but i do why because its the law the people want it that way.belive me i dont think i should pay for school millages i dont have a kid in there. but i do. why because we voted for it. i didnt vote for it but i still have to pay for it.now just because the prosecutors legislators dea dont agree with medical marihuana how can they get away with throwing hard working,god fearing non violent people in prison.you cant have it both ways.the people have spoke in my state 63 percent voted it legal.in an election 63 percent would be a landslide.obama getting reelected should of sent a message to the fed gvt and obama.the medical mj voted for u because mitt would of been verry harmful to our cause.we helped him now its time to do the will of the people.2/3 of america wants medical mj.thats alot of votes no matter how u cut it.hopefully this will get the rest of federally indicted people to tell your story.lets hear from u.if u currently are awaiting trial u dont have to say anything but please let us know.god bless there is still more fight in this old boy.

  3. Anonymous on

    hey , im usually not interested in politics but you and obama can both SUCK A DICK :)

  4. Anonymous on

    I’m sure he got right on that!….you honestly think he read your letter…again, rainbows and glitter.

  5. Anonymous on

    true policies set forth?…yeah,,,,and I crap rainbows and glitter!

  6. Sparkky McPuff on

    If you want to tear down a brick wall, start at the joints!

  7. The Thinker on

    He won’t do a think. Excellent spelling and grammar you have there. And it isn’t President Obama who is the driving force behind the dispensary and providers crackdown. It is the DEA and federal law enforcement agencies that are part of the permanent national securirty state that now governs the U.S.
    Now that Obama has been reelected, his true policies can be set forth, and you will see less federal interference in state laws. Just as it is is B.C., less police attention will be devoted to rounding up pot smokers and more devoted toward real public safety.
    Obama shows much more concern for this nation than Bush did; look at the results. Bush got us into war, but didn’t win. Obama got us out of war. Bush let us be attacked by terrorists; Obama has kept us protected. Bush only bailed out his rich buddies when they blew up the economy; Obama has stunchly supported the middle class as the Republicans are only trying to benefit the rich.
    Obama has a peculiar way of hating America; by rescuing and restoring the economy, by giving people hope, by protecting the nation from attackers, by trying to work with a corrupt and useless Congress, by being a leader for all Americans (not just the white ones) and reducing the size and spending of government. America had a clear choice in the last presidential election, and clearly chose the better man.

  8. gutrod on

    For Obama to let this injustice happen tells me he has no conscience. For that I have no respect for him and all other politicians who support these archaic laws which are supposed to be about justice. Time for the people to be heard. Down with cannabis prohibition and mandatory sentences. Welcome to the police states of the Obama and Harper governments. Cruel bastards.

  9. gutrod on

    This is outrageous. 80 years? Justice in America is sick and needs serious medical attention. Gun toting politicians punishing someone for bearing arms for their own protection is hypocrisy at it’ s worst. The laws were designed for mid evil times and are enforced by a bunch of bully’s. It is hard to believe this is the 21st century. Do the right thing: make Williams & Emery free men.

  10. albinorat on

    Him asking for a pardon from Obama is like a Jew asking Adolph Hitler for a pardon, not likely, I believe there could be 250,000 signatures on that petition and Obama would not care, but I still signed it, so should you! OVERGROW THE GOVERNMENT!!!

  11. Anonymous on

    Man I woulda taken that plea bargain. Probation-5yrs vs 80, common. I get the motives, great cause but man thats worse than a craps shoot.

  12. Dave on

    Not sure how it is in the States but cops have discretion on how they present evidence to prosecutors and they in turn have discretion on how they will proceed.

    I’m sure the legislation wasn’t meant to be interpreted with such brutally? If so then it won’t be very long before officials are calling for and actually stoning people in the streets!

  13. Dirty Harry on

    Obama won’t do a think to help that man. The guy is white, worked for a living, and is not dependent on government handouts. Everything that Obama hates about this country. He will make an example out of him, but in away that shows he didn’t have anything to do with it…Obama will have one of his flunkies do it for him.

  14. Tony Aroma on

    Instead he’ll go down in history as the last of the great drug warriors, the last brick in the wall of prohibition.

  15. Anonymous on

    I wrote a personal letter to president Obama asking for the release of Marc Emery as a good will gesture following the legalization of cannabis in colorado and washington states.This would send a strong message to all that american politics is about to change.Unfortunately,I think us all potheads are facing a very thick brick wall.Obama is not listening and it shows.My guess is that he figure he is popular enough as is ,as president,that not listening to potheads and making him unpopular toward this group is no big deal for him as no matter what he doeshe will remain a popular president.I think there is also the stigma attached to a black man legalizing marijuana in America.He simply does not want to be remembered for that down the history book.

  16. Anonymous UK on

    … The world would be a better place. I can’t believe this charge of furthering a drug crime with firearms. He has a legitimate business and he is taking up his constitutional right to bear arms. Unbelievable – whether you think cannabis is right or wrong people seem to be willing accept any level of human rights violation. I used to belong to the Amnesty International campaign until I realised that they only cared about the rights of left wing political extremists and not ordinary people suffering persecution – such as Chris Williams.

    I wish him well and even though I am not a US resident I am writing President Obama a letter to plead for his release(as I did many times when I was with Amnesty International). When all this is over we need some kind of memorial to the sacrifice of people like Chris Williams and Marc Emery and many millions of others. Obama and his administration are the criminals and we should consider the appropriate treatment for them. If Obama’s government is doing this he should come out and try to justify it but he hasn’t got the guts – what a poor excuse for a man. He may have fought really hard to be president again but he does not seem to want to do the job – it’s more than just smiling, waving and meeting foreign dignitaries.

  17. Anonymous on

    Marc scares the Feds to much Jury Nullification is only the Just out come

  18. Tony Aroma on

    Absolutely not! If this petition is even responded to, it will be like all the others, denied. I’m sure the Drug Czar or some flunky from the Justice Dept will make the official response and declare that Williams knowingly broke federal law and is a danger to society. Much like Marc Emery is too dangerous to release to a Canadian prison.