Medical Pot Grower Eddy Lepp Gets 10 Years

Eddy Lepp  was sentenced to 10 years in prison for growing medical-marijuana on his land in Lake County, CaliforniaEddy Lepp was sentenced to 10 years in prison for growing medical-marijuana on his land in Lake County, CaliforniaA medical-marijuana advocate who grew 32,000 plants on his land in Lake County was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday by a federal judge who criticized the law she was applying.

“I think that amount of time is excessive, but it’s not up to me,” U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said in sentencing Charles “Eddy” Lepp in a San Francisco courtroom crowded with his supporters.

Patel gave Lepp until July 6 to report to prison and said she would reconsider the sentence if Congress changed the law, which requires a 10-year term for growing at least 1,000 marijuana plants.

Lepp, 56, was arrested in 2004 after federal agents said they had found more than 32,000 marijuana plants in gardens near his home in Upper Lake, most of them in plain view of Highway 20.

He said the plants were all for patients who had a right to use marijuana with their doctors’ approval under California law. Courts have ruled, however, that the state law does not bar federal prosecutions.

Lepp also said he was a Rastafarian minister, for whom the plants were a sacrament, and was growing the plants for 2,500 members of his church who were sharecroppers. Patel barred the religious defense last year, saying Lepp could not credibly claim that his faith compelled him to distribute thousands of plants to unidentified parishioners.

A jury convicted Lepp in September of conspiracy and cultivation with the intent to distribute marijuana. His lawyer, Michael Hinckley, argued for a lesser sentence, but Patel said the 10-year term was mandatory because the evidence showed Lepp led the operation and supervised others.

Hinckley also argued in court papers that the sentence was “grossly disproportional” to the crimes and that Lepp, who is in frail health, would not survive 10 years in prison. Hinckley said Monday he would appeal the sentence.

– Article from The San Francisco Chronicle.

Eddy Lepp Receives 10-year Mandatory Minimum for Medical Marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO – May 18th. US District Judge Marilyn Patel sentenced Eddy Lepp to ten years mandatory minimum for having grown over 1,000 marijuana plants for a medical marijuana garden in Lake County.

Patel called the sentence “excessive,” but said she had no choice under federal law. In addition, she sentenced Lepp to five years of supervised release with drug testing. She invited Lepp to file for a rehearing in case the law should change.

Lepp called it “very, very sad” that the government showed no compassion, saying”I’ve broken no laws of the state in which I reside.” He asked that he be allowed to surrender himself voluntarily, noting that he had met every court date over the seven years of his case and that his daughter had health problems.

US attorney Dave Hall opposed the request, arguing that the government had new evidence of Lepp’s involvement in a marijuana grow that was traced to a neighbor’s property last week. Lepp’s friends staunchly deny that he had any involvement in the grow.

Patel granted Lepp’s request and set a surrender date of July 6th, while inviting the government to submit any additional incriminating evidence it might have to demand an earlier surrender.

Patel ruled that Lepp was ineligible for the “safety valve” exemption to the mandatory minimum on two grounds. First, the evidence showed that Lepp had been a leader or organizer of other people in his activity. Secondly, the government claimed that he had failed give a full and truthful account of his activities. At his trial, Lepp had testified that he did not grow any marijuana, but simply let his land be used for cultivation by other patients. The government had asked Lepp to recant this claim and admit that he grew the marijuana.

Lepp refused, saying he had testified truthfully.

“I’ve never seen a man work harder to get time in prison than Mr. Lepp,” remarked Mr Hall.

“I would rather do ten years and be able to look myself in the eyes than never be able to look myself in the eyes again,” said Lepp.

The courtroom burst into gasps and sobs as Patel pronounced her sentence. Lepp’s attorney, Michael Hinckley, called it an “incredible sentence.” Patel responded, “Incredible is what the law requires.”

Patel noted that Lepp’s driving passion appeared to be legalizing marijuana. “Maybe you want to be a martyr for the cause,” she said.

California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer commented: “This case sadly illustrates the senselessness of federal marijuana laws. The last thing this country needs is more medical marijuana prisoners. Hopefully, we can change the law and get Eddy out of jail before he completes his sentence.”

– Article from California NORML.



  1. no one is Eddy's "family" lol on

    Judge Patel made the right decision. When we talk about the Lepp case we are not talking about the right of a grower to use his land for medical marijuana, what we are talking about is a Marijuana Cult that ripped off the patients of this state for millions and made no action to ever make good on such a crime. Californians should be protected from Mr. Lepp. He was touring cities setting up seminars for patients to give him three-thousand dollars a person in order to pay him to grow marijuana for us, at the very same time he hadn’t prepared his paperwork to insure that the grow would be safe. I remember sitting in his living room as he exclaimed how LUCKY he was to get raided in 2004, that if he had harvested he wouldn’t have even known what to do with the 32000 plants, that the DEA had relieved him of it all. Mr. Lepp does not deserve your or our support. He is not an accomplished author like yourself who has waded through the trenches of this war for decades. Mr. Lepp is nothing more than a prison-raised con artist who managed to run off with millions of dollars in 2004 and no intention of ever making good on any of his promises. People died because “Eddy” scammed them into thinking that they would be given something like six pounds of medical marijuana for their three-thousand dollar “investment.” Lepp’s inability to provide medical marijuana to the people who had paid him for it even went as far as to claim the life of his wife, when he says he wants to serve the sentence in order to be able to look himself in the eye again it’s important to remember that this isn’t about some grungey old man who is about to face some kind of cruel punishment… Lepp actually deserves a lot worse than the Feds could ever dish out, and if he does survive the prison term with hope the people of California will serve him with the remainder of the punishment he has earned. Honesty at its finest!

  2. Gina to may 27 on

    nicely stated, another one burnt hunh! Yessir he is a scumbag to the fullest! He is the most pathetic wannabe Activist there ever was! Jack Herer didnb’t even know him he thought he was his real friend Eddy n didn’t want to hurt his feelings so he went along cuz he was onstage! that’s pathetic! Jack really is the real deal, except for being Eddy’s puppet but Jack knew that so the joke’s always on Eddy. Not to be confused with a real Activist Ed Rosenthal. thank you for being honest!

  3. Gina on

    I personally know this man and in all my time I have bever met someone so cunning. He conned so many people out of money, medicine, time and all the while he was scamming. Having 3 different people pay his mortgages at the same time. That’s what makes my mind up that he is in for the wrong thing!
    He shouldn’t be jailed for the plant. That he says he never touched. LOL! He really didn’t do the work! Not only did he grow it, but took all that $$$ and remodeled his house they took! KARMA Used his “family” til they hated him and one by one left and he would get new ones…
    Beside driving his REAL wife LINDA SENTI insane (not to be confused with her wannabe “best” friend Linda “Lepp”. Whom Eddy was quoted to saying she at least has a house and can take care of my shit til I get out! Well I hope you learn a lesson Edward “Leprachaun” Lepp.
    You are where you are not because of marijuana, because you are a disgusting being who doesn’t deserve ne thing so take your limp noodle and play Butt pirates with your new friends! you can’t con cons, it all came out! And still is!!! Your boys a bunch of lowlife scum who steal meds fr people and get them in trouble. Yeah u r where u should be, locked away with the other assholes!
    Another 1 u tried to cheat on the REAL LINDA with~
    No one out here misses you at all!

  4. Anonymous on

    “”I would rather do ten years and be able to look myself in the eyes than never be able to look myself in the eyes again,” said Lepp.”

    said like a total crook. this guy robbed the people of california for millions and the only thing he plans to do to make good on it is go to jail.

    making good on all that marijuana he promised people he would give them for the money they gave him is what he should be able to look himself in the eye over, not being some kind of pathetic martyr.

    this man has been making california sick for decades, at least now he will only be able to do it from prison.

  5. Anonymous on

    i don’t think there’s too much hope of anyone living in peace in mexico right now. you’re probably better off in prison than there. also, the law and god are the same thing; bullshit made up by dumbasses to control other humans behaviors in order to benefit themselves.

  6. Anonymous on

    I think he should pack it up and head out. Forget prison. Nobody should suffer for the stupidity of others. People “believe” too much in the LAW as if it were GOD. God, if there is one, is perfect by definition. The Law is certainly not perfect and submitting to an unjust law is crazy. I hope he gets away Canada or Mexico and finds himself a little patch to live his life in peace.

  7. Anonymous on

    I just hope that the Justice system review its laws concerning marijuana so that Lepp can go free now rather than later. No one belongs in jail for growing medical marijuana.It is unbelievable that this kind of thing is still happening in 2009.Down with prohibition once and for all !

  8. Anonymous on

    Youre thinking of Ed Rosenthal, coincidentally he also has legal troubles surrounding the state-legal production of marijuana plants in California.

  9. Anonymous on

    I feel horrible for Eddy. But this guy looks familiar. Is Eddy Lepp the Eddy that had articles in the CannibusCulture magazine?