A high-profile federal trial began Wednesday for three family members and a close family friend who have been charged with illegally possessing and distributing medical marijuana, among other offenses. If convicted, the defendants face minimum mandatory sentences of 10 years in prison.
Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and Rolland’s wife Michelle Gregg, 35, as well as the family’s close friend Jason Zucker, 38, grew marijuana on the property of their home in a rural town in northeast Washington. Larry Harvey, Firestack-Harvey’s husband and Rolland Gregg’s father, was originally charged in the case as well. However, the federal government agreed last week to dismiss all charges against Harvey because he was recently diagnosed with late-stage cancer.
The defendants maintain that the pot patch was in compliance with state law and that the plants were for their own medical use. (Washington state legalized medical marijuana in 1998.) But in 2012, federal law enforcers raided the Harvey home and shut down their operation. [Read More at Huffington Post]