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Court says Humboldt growers aren’t drug dealers

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 26, 2020

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco.  (Associated Press)
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco. (Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that two cannabis growers from Humboldt County can’t be charged with violating federal laws since they were in compliance with California marijuana laws.

In 2012, the DEA raided a farm and arrested owners Anthony Pisarski and Sonny Moore on federal distribution and cultivation charges. They also seized 300 plants, growing material, guns, gold bars and at least $225,000 in cash.

They both pleaded guilty in 2014, but in 2017 Richard Seeborg, a federal judge, ruled that a 2015 law passed by Congress shielded medical cannabis businesses that are following state law from federal interference.

The 9th Circuit court judges voted 2-1 in July to affirm Judge Seeborg’s position, saying that law also didn’t allow federal authorities to spend resources prosecuting cases involving use, possession or cultivation if someone is strictly following medical marijuana laws.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, who introduced the amendment in Congress, was happy with the decision, and encouraged the DEA to focus more on non-cannabis criminal activity.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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