Today, the federal court in Spokane, Washington vacated the convictions and dismissed all charges against Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, Michelle Gregg, and Rolland Gregg. The three are the surviving family members from the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” medical marijuana case. This is a major victory for all medical marijuana users in states where it’s legal.
The decision follows the Department of Justice’s filing in October of 2017 admitting that Congress has not authorized it to spend money on prosecuting defendants, such as Rhonda, Michelle and Rolland, who produce marijuana in compliance with state law.
This dismissal ends more than five years of unjustified prosecution against a family whose only ‘crime’ was treating their own medical conditions in compliance with Washington State medical marijuana laws. This is a victory not only for this family, but for all medical marijuana patients across the country.
The federal government prosecuted the so-called Kettle Falls Five family for growing marijuana, even though all family members held state-sanctioned medical authorizations in Washington State. The family was acquitted on four of the five charges and only convicted on a lesser-included charge. However, the judge sentenced the family members to prison. Equal Justice Under Law appealed that conviction.
One of the family members, Larry Harvey, died of pancreatic cancer in 2015, during the case.