Law-abiding pot sellers punished

June 26, 2013 

You have run two articles recently about medical marijuana dispensaries open for business in the region. And the last one about the businessman from Seattle who is trying his luck at creating a cannabis empire. You make it appear that these are successful ways for a businessman to make a living in this economy.

You did not report that three Stockton businessmen were arrested last year by the federal government, which shut them down and took all their assets. Everything they did was legal and within the California law for operating a dispensary. But they were arrested anyway under federal law. They had to take a plea arrangement that will put them in federal prison for five to seven years. If they were in the Bay Area, the sentencing there has only been six months for the same offense. These are businessmen who were just attempting to support their families and to maintain their way of life. I think that your articles will encourage young people to go into this kind of business. But it will not be good for them when they are all arrested and go to prison for seven years. You need to present the whole picture.

BURT SMITH

Patterson

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