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United States v. Charles Lynch (2007-present, Los Angeles)

posted Jan 29, 2013, 9:42 PM by The Editor   [ updated Jan 31, 2013, 3:03 AM ]
Medical marijuana provider Charles C. Lynch served as the managing caregiver of Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay, CA.  The dispensary opened on April 1, 2006 with the blessing of the city and even joined the Chamber of Commerce.  In July 2006 the dispensary was granted a Conditional Use Permit from the City of Morro Bay to include a medical cannabis nursery at the dispensary.

The dispensary operated for eleven months without incident, before the March 29, 2007 raid by the local sheriff and DEA agents on the dispensary and home of Charles Lynch. Lynch was not arrested at the time and reopened the dispensary on April 7, 2007 with the blessing of the City of Morro Bay. A week after reopening the dispensary the DEA called the landlord and threatened him with forfeiture of his property unless he evicted the dispensary from the building.  On May 16, 2007 the dispensary closed permanently.

On August 7, 2008, Lynch was convicted on five counts of distributing marijuana and faced a minimum sentence of five years.  Lynch was convicted of selling to minors under 21, but all were either over 18, the legal age for medical marijuana in California, or else accompanied by parents. On March 23, 2009, U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu postponed sentencing and asked prosecutors from the Justice Department for a written position on medical marijuana prosecutions in light of recent comments from AG Holder.  On April 17, 2009, the US DOJ responded in a letter claiming the prosecution was consistent with DOJ policy.  On June 11, 2009, Judge Wu found that Lynch's case merited an exception to the five year mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines and sentenced Lynch to one year in prison and four years of supervised release.  Lynch is currently out on bail pending his appeal and is not allowed to use medical marijuana according to the terms of his release.

The film Lynching Charlie Lynch, tells the story of Lynch's trial.
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