Eric Stern is a top aide to former Governor, and potential 2014 US Senate candidate, Brian Schweitzer (D-MT). He’s also the son of NBA Commissioner David Stern.
The headline: “A life sentence … for pot? U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter is on a quest to lock up pot growers — despite his state’s medical marijuana law”
Here’s an excerpt:
Now Cotter is breaking his silence and speaking publicly, for the first time, about his two-year crusade to shutter the medical marijuana industry and put its practitioners behind bars, in many cases for life sentences. And he is mincing no words. He says that pot has no medical value at all, for anyone, and that if you think otherwise, you are a sucker who has been duped “by slick Madison Avenue marketing” employed by pot dealers. He says pot is a dangerous drug and growing it is a federal crime that must be punished.
When Cotter charged these citizens in 2011, he gave no credence to a very basic protest that they all made: they’d been assured in writing, by Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general, that they could grow medical marijuana and the feds wouldn’t prosecute them.
The defendants pointed to dozens of statements made by Holder and even the president, and specifically the now-infamous Ogden Memo. This was a publicly released document in 2009 document, written by David Ogden, Eric Holder’s deputy, that instructed federal law enforcement officers nationwide to leave medical marijuana growers alone as long as they were abiding by state law. This memo was reported in the national press, and local papers too, as a virtual ceding of jurisdiction by the federal government. “U.S. Won’t Prosecute in States that Have Medical Marijuana,” heralded a New York Times headline.
As a former top aide to Gov. Schweitzer asks why pot providers are getting a life sentence for pot, Chuck Feney commented on my blog, and asks why the nephew to the former Governor is getting a slap on the wrist.
Greg Tuttle had this report on Friday:
Friedrick Jozef Schweitzer, who is a nephew of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, appeared before Judge Mary Jane Knisely and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.
According to a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend a five-year suspended sentence at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 15. He remains free on a posted $1,500 bond.
Friedrick Schweitzer was also a Democratic candidate for the state legislature at one pointt.