McCormick and McWilliams Accept Plea Bargains 

McCormick and McWilliams Accept Plea Bargains 
Posted by FoM on November 26, 1999 at 13:52:04 PT
NORML's Weekly Update News
Source: NORML
Nov. 23, 1999, Los Angeles, CA: As part of an agreement reached with federal prosecutors, medical marijuana activists Todd McCormick and Peter McWilliams pleaded guilty last Friday to conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. In return, other charges carrying a 10-year mandatory sentence were dismissed against both men. 
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge George King ruled that neither defendant would be permitted to raise a medical necessity defense to the charges, despite a September ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that medical necessity can be a viable defense for those accused of violating federal marijuana laws.   In October, the U.S. Justice Department asked the 9th Circuit to reconsider its decision. Since the district court would not allow a medical necessity defense, McCormick and McWilliams accepted a plea bargain and entered a guilty plea to lesser charges. Both could have faced a 10-year minimum for the cultivation of 6,000 marijuana plants.   McCormick, who has bone cancer, agreed to a five-year sentence with the right to appeal the ruling precluding a medical necessity defense to the 9th Circuit, and the likelihood of remaining free pending the appeal.   "If I would have been found guilty at trial, I would have been remanded into custody and not allowed an appeal bond," McCormick said. "I felt this was the smartest way to protect my health, my well-being and my rights in an appellate process."   McWilliams, a best selling author who has both AIDS and cancer, waived his right to appeal, in exchange for avoiding a mandatory sentence.   McWilliams could receive a sentence ranging from probation to five years in prison. Both men will be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2000.   For more information, please contact: Tom Ballanco, Esq., attorney for Peter McWilliams at:Phone: (310) 291-3659 David Michael, Esq., attorney for Todd McCormick at:Phone: (530) 304-7793or visit Peter McWilliams' web site at: http://petertrial.comNORML's News Bulletin: News NORML Related Articles:
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Comment #3 posted by Ally on November 26, 1999 at 18:22:52 PT
I have said before and I will say it again...
I wonder how they will sleep at night? Well, it is a mystery to me! The State and Federal laws make a mockery out of the whole concept of medical cannabis use, and until the Fed's can let the voter's rights stay unmolested we will probably see more of the same.I hope not. Shalom,Ally
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on November 26, 1999 at 15:53:04 PT
I couldn't do it
It is becoming clearer everyday what losing our freedom means. I feel so sorry for the young adults that are just starting out now to discover life. A few slips along the way and their future will be forever altered. What they did in Peter and Todd's case is beyond reproach and I also want to know like Woody Harrelson said at B.E. Smith's trial to the judge. How do you sleep at night! I wonder that too because I couldn't do it to them. I just couldn't! Nope not at all!
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on November 26, 1999 at 14:59:56 PT
The knuckledraggers win again...for now
Isn't it amazing?The very reason for the "crime", an easily verifiable medical need, is considered to be inadmissable. The act that sanctioned the medical usage, a *law* passed by popular referendum by the people of the Great State of California, is declared null-and-void. In effect, the Federal government has declared *democracy* null-and-void.And each one of the people involved in the prosecution of the Federal case, from the arresting officers up to the judge, have all violated their oaths of office. The same oath one takes in the Armed Forces: "I swear that I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States...If anyone deserves prison, it those who are guilty of subborning the very principles they are sworn to uphold.
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