Some states have allowed the distribution of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In Washington, legal businesses and patrons are required to show medical authorization to receive the treatment. Those who are found operating outside these guidelines may face criminal drug charges.
On Jan. 18, one of the owners of a cooperative was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering, according to a media release. The business the two co-owners ran was a profitable operation comprised of more than one location in the Seattle area. The case was investigated by the DEA, which has made clear that those businesses operating within legal boundaries are safe from its investigations. In this case, the business was being labeled as a medical marijuana cooperative, but authorities allege the owners were illegally selling marijuana.
The male co-owner, age 61, pleaded guilty to selling marijuana to customers who had no medical authorization cards. He was sentenced to six years in prison and four years of supervised probation. His 31-year old co-owner will be sentenced in February for her part in the operation. In her plea agreement, she confessed to selling 25 pounds of marijuana for nationwide drug distribution.
The fallout from a drug conviction can have a lasting negative impact on the life of an accused person. Reputations can be ruined and family life tarnished, even if there are no convictions made. The stigma associated with criminal charges can last a long time, so seeking help in formulating a viable defense from these charges may help people accused of such crimes protect their freedom. In some cases, however, seeking a plea deal may be the best option. An experienced attorney can advise an individual of their options and the potential outcomes.
Source: Kentreporter.com, "Seattle medical marijuana dispensary owner sentenced to prison for drug dealing," Steve Hunter, Jan. 18, 2013.