Drug Law

Plea to Obama: Pardon Bryan Epis, Medical Marijuana Grower

| by Marijuana Policy Project

By F. Aaron Smith

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last year that the federal Department of Justice would no longer prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers complying with state law, reform advocates cheered it as the greatest victory in over a decade.

The shift in federal policy was indeed a breakthrough for the medical marijuana movement, but did little good for Bryan Epis of Chico, California.

Last week, a federal judge ordered Bryan to prison for a 2002 conviction involving 100 marijuana plants he maintained for several state-legal patients. Under the current administration’s policy, Bryan would likely be left alone by the feds, but the problem is that his arrest and conviction occurred well before the new policy was implemented.

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This judge looked an inmate square in the eyes and did something that left the entire courtroom in tears:

Bryan was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and has already served two years behind bars, but has been out on various appeals since 2004. Today he’s sitting in the Sacramento County jail awaiting transfer back to a federal penitentiary.

Friends and family are hoping President Obama pardons Bryan so that he isn’t forced to waste more of his life locked in a cage because of his compassion towards sick and suffering patients.

Bryan’s partner is circulating a petition urging President Obama to grant a pardon and she requests your help. A printable petition form can be downloaded here. Please help Bryan by collecting as many signatures as you can and mailing the petition back to the address at the bottom of the page.