A Michigan farmer has been placed on probation for two years for growing 8,000 pot plants at his farm and greenhouse in Lenawee County. Edwin Schmieding, 61, who is recovering from throat cancer, received his sentence on Tuesday.
A potential prison term was set aside, partially due to the many letters of support for Schmieding, who began growing the marijuana plants in 2010 and was caught in 2011. His wife had told authorities that they were trying to tap Michigan’s medical marijuana market, but production that large is illegal based on a law passed by the state’s voters back in 2008.
"This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break," said U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman, according to the Associated Press.
Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Barrington Wilkins had no problem with the sentence.
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Schmieding "wasn't intending to be Pablo Escobar," the well-known Colombian drug lord, noted Wilkins, who recently dropped charges against Schmieding’s wife Linda.
Unfortunately, Schmieding is likely to lose his farm because of the drug conviction.
"It's a bad thing that's happened to you, but you've lived a good life," stated Friedman.
Source: Associated Press