Larry Harvey, the family patriarch from the infamous ‘Kettle Falls Five’ case out of eastern Washington, will have charges dropped against him due to his advanced stage of pancreatic cancer.
In 2012, federal agents raided Harvey’s rural home outside Kettle Falls, Washington. They confiscated 75 marijuana plants, $700 cash, and some firearms. Residents of the home were charged with the manufacturing and distribution of marijuana, which remains strictly illegal under federal law, and each now face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years in prison.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice has declined to dismiss charges against the remaining four defendants in the case, who are Mr. Harvey’s family members and close friends, and they will stand trial beginning Feb. 23.
The case has attracted heavy scrutiny nationwide, and was drawn into a new light with the passing of the 2015 ‘Cromnibus’ spending bill, which effectively blocks the federal government from interfering with state-enacted changes to local marijuana laws. “Prosecuting persons who may be operating in compliance with state medical marijuana laws prevents states from implementing their own laws,” argues Robert Fischer, the family’s defense attorney, who called in January for the entire case to be dismissed.
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