Stockton’s Betsy Davies, the mother of Matthew Davies, who was recently sentenced to five years in federal prison for growing and selling marijuana, is picketing outside the White House this week.
A Davies family associate sent this statement:
“Life is over. After a long battle, Matthew Davies of Stockton, California has been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for operating Medical Marijuana facilities. In Colorado people just like Matthew are doing the same. We have read about these people operating shops not just for medicinal purposes but recreation. They have multiple shops and grow areas just as Matthew did, and while Matt made roughly $50,000, they are making millions of dollars. Why is Matthew’s situation any different than theirs?”
I agree that Davies’ sentence is crazy — marijuana prohibition is crumbling so fast, pot may become legal while Davies is still behind bars — but I can answer the last question. Matt Davies situation is different because he lives in California. Colorado did a scrupulous job of tightly regulating marijuana. California did a half-baked job, which left federal authorities worried that large operations would cross the line into criminal enterprises.
I know this because Davies’ federal prosecutor told me. It is a rational argument. Except that none of the things the feds worry about –selling marijuana to minors; funding criminal enterprises, gangs or cartels; moving pot to states that outlaw it; providing cover for illegal drug sales or other crime; using violence or firearms in grow operations; conducing to “drugged driving;” or growing marijuana on public lands — was present in Davies’ case.
The feds seemed to believe that any operation that exceeded a certain size inevitably acquired thiese criminal traits. They convicted Davies before he actually did any of the things that are supposed to make for a law enforcement priority. That is the same as saying that, in the absence of strict state regulations, marijuana can neve be grown and sold legally. That’s a false argument.