Thousands Support Medical Marijuana Prisoner

Following a federal search by agents in March of 2011, medical cannabis provider Chris Williams is fighting prosecution and a possible 92-year jail sentence.

As part of the settlement, Williams is agreeing not to appeal his conviction of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, which carries a maximum 5-year sentence, and Possession of a Firearm n Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, which has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

His mandatory minimum sentences have been reduced to five years as part of the bargaining process. Sentencing has been set for Feb. 1, according to the SALEM NEWS.

But Williams is not alone in his fight, and supporters have been signing a petition as part of the Free Chris Williams Campaign in hopes that the judge will show leniency.

“I plan to show the judge petitions for Williams’ cause that have gathered tens of thousands of signatures from around the country,” Boiter stated. “I’m going to enclose these [signatures] along with my letter of support to show that we have over 30,000 just in the petitions that I’ve printed out,” said founder Kari Boiter.  “I just want the judge to know that the whole world supports Chris Williams.”

With over 27,000 signatures on a White House petition aimed to pardon Williams, President Obama is required to respond after surpassing the 25,000 minimum, though that has not yet happened.

Williams’s business, Montana Cannabis was one of 25 medical operations raided in Montana, ironically after a statement by the Obama administration promising not to focus resources on businesses that were in compliance with state law.

As part of the agreement, the government has dismissed forfeiture of his business, and six of the charges Williams originally faced were dismissed to assure there would not be motions for acquittal and a new trial.

Williams was unable to present his case that he was within state laws because the charges were federal.

Williams was convicted but the United States Attorney General’s Office gave Williams a deal to waive his right to appeal so most of the charges would be dropped, though he would face a minimum of 10 year sentence, and face a $288,000 judgment fee.

“It was not easy for me to give up my Constitutional fight, but as I navigate this complex federal penal system, it has become clear that punishment is the only thing that is guaranteed,” Williams said to NBC Montana. “With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer. If Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the 5-year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son’s college graduation. This would most likely be impossible had I rejected the latest compromise.”

Williams said he pushed to take part in an actual trial because he wanted to spur change for medical marijuana patients in the country, and possibly helped change laws to facilitate the process of providing medical mariuana.