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Commutation For Nonviolent Marijuana Offender Serving 17.5 Year Sentence - Noah Kleinman

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Dear President Barack Obama & United States Pardon’s Attorney, this letter is in support of a petition for commutation of sentence for Noah Kleinman (Reg number 61596112.) Noah Kleinman is serving seventeen and a half years in federal prison. For this, one might expect that Mr. Kleinman had committed a heinous violent crime or stolen millions of dollars. But instead, Mr. Kleinman was convicted of doing something that the majority of states and the public believe should not be a crime at all – participating in medical marijuana dispensaries.

Noah is currently confined in the Federal Correctional Institution at Terminal Island in Long Beach, California. He was convicted of Conspiracy To Distribute With Intent To Distribute Marijuana, pursuant to 21 USC Sec. 846; Distribution Of Marijuana and Aiding And Abetting And Causing An Act To Be Done, pursuant to 21 USC Sec. 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D); Maintaining A Drug-Involved Premises; pursuant to 21 USC Sec. 856(a)(1); and Conspiracy to Launder Money.

The personal toll for continuing this sentence is substantial on Noah and his family. As a result of his incarceration on this federal marijuana charge, Mr. Kleinman was unable to be with the mother of his children when she became gravely ill and died. His family members are either unable or unwilling to care for the children, and so he had to leave his two young children behind, leaving them effectively orphaned, and if Mr. Kleinman’s sentence stands, he will not be released from prison until after his children are grown. Clearly, this is a circumstance where it would be in the best interest of the children to be living with their father, Mr. Kleinman. It should also be noted that while in prison, Noah has earned certificates in MacroEconomics, Positive Parenting, Drug Education, and more. There have been no disciplinary incidents against Mr. Kleinman. He truly is an exemplary inmate.

Congress has expressly recognized that the tragic consequences that flow from federal prosecution are not warranted in medical marijuana cases. The Court in Noah's case should have heeded Congress’s directive and put an end to this prosecution and to Mr. Kleinman’s continued incarceration. The district court deprived Mr. Kleinman of a fair trial by limiting his defense evidence and then refusing to instruct the jury of Mr. Kleinman’s theory of defense. Mr. Kleinman sought to present evidence that he could not be guilty of possession with the specific intent to distribute marijuana where himself and the members of the medical marijuana collectives jointly acquired and possessed the marijuana at issue. See United States v. Swiderski, 548 F.2d 445 (2d Cir. 1977). Despite Mr. Kleinman’s theory being grounded in law, the district court limited Mr. Kleinman from further exploring his defense when cross-examining cooperating witnesses and precluded Mr. Kleinman from admitting into evidence the agreements that demonstrated he and members jointly acquired and possessed the medical marijuana. The district court further erred by not instructing the jury on the defense theory because while the district court limited Mr. Kleinman’s defense, he nonetheless presented some evidence of that defense, requiring the jury be instructed of his theory of defense.

Mr. Kleinman’s continued lengthy incarceration is out of line with public opinion and contravenes Congress’s directive not to expend federal resources on medical marijuana prosecutions. We believe it would be fair and just, and promote judicial economy, to grant Mr. Kleinman his request for commutation of sentence.  

Please review Mr. Kleinman's request and I believe you will find that commuting  the prison sentence imposed upon Mr. Noah Kleinman should be granted. 

Thank you for the time and consideration that you give to this matter.


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