22 Years in Prison are Far TOO LONG for Operating a State-Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary!!!
Over 15 years ago my Dad was taken to prison for operating a state-legal medical marijuana dispensary in California. He was given a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years plus an additional 1 year 8 months. Today, marijuana is fully legal in 18 states and D.C. and medical marijuana is legal in 39 states -- yet my Dad remains in prison!!
I am Jasmine Scarmazzo and I’m 20 years old. I’m writing this petition because I want my Dad to come home from prison and I am asking our compassionate President to grant him sentence commutation. That’s the only way he will be released without serving over twenty years.
In California, medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 and there are thousands of medical marijuana dispensaries here. But over the years, many of them were raided and shut down by the federal government. My Dad was an owner of one of these STATE-LEGAL dispensaries but since his conviction, the Department of Justice and Congress have made changes in law and policy that means my Dad would not be arrested if he was operating a medical cannabis dispensary today.
My Dad is serving the longest federal prison sentence given to a medical marijuana dispensary operator and the only Medical Marijuana Dispensary Operator who has been convicted of conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) - a law designed to prosecute Drug Kingpins! Following trial, two jury members recanted their guilty verdicts and gave sworn affidavits to that effect when learning the CCE conviction carried a 20 year Mandatory Minimum Sentence.
Today, 39 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws in place. In December 2015, Congress passed legislation that protects dispensary operators against arrest. Also, beginning in 2013, the Department of Justice stopped prosecuting medical—or even recreational—marijuana providers who are operating under state laws. Things have changed dramatically in the medical and recreational marijuana industries!!
And President Biden has recently indicated he supports the legalization of marijuana -- finally putting an end to the destructive and wasteful war on marijuana and allowing states to decide. President Biden has also publicly stated his desire to fairly treat those who are incarcerated for state legal offenses.
Unless he receives a commutation from President Biden, my Dad will have to serve his full 22 year sentence while others currently prosper for doing the same thing he did: operating a state-legal medical marijuana dispensary! My Dad's co-defendant, Ricardo Montes, was granted sentence commutation on January 19, 2017 BUT, inexplicably, my Dad was PASSED OVER by President Obama and was not granted the same relief from his sentence that Mr. Montes was!! That means I will be without him for another decade unless our caring and thoughtful President Biden grants him his freedom!! I graduated from high school and he has not been here to see me grow up.
Please sign my petition and ask our President to grant my Dad sentence commutation. Thank you for your support!