Pot Shop Owner Sentenced To Six Years Behind Bars

A man who ran six medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County was sentenced Monday to six years in federal prison for selling the drug.

Virgil Edward Grant III, 42, was nabbed on federal charges of conspiring to possess and distribute marijuana. He pleaded guilty last June and was arrested in May, 2008. Now, you're probably thinking medical marijuana is legal in California, but this is over the state's head.

Grant had argued that his dispensaries were legal under California law, but the feds would have none of it. The enforcement happened before the inauguration of President Obama, who issued an order to federal agents not enforce U.S. law against medical marijuana dispensaries in states where the drug is legal.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson said that Grant was running his pot shops for profit, however, which would even be contrary to California law, which allows for nonprofit collectives to cultivate and distribute pot to the seriously ill.

Before sentencing, Grant asked Wilson "to have a little compassion in your heart -- I'd like to get back home to my wife and children.''

It seems that the pot-shop owner's misfortunes started in December 2007 when a man high on weed he had purchased at Grant's Holistic Caregivers shop in Compton crashed into a California Highway Patrol officer in Ventura County, leading to the death of a stopped driver and paralysis for the CHP cop.


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