We called him a brave man. And that he was. Aaron Sandusky, cannabis dispensary operator, is probably going to federal prison to atone for your medical marijuana sins.
Over the weekend the 42-year-old was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana plants, possession of pot with intent to distribute, and maintaining a drug-involved premises, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A.
Basically, he was running a Southern California pot shop. The damage?
Ten years minimum, with “a maximum possible sentence of life in prison,” according to prosecutors.
Yep. In a case where co-defendants took plea deals, Sandusky fought the law with the support of the medical marijuana community.
Sandusky was involved with the operation of three dispensaries under the G3 Holistics banner in the Inland Empire. His Upland shop was at the center of the case against him. It was raided by feds in November and he and five other defendants were hauled into court to face charges.
Sandusky knew that federal courts don't allow the legality of medical pot in California as a defense (marijuana is still a “schedule I” outlaw drug to feds), but he decided to go to trial anyway.
The jury found that, contrary to his supporters' claims, Sandusky's case involved “at least” 1,000 plants, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The jury could not come to a consensus on four of the counts, of “maintaining drug-involved premises at each of G3's marijuana stores in Upland, Colton, and Moreno Valley, as well as G3's marijuana grow operation in Ontario,” and a mistrial was declared for those, prosecutors stated.
The group Americans for Safe Access said last week that feds, who have vowed to crack down on medical marijuana in California (and who have been following through on that threat), were making an example of Sandusky:
This trial is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the federal government to intimidate dispensary operators in Los Angeles and undermine the implementation of California's medical marijuana law.
Sandusky was put behind bars until sentencing, which was scheduled for Jan. 7.