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Whole Family of Medical MJ Patients Busted for Growing Pot

A family of four has been arrested for growing their own medical marijuana, despite being within the legal limit in the state of Washington.

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By Bryan Le

05/06/14

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The DEA has arrested a family of four as well as a close family friend in Washington state for growing their own personal medical marijuana, despite their claims of being in full compliance with the law.

Larry Harvey, 70, his wife Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, son Rolland Gregg, 33, and Rolland's wife Michelle, 35, as well as family friend Jason Zucker, 38, all face up to 40 years in federal prison for growing 74 marijuana plants at the Harvey home in Kettle Falls, Wash. The group claims they were growing the plants individually for their own medical use.

"There is no hidden agenda here," said Rhonda Harvey. "My husband and I are retired, but work hard to live a peaceful, sustainable life in the northeast Washington wilderness. We both have serious health issues and were told by our doctors that medical marijuana could help. All five of us have qualifying conditions, actually, and the garden was below the limit of 15 plants per patient."

Federal enforcement first raided the Harvey home on August 6 under the justification that the family was growing their marijuana as a collective rather than as individuals, seizing 29 of their plants without pressing charges. During a major federal crackdown on medical marijuana providers ten days later, however, federal authorities returned with a new warrant and seized the rest of their plants, five pounds of raw marijuana, edibles, a 2007 Saturn View, $700 cash, a computer, an ATV, and the family's legally-owned firearms.

"This is not the kind of spectacular haul that the DEA is typically called in for," wrote the family's attorneys in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in February. "Just the opposite, the evidence seized is consistent with the type of strict medical dosage that occurs with a doctor's supervision."

Though marijuana is now legal in the state of Washington, their case is being tried in federal court and the family's future looks grim. The Harveys will argue that they were acting within state law, though the court might rule against them due to an existing federal ban. The family faces a maximum of 40 years to life behind bars and have rejected a plea deal that would have reduced their sentence to three years.

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