Court News

Dec 19, 2012 8:22 AM by MTN News

Feds settles with Montana medical marijuana provider

MISSOULA - Montana medical marijuana provider Chris Williams has reached a settlement with prosecutors.

Under the terms of the highly unusual, post-conviction compromise, the second of its kind offered to Williams - six of the charges will be dismissed, in exchange for Williams withdrawing his pending motions for acquittal and a new trial.

Williams faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 92 years in prison until Tuesday's deal, but by agreeing not to appeal, the mandatory minimum penalties against Williams have been reduced to five years.

The government also agreed to dismiss the criminal forfeiture against Montana Cannabis, the company Williams co-owned with three other men, as part of the deal.

"It was not easy for me to give up my Constitutional fight, but as I navigate this complex federal penal system, it has become clear that punishment is the only thing that is guaranteed," said Williams in a phone call from the Missoula County jail.

"With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer," explained Williams.

"If Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the five year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son's college graduation," Williams added.

Williams is one of only four cannabis caregivers to take his case all the way to trial, out of more than 70 indicted since President Obama took office.

A White House petition to pardon Williams has received over 27,000 signatures to date.

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