The hearing was emotionally charged, as Owen Beck, a former patient who lost a leg to cancer, testified along with his father. Beck was one of the minors in question. Another former patient, Elaine McKellips, testified that a man who raped her—and caused the injuries she was treating with marijuana—will serve less time than Lynch, whom, she said, was helping her recover.
“I think the judge definitely understands how unfair this is,” Lynch said, “but he’s bound by the federal law.”
Many of Lynch’s supporters were hoping for an intervention by the White House after Attorney General Eric Holder made statements indicating that the days of federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries were over. Any posturing by the feds, however, has done nothing to help Lynch.
The new federal policy, according to Holder’s statements, is to recognize state laws concerning medical marijuana. The feds will now only go after people who violate both state and federal law. Lynch said he was happy just to walk out of the courtroom again, but he stopped off at the Lompoc penitentiary on the way home anyway “just to check it out.
“I just walked up to the gates of hell and looked in,” Lynch said, “just to see where I don’t want to be.”