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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    COLVILLE- A northeastern Washington man at the center of a nationally watched medical marijuana case has died of pancreatic cancer, six months after the federal government dropped charges against him. Larry Harvey was 71. He died Thursday in a hospital in Colville, Washington.

    Harvey and four others-including his wife, two relatives and a friend- faced charges after they were caught about three years ago growing about 70 pot plants on their rural property near Kettle Falls. They were known as the "Kettle Falls Five." Harvey said he used the drug to ease pain from gout, but the government argued that the operation did not comply with the state's medical marijuana law.

    The case outraged medical marijuana advocates because Harvey faced at least 10 years in prison. Also, while marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, its recreational and medicinal use is legal in Washington. Kari Boiter, a medical marijuana patient who traveled twice with Harvey to Washington, D.C., to protest what cannabis advocates saw as overzealous prosecution, described him as a fighter.

    "I think people are really sad that he's gone, because they all drew a lot of hope and courage from the way he stood up for his beliefs," she said. "At the same time, they're honoring the sacrifices that he made."

    She said that due in part to his lobbying efforts, a federal spending freeze was enacted in late 2014 to prohibit U.S. Department of Justice money from being spent to block implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

    Harvey was dismissed from the case in February after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in December. Another defendant cut a plea deal. The rest were found guilty of growing pot, but they were exonerated of more serious charges.

    AP/Aug. 21, 2015
    Photo: centralmaine
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


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