Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner Danny Trevino Sentenced Today to 15 Years in Federal Court
Activists gather to protest the sentencing of Danny Trevino
Sydney Krey poses for a photo wearing a shirt she made in support of Danny Trevino at his sentencing at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Courthouse in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. Krey, an activist, was there to protest the imprisonment of Trevino.
Michigan medical cannabis dispensary owner Danny Trevino was sentenced in Federal Court today to 15 years in federal prison. Danny was convicted of violating federal as an owner of a medical cannabis dispensary that was operating legally under Michigan state law. This is a continuing story
The United States Department of Justice isn't supposed to be wasting tax dollars prosecuting marijuana crimes that are otherwise legal under state laws. However, it seems that even now if they feel a business operator has stepped out of bounds in some way, they will swoop in and remind us all that federal law is above any law passed by individual state governments. Michigan dispensary owner Danny Trevino (of Lansing) has finally reached sentencing for the charges he faced for the operation of his Hydroworld shops in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Flint and Mount Pleasant and the judge gave him a total of 15 years and 8 months in federal prison.
“States are changing marijuana laws across the country, certainly that's true, but federal law has not changed,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said.
Trevino was convicted of 10 felony charges, including conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana and maintaining a drug-involved premises. Throughout the trial, he was not allowed to use the Michigan state marijuana laws as a defense against the federal charges though he maintains that he was operating within state law.
While he was arrested in 2014 in Grand Rapids for delivery or manufacturing of marijuana and maintaining a drug house, the charges were dropped a month later. Later, he fought the forfeiture of funds seized by the police. He eventually won that battle, and his money was returned by the state. His businesses saw 16 raids between 2010 and 2016, but each time he was able to provide the state with both store records and tax records. Even with the state's cloudy medical marijuana regulations at the time, it appears he attempted to remain compliant with those laws.
Considering the fact that he was cleared of charges at the state level, you would think the federal government would step back. Instead, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel McGraw says that Trevino knew he was acting illegally under federal law and basically, that's all that matters.
This is a case that didn't need to be seen by a judge as there are far more important things that the court system needs to worry about. The state didn't take the time to seek a conviction, and the Department of Justice had no need to step in and get involved. However, this is certainly a reminder that even for state-legal businesses, there remains some risk from federal interference if you don't comply with state law in every single aspect.
1/28/2020 06:06:23 pm
This is BS! 15 YRS?? FREE DANNY!
1/28/2020 07:04:20 pm
WTH?!? Can’t people be left alone? Who’s hurt here? What violent offense has been made here? Wtf?!! Get over it people! It’s just a plant!!!
1/28/2020 11:37:22 pm
It’s a gateway drug. Society in general don’t want to turn citizens into JUNKIES . I have no problem with medical marijuana. I do however have a problem with recreational marijuana.
1/29/2020 12:09:02 am
What gives you or the government the right to dictate what other peaceable people do with their own bodies? The drug laws are unconstitutional and against privacy rights. True Americans want freedom and their privacy protected. True Americans do not want the government dictating how any peaceable person lives their own lives. Think about it.
1/29/2020 07:47:37 pm
That's the stupidest thing ever. Stop being a Sheep. It's no more a gateway drug than water.
1/31/2020 08:01:43 am
You are an ignorant fool. Marijuana is not addictive and has never started anyone down the road to being a “junkie”. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. But in a world where alcohol and McDonald’s are both legal, it is an absolute farce to criminalize a plant that has never hurt anyone and that grows naturally in all 50 states.
1/31/2020 08:27:54 am
then dont smoke it
1/28/2020 08:39:32 pm
Our legal system is so fucked up
1/28/2020 09:42:07 pm
Vote to change the laws.
1/30/2020 06:33:10 am
He was not qualified under state law to sell. So no it was not a legal dispensary. He was warned to stop and continued to sell.
Since it never should have been outlawed. I think the Feds DEA and NIDA tax paid prohibidiots should dissolve and remove Ganja from Nixon's fascist boondoggle controlled substance ax.
1/31/2020 08:43:22 pm
Federal Prohibition must end and until cases like this do not exist we walk 4 change. Two legal standards do not make sense. State Rights...Lose meaning. It's unacceptable and the reason we have no choice but to take action in everyway we can be effective in bringing about the changes we want to see.
5/30/2021 10:57:48 am
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