Sacramento, May 2, 2011 – Dr. Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer surrendered themselves at the Federal courthouse for a 5-year term in Federal prison today after an emotional two-hour rally of about 250 supporters. The married couple, who are both medical marijuana patients themselves, were prosecuted by Federal authorities for helping other patients despite their operating legally under California law.

A number of speakers from leading organizations including Americans For Safe Access and NORML joined the group in asking President Obama for clemency on their behalf, an end to the demonization of cannabis, and taking it off Schedule I drug status. They were followed by Dale Schafer and Mollie Fry, who gave stirring speeches before bravely walking into the Federal courthouse to be processed through the prison system.

Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer are just some of the latest people to become victims of mandatory sentencing, which was dreamed up by Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon in the early 1970s. Nixon set up a commission to investigate the legal status of various drugs, and when they studied the situation and came up with the recommendation that marijuana be legalized, he buried their findings and did things his way. So, in a very real sense, they are also victims of a drug policy that was a failure 40 years ago and is a failure now.

But it wasn’t just “Tricky Dick” that is at fault here. The administration of George W. Bush deserves some “credit” here, because they were the ones with the idea not to allow the defense in this case to even present any defense based on Medical Marijuana to the jury. And they were the ones who got the “brilliant” idea to add up multiple years’ worth of plants to get to a total over 99, which triggered the mandatory sentencing. In other words, the government couldn’t actually hurt them as much as it wanted to without changing the rules.

And that just might make them political prisoners.

Photos and videos Copyright © David Fiedler 2011. All rights reserved.