"But that's what happened in this case. He has been allowed to prosecute this case with Javert-like zeal to "send a message": His changing rationale for pursuing the cases, as seen in the letters, suggests that his analysis was largely political. "The U.S. Attorney said with some clarity that if these guys didn't get jail time, then that would send the signal that nobody would be jailed for marijuana in the district," said Tom Johnson, Duncan's attorney. "It's just a random application of the federal drug enforcement laws. He was literally at the wrong place at the wrong time." While Wagner was prosecuting the three defendants, another branch of the administration had begun to protect the workplace rights of medical marijuana shop employees. This raises the main question as to why it should be that anyone should be jailed for marijuana under federal law in California in the first place. (I don't suppose it has anything to do with the practice of asset forfeiture and arrest statistics, but it might be a good idea to ask.) Meanwhile, we have people engaged in legal California medical marijuana businesses being incarcerated under federal law for years. At our expense. And the destruction of their lives and futures. "
The human cost of this pointless prohibition is staggering.