Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Convince President Obama to grant a presidential pardon for Luke Scarmazzo, who was sentenced to twenty years in prison for operating a medical marijuana dispensary
Currently, Luke Scarmazzo is serving twenty years in prison for running and operating a legal medical marijuana dispensary in Modesto, California. Luke grew up in California, and has been interested in playing music and legally growing cannabis his entire life. Years ago, Luke was present at a bar fight between some of his friends and another party, and a member of the other party ended up dying. Although Luke was not involved with the fighting, he was sentenced to two years in jail because he wouldn’t testify against his friends. This is why Luke is currently facing such a hefty charge.
When he was released from prison in 2004, Luke was determined to set his life on the right path. He has a daughter who was born shortly before he went to prison, and his goal was to get a good job doing what he loved and to be able to provide for his daughter (shown in the photo with Scarmazzo). With this in mind, he joined up with a business partner and opened California Healthcare Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Modesto, CA.
The business was doing well, and things were finally working out for Scarmazzo. Then, in January of 2012, the dispensary was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and all of Scarmazzo’s plants, products, and profits were seized. The federal government also seized $322,313 in assets, leaving Scarmazzo broke.
This raid happened because during the course of a fifteen-month investigation, undercover police were able to purchase medical marijuana nine times with fraudulent doctor’s notes. There was no major criminal activity, smuggling, or cutting corners. Because Scarmazzo made nine mistakes admitting patients in over a year, he is facing twenty years in prison. Scarmazzo is serving time in FCI Lompac in California.
Currently, Scarmazzo has exhausted all of his legal and monetary resources, and his only hope is a presidential pardon. By signing the petition bellow, you are telling Barack Obama that such a severe punishment for a minor crime is not okay, and Luke Scarmazzo needs to be granted a pardon for his activities.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Luke Scarmazzo has been sentenced to twenty years in a federal prison, and he is asking for your presidential pardon. Scarmazzo’s medical marijuana dispensary, California Health Collective, got raided in 2012, and all of his personal assets were seized, making it hard for him to seek legal counsel.
The raid took place because undercover agents were able to purchase marijuana with fraudulent doctor’s notes nine times in fifteen months, not because of any smuggling, contraband, or other illicit activities. Because this was not his first offence, Luke is facing a very long sentence in prison for a bureaucratic error at his place of business.
Please use your power of presidential pardon to Grant Luke Scarmazzo a mistrial, or his freedom. Scarmazzo has a young daughter, and was in the process of trying to run a successful and legitimate business when he was incarcerated. Please take the time to review the evidence in this case and help a man who has been wrongfully accused and punished.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: cannabisnowmagazine.com