‘Kettle Falls Five’ Outcome May Mean Changes For Federal Drug Prosecutions

WASHINGTON:  At least one interested onlooker at this week’s federal trial of self-proclaimed medical marijuana growers from Stevens County believes it’s unlikely federal prosecutors will pursue similar charges again.

“My belief is, unless it’s an extremely unique factual case, we will not be seeing these types of cases in federal courts any longer,” said Roger Peven, who has defended federal criminal cases in the area for three decades and was once head of the Federal Defenders Office in Eastern Washington and Idaho.

Peven observed several days of the trial of the so-called “Kettle Falls Five” in a downtown federal courtroom. Others nationwide followed the daily proceedings of the case, which was seen as an indication of how dogged federal authorities would be in pursuing criminal charges against marijuana growers in states that had decriminalized aspects of the industry.


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