WASHINGTON: A Washington state man who is facing at least 10 years in prison if convicted in a high-profile federal case over growing medical marijuana for personal use has been diagnosed with cancer.
Larry Harvey, 71, has stage 4 cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver, Harvey’s wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, told The Huffington Post in a written statement.
“Larry’s health has been going downhill since this case began,” Firestack-Harvey said. “This summer, he was hospitalized for ten days due to blood poisoning. That was the first sign of trouble with his pancreas. Larry took a sudden turn for the worse in December and we learned on his birthday that he has pancreatic cancer. Doctors have since confirmed that it is Stage IV and has started to spread to his liver. Larry had his second round of chemotherapy this Wednesday, followed by a blood transfusion on Thursday. We are trying to stay focused on his recovery, but the stress of trial in February makes this struggle even harder than it already is.”
Harvey, along with his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Rolland’s wife, Michelle Gregg; as well as close family friend Jason Zucker are all facing federal marijuana charges for growing about 70 cannabis plants for their own medical use at the Harveys’ rural home. The family’s defense attorneys have maintained the pot patch complied with state law. Washington legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational marijuana in 2012. Still, federal law classifies marijuana a Schedule I substance “with no currently accepted medical use.”