Marijuana Advocate Caught between State, Federal Law

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PLACER COUNTY-

It was just days after California voters passed Prop 215 in 1996, California’s top cop Dan Lungren at the time said the state would face an uphill battle dealing with the legalization of the drug.

Since then, many changes have taken place – and not just in California. Medical marijuana is legal in 19 other states, and Washington, D.C. That list includes Colorado and Washington, with both legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the Feds from busting up medical marijuana grows and dispensaries, because it’s still illegal under federal law.

“I’m 62. I’d be 82 years old,” Patricia Albright said of the time she’s facing in prison. She’s being indicted on charges of trafficking, growing and manufacturing marijuana.

alrbightAlbright says in 2010, the DEA raided her marijuana grow. She maintains that she did everything legal according to the state. Albright’s son, Jordan Wirtz, is being indicted too.

It all started in the mid-80s, when Albright says her son Trevor was battling bone cancer.

“There was a time where he was screaming for help he was in so much pain,” Albright said.

Trevor lost both eyes and was always in excruciating pain until one day, when a doctor told Albright about a form of alternative medicine.

“She said I should make him pot butter,” Albright told FOX40.

Albright says marijuana butter made a difference, but her son died at age eight. However, from that point on, she started to believe in the healing powers of cannabis.

Now, Albright faces serious charges.

“Growing marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, committing a felony while armed with a gun and structuring, which I did not do.”

If Patricia Albright is telling the truth and she did follow state laws, how is it possible the federal government can pursue a case against her?

“Let me be clear about this right now, there are no medical marijuana cards. Marijuana is illegal according to the federal government,” FOX40 Legal Analyst Ken Rosenfeld said.

Meaning the federal government has the final say, trumping state laws.

The DEA can come in at anytime and bust up what’s considered to be a legal business in certain states.

Albright sent the Obama Administration a letter. In it she says, “I am writing this to see if you or Attorney General Eric Holder can find it in your heart to help us. I believe in you…we are not criminals…”

The letter also mentions that Albright is losing her home

“What are they really after? I’m not a hardened criminal they know that,” she said.

FOX40 contact the Feds about this case, but they wouldn’t comment. However, court documents reveal an undercover DEA agent made contact with Albright and her son, and they informed them that they ship drugs to Colorado.

Agents also say they found evidence that proved Albright was trying to launder the profits she made from selling marijuana.

Patricia Albright insists that she and her son are innocent. They’re due in court July 28.

In Case You Missed It:

Marijuana Legalization: Could 2014 be the Year for California?

Family Credits Medical Marijuana with Helping Epileptic Son

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