One of two men suing for clarification of Montana law on caregiver-to-caregiver medical marijuana transfers was sentenced Thursday in Flathead District Court.

Lief Erickson, 48, Kalispell, was given a four-year suspended sentence as part of a plea agreement on a charge of criminal possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

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District Judge David Ortley ruled that Erickson is allowed to possess and use medical marijuana under the rules set forth in state law.

Erickson and fellow caregiver Robin Ruiz were arrested Feb. 3 after police pulled them over on U.S. 2 near Lake Five Road and found three pounds of bulk-bagged marijuana, 300 Tetrahydrocannabinol pills and 11 ounces of THC honey. THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

The pair believed the transfer of the drugs between them was legal under state law.

The Medical Marijuana Growers Association subsequently sued Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan, claiming that the men were legally transferring marijuana.

District Judge Stewart Stadler issued a summary judgment order in which he wrote that the Medical Marijuana Act does not allow for exchanges of marijuana between caregivers.

Missoula District Judge John Larson also has ruled that caregiver-to-caregiver transactions are not legal.

An appeal of Larson’s decision was filed with the Montana Supreme Court on Nov. 1. No decision has yet been made.

A sentencing hearing for Ruiz was continued and no new date has been set.

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Source: Daily Inter Lake, The (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Daily Inter Lake
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