Sentence delayed in medical marijuana case
Apr 24,2009 00:00 by UPI

LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge in Los Angeles has postponed sentencing for a man who became a key figure in the national debate over medical use of marijuana.

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu said he would like to impose a more lenient sentence on Charles Lynch than the five years required by federal sentencing guidelines, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lynch, 47, was convicted of violating federal drug laws last year for distributing medical marijuana at a facility he ran in Morro Bay, Calif.

At a hearing Thursday, one of Lynch's patients told the court a "great injustice is being done."

"I believe a man is being punished for reasons that don't make sense," said Owen Beck, who was battling bone cancer when his parents took him to Lynch's clinic.

Beck's testimony and that of his father were not permitted at Lynch's trial because the Supreme Court has ruled that a claim of medical necessity is not a valid defense.

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