A Virginia judge was sentenced to 30 days in jail for growing marijuana on his Shenandoah farm. Judge James H. Allamong was also ordered to serve 2 years probation. It could have been a lot worse. The judge had originally been charged with felony manufacturing and possession with the intent to distribute (PWID), when police found 41 cannabis plants. A plea bargain reduced the felonies to misdemeanors.
This case illustrates two important facts. First, marijuana use cuts across all social, regional and professional classes. Inner city poor and minority are 10 times as likely to be arrested, because that’s where the police are patrolling. Occasionally, a rich, white, rural guy will get caught up. In this case, there was a fire on the judge’s property, and the firemen discovered his garden. Allamong said he grew the marijuana to treat the injuries he sustained in the Vietnam war.
Second, people often consider marijuana prosecutions a joke – until they’re charged. Lucky for the judge that he had a good defense lawyer. Otherwise, he might be facing a felony conviction, disbarment from the practice of law, and significant jail time. As it is, his career and reputation are ruined.