Jailing Medical Marijuana Patients Costs Taxpayers a Fortune
The imprisonment of Jerry Duval, a seriously ill medical marijuana patient convicted of distributing the drug, could cost taxpayers upwards of $1.2 million, reports the Huffington Post.
Duval suffers from Type 1 diabetes. He has received both a kidney and a pancreas transplant, and he also lives with glaucoma and neuropathy. Consequently, he has a strict medical regime, which prior to his arrest included medical marijuana.
Despite the fact that Duval was a registered Michigan medical marijuana cardholder acting in compliance with state law, the Department of Justice (DOJ) brought the ailing farmer to court.
During the trial, Duval was not allowed to refer to his medical condition or the fact that he was acting in accordance with Michigan law, and in April 2012, he was found guilty of drug trafficking and given a 10-year sentence, which he will serve in a federal medical facility.
Now, Duval’s healthcare falls on taxpayers.
“The annual cost to preserve my kidneys and pancreas alone tops $100,000,” wrote Duval in a request for compassionate release.
“In addition, I require treatment for coronary artery disease and diabetic retinopathy, which has forced me to undergo nearly two-dozen eye surgeries. These expensive optical procedures will likely need to be repeated several times during the decade that I am in BOP custody.”
Once again, the DOJ’s refusal to acknowledge state laws has devastated a family and misused taxpayer dollars.