TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Letters keep pot grower out of prison

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:21 p.m.
 

DETROIT — A southeastern Michigan farmer recovering from throat cancer was sentenced to probation instead of prison on Tuesday for growing thousands of marijuana plants, partly because of many handwritten letters from supporters who described him as a modest, selfless man who helps others at every turn.

“This is one that most screams out: This man deserves a break,” U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said.

Edwin Schmieding, 61, was caught growing 8,000 marijuana plants at his Lenawee County farm and greenhouse in 2011. His wife told police that they were trying to tap the state's medical marijuana market, although production that large is illegal.

Schmieding's attorney, Sanford Schulman, noted that most plants were small and of low quality.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Schmieding told the judge as relatives wept in the courtroom gallery. “I've lived a hard-working life. I give you my word: I'll be a responsible citizen.”

Schmieding began growing marijuana in 2010 after years of growing cut flowers and other plants. He and wife Linda lived in a home built with their own hands and warmed by firewood during winter.

Friedman was influenced by letters from relatives and friends, even Schmieding's former wife, in the rural area. A neighbor said Schmieding regularly lent tools and helped him pour concrete. Family members said they were inspired by his modesty and independence as well as his courage during cancer treatments.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Fight against Islamic State at impasse, military commanders say
  2. Doctor 1st Ebola virus case in New York City
  3. Federal officials: Dallas nurse free of Ebola
  4. Riots shake Keene State College in New Hampshire
  5. Sampling of toxins under way at former steel plant in Kentucky
  6. Court: IRS not targeting conservative tax-exempt groups
  7. Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
  8. Defacements in national parks lead to outrage, probe
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.