Marijuana grower Chris Bartkowicz sentenced to five years

Bartkowicz.
This morning, Highlands Ranch's Chris Bartkowicz was sentenced to five years in prison, to be followed by eight years on supervised probation, for federal marijuana cultivation charges.

Bartkowicz will also undergo mandatory drug and mental health programs

Judge Phillip Brimmer accepted a plea deal and handed down the sentence this morning as Bartkowicz, clad in a yellow prison jumpsuit and sporting a heavy beard, sat expressionless. The plea deal prevents a jury trial where Bartkowicz would have faced a sentence of between ten and forty years in prison.

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Since his initial arrest last year for growing plants in Highlands Ranch and talking about it on 9News, Bartkowicz has maintained that he was following state laws as a medical marijuana caregiver. However, Brimmer said Bartkowicz "miserably failed" to follow state law. Brimmer noted that Bartkowicz did not have nearly enough patients for the amount of plants he was growing.

Bartkowicz was immediately handcuffed and led out by U.S. Marshals, giving a brief smile to his friends in the gallery. Outside of the courtroom, several of Bartkowicz's supporters fought back tears.

Lanette Johnson, chapter leader for Moms for Marijuana and a friend of Bartkowicz's, was outside protesting before the sentencing with roughly a dozen others. Afterward, she said that no matter how much she prepared herself to hear the sentencing, it was still hard. "It's better than sixty years," she acknowledged. "But it's still sad. It's sad to watch, and the [eight years of probation] is just frustrating."

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This mom is for marijuana.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Chris Bartkowicz medical marijuana protest rally photo gallery: 'No Prison For Pot.'"


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20 comments
Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana Addiction

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Kim
Kim

so, so sad. kudos to the protestors...

Yolo
Yolo

That's what he gets for showing off on the news! Maybe next time he will think before he gets a wild hair up his a*# to battle with law enforcement.

patient
patient

So showing off in the good old USA gets you 5 years and rapists and murders are lucky to do 0 to 3. My how times have changed.

Get real. He was in compliance with state law. The Feds can bust anyone, patients and all. They attacked because they were embarrassed, not because Chris was creating any problems.

Rena Wright
Rena Wright

LOL. I would be forced to agree with you Yolo. I was just wondering if I would dare do that without being sure I was within the law. Medical Marijuana is so new, there's too much room for error. In Michigan, my time is dedicated to helping caregivers and patients stay on the right side of the law. Its a hard thing to do.

patient
patient

Rena,

MMJ is not new in CO. For 10 years they feds left most in CO alone. His error is the same error every patient and caregiver in Colorado and Michigan is taking--breaking federal law.

He got busted with 10 TIMES LESS plants then most MMC's are growing in CO TODAY. Those MMC's have advertisements. Do they advertise in Michigan too? Isn't that stupider? Stupider than Chris? Do they deserve 5 years? When it's legal, lets not treat it like it's not.

jsknow
jsknow

The Federal Government has miserably failed to follow the law!

When alcohol was prohibited at the Federal level that required an amendment to the US Constitution because the Constitution GIVES NO AUTHORITY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO REGULATE DRUG USE!

In other words, ANYTHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES that the CONSTITUTION does not give the Federal Government the authority to do is ILLEGAL!

Judge Andrew Napolitano: "Ignoring the Constitution" 17 Constitutional powers !http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Why is the most useful plant known illegal? It's illegal because corporations that buy politicians fear competition from superior, safer and more environmentally friendly hemp products and because the Government loves to oppress jail and steal from the people! Alcohol, tobacco, petroleum, cotton, timber, chemical and pharmaceutical companies, just to name a few, all see marijuana as unwanted competition. The best way for We The People to regain our Constitutional rights and liberties is to demand a complete ban on corporate lobbying. We are supposed to have Government of, for and by THE PEOPLE, not of, for and by corporations! Corporations are NOT people!

Marijuana does not cause aggressive behavior. Marijuana does not cause dangerous driving. Marijuana does not cause cancer, brain damage or any serious health problems. Marijuana prohibition does not keep kids away from marijuana, illegal dealers don't ask for ID. Marijuana is not a "gateway drug", there is absolutely NOTHING about marijuana that causes people to use other drugs. Marijuana is not addictive. In fact marijuana is one of the safest substances known! Marijuana is SAFER than many foods we consume and give to our kids all the time! Exactly what good is this prohibition doing and who is benefiting from it?

THE LAWS PROHIBITING MARIJUANA ARE NOT A RESULT OF ANY HARM FROM MARIJUANA. THEY ARE THE RESULT OF LIES, GREED and racism. Read the well documented proof of that and a lot more marijuana TRUTH in these two articles: "MARIJUANA AND HEMP THE UNTOLD STORY, Thomas J. Bouril" and "WHY IS MARIJUANA ILLEGAL, Pete Guither", click the links to those articles on this webpage:Internet Explorer web browser: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/ho... All Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/in...

No matter which side of this issue you're on PLEASE read the two articles linked above. It's almost certain you'll learn things about marijuana and marijuana prohibition that you never knew before.

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AND REGULATE IT LIKE POTATOES, CORN OR ANY OTHER SAFE NATURAL PLANT/CROP! NO NEW TAXES!

Legalize marijuana and stop funding criminals, gangsters, illegal aliens and terrorists with hundreds of Billions in tax free $ every year. "When you fund something you get more of it" (Ron Paul). Does anyone really think we need more criminals, gangsters, illegal aliens and terrorists?

Learn the TRUTH about marijuana and driving!The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Hartford Hospital in Connecticut and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine document that MARIJUANA DOES NOT CAUSE DANGEROUS DRIVING:http://peaceandloveism.com/for... Google MARIJUANA DRIVING STUDY. You'll see 2 common findings:1. Drivers under the influence of marijuana are VERY SLIGHTLY impaired.2. Unlike those under the influence of alcohol, marijuana consumers are aware they are SLIGHTLY impaired and they CONSISTENTLY ADEQUATELY COMPENSATE by slowing down a little and being a little more cautious. That doesn’t mean they get in the fast lane on the interstate and drive 15 miles per hour. Marijuana makes you cautious, not crazy! Those Cheech and Chong movies were comedies, NOT documentaries!

John
John

Hey stoner, it is ILLEGAL under Federal Code -- that's THE LAW!

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

Who's forcing you to get high?

jsknow
jsknow

Hey Nazi that thinks he has the right to dictate what others put in their own body or grow, even when they are harming no one,

EVERYTHING ADOLF HITLER DID WAS LEGAL, EVERYTHING MARTIN LUTHER KING DID WAS ILLEGAL. Some laws are just plain WRONG and they need to be changed. If no one spoke up sheep like you would follow Uncle Sham until you had no Constitutional rights or liberties at all.

The Constitutional right to freedom of religion, free speech, a free press, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in your person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, to life, liberty and property, to be protected from having your property taken by the government without due process of law and without just compensation, to confront the witnesses against you, to be protected from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment, to vote and others have been unjustly denied to tens of millions of Americans in the name of the marijuana PROHIBITION.

EXACTLY WHAT PART OF "UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THEREFORE ILLEGAL" DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?

"TAKE YOUR UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW AND STICK IT WHERE THE SUN DOESN'T SHINE."... THAT'S WHAT TENS OF MILLIONS OF MARIJUANA CONSUMERS SAY ABOUT UNCONSTITUTIONAL ILLEGAL FEDERAL MARIJUANA PROHIBITION!

THE VIOLENT WAR AGAINST NONVIOLENT MARIJUANA CONSUMERS HAS FAILED, YOUR SIDE LOST! DEAL WITH IT !

John
John

Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do!

He's "Living the Dream Now" !!

PS -- Don't Do the Crime if you can't Do the Time !!

William Breathes
William Breathes

Lanette,

It was nice meeting you as well. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.

Kathleen and Tim: agreed - it is sad to see anyone imprisoned for marijuana in this country under a policy that clearly just does not work.

Lannette
Lannette

Hey, Will. Thanks for covering this story! That "Mom" is Toni Fox, a member of the SAFER Women's Marijuana Movement, and a dispensary owner, BTW. ;)

Was so nice to meet you this morning!

Lannette JohnsonIntl. Chapter Liaison and Denver Chapter LeaderMoms for Marijuanawww.momsformarijuana.com

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Lannette, thanks for sharing the info, and for giving us information about the rally.

Tim Wydeven
Tim Wydeven

Violent criminals belong in jail...farmers do not. We hear story after story about the overcrowding in prisons and jails. The state uses this problem to get money to build more prisons, and this is what we are filling them with!?! Legal or not, this man is NOT a danger to the community. There are better ways to manage this issue that do not involve destroying lives, or adding to an already overbearing prison population. Do they really believe they are helping Mr. Bartkowicz, or his community? Do you think he will come out a better, changed individual? He may come out changed, but not for the better. They don't call it "Gladiator Academy" for nothing you know.

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

So sad. Here we have a guy who did have enough paperwork (some of the doctors recs had additional plant count) but the Feds only counted 6 plants per doctors recommendation and now his life is ruined.

The real reason the DEA busted in was out of embarrassment when Chris went on the news. And he only did that because he believed he was under state compliance.

STINGER
STINGER

I REALLY THINK 5 YEARS IS OVERKILL FOR GROWING POT, HOWEVER I THINK HE SHOULD OF BEEN GIVEN 10 YEARS FOR BEING STUPID

Rena Wright
Rena Wright

Definitely overkill! WTF? This is a new industry. Mistakes and misinformation can be expected. Banks used bail-out money for expensive bonuses, and they weren't supposed to, what happened to them? I don't understand why they made it legal only to arrest caregivers and patients. Educate, Educate, Educate. Not jail. Shaking my head. Sigh. America. Land of the free. Home of the brave. hmmm... makes you wonder what it means.

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