Feds seek prison for rural Washington pot growers

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Washington state is plowing ahead with licensing people to grow and sell recreational pot, but a federal trial scheduled to begin Monday in Spokane suggests not all is hunky-dory with weed.

Larry Harvey, a 70-year-old medical marijuana patient with no criminal history, three of his relatives and a family friend each face mandatory minimum sentences of at least 10 years after they were caught growing about 70 pot plants.

The Harveys had guns at their home, part of the reason for the lengthy possible prison time. They say the weapons were for hunting, but prosecutors say two were loaded and in the same room as a blue plastic tub of pot.

Medical marijuana advocates say the prosecution violates federal policies that nonviolent, small-time drug offenders should not face long prison terms.

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