Medical marijuana dispensary owner's prison sentence raises questions over prosecution

A metro Detroit man who was a pioneer in the medical marijuana business is behind bars, serving more than 5 years, in...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 1:14 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 1:14 AM

A metro Detroit man who was a pioneer in the medical marijuana business is behind bars, serving more than 5 years, in a case that has some asking if he was the victim of selective prosecution, or if his time behind bars is an appropriate punishment for criminal activity.

His family, his attorney and his peers all believe he's being singled out for what others are still getting away with right now.

Rudi Gammo was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison. Supporters say that's longer than some child molesters, who have gotten out in 3 years or less.

"My husband is everything for us, everything. He is the head of the family and he support us on everything no matter what it is," his wife Vida says. "My kids probably going to be 10 years old when he come home. I just want a little bit of mercy. because my kids and me and my whole family needs him, need him back."

Vida says Rudi got into the medical marijuana business years ago, working at the job as if it were his duty, using his Green Cross on 8 Mile to help those who were hurting.

Despite everything, the family says they don't regret the decision.

The Cannabis Legal Group and their principal attorney Barton Morris have stepped up to help.

"Rudi is one of the first people to be provided a medical marijuana dispensary in the city of Detroit, that was permitted by the city," Morris says. "It's my goal to see to it that he is released from prison, and his justice has been restored."

Here's how Morris breaks down the case: "Here's the thing they were prosecuting him as a continual criminal enterprise. right. because Rudi has all these homes. Allowing people to grow marijuana in buildings that he owned to service the community. All the marijuana is being grown and being sold at the dispensary. He's doing nothing different than what all these other dispensaries are doing."

Morris says that's how most medical marijuana business is done in metro Detroit - at least for now.

"For the last several years medical marijuana dispensaries in the state of Michigan in the city of Detroit but all over the state have been getting their marijuana from overages from caregivers," Morris says. "So, they're being distributed to dispensaries all over the state. so that's what Rudi was doing so he was just one of the few individuals that was prosecuted for it and eventually jailed for it."

So, is this a case of selective prosecution or the perfect punishment for the crime?

"Up until now, there has been no uniformity, there's been some people prosecuted it and others not. And people like Rudi Gammo, individuals that are really trying to provide a service that our society wants and needs," Morris says. "Our society has said marijuana should be legal, so we should not be jailing people for it, especially non-violent offenders, that are trying to do within the parameters of this gray area, that we're in the process of right now. These individuals shouldn't be penalized especially when the laws are going to change."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61839

Reported Deaths: 1707
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19569839
Ramsey7717268
Dakota4507106
Anoka3752115
Stearns290920
Washington216345
Nobles17686
Olmsted176723
Scott159020
Mower11052
Rice10388
Blue Earth9325
Wright8975
Carver8783
Clay78840
Sherburne7328
Kandiyohi7021
St. Louis57319
Todd4292
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Steele3512
Nicollet34713
Watonwan3230
Benton3203
Winona26416
Beltrami2440
Crow Wing23814
Le Sueur2261
Martin2095
Chisago2041
McLeod2020
Goodhue1999
Otter Tail1983
Cottonwood1780
Becker1611
Pipestone1589
Polk1554
Waseca1490
Itasca14612
Douglas1441
Carlton1420
Unassigned13141
Dodge1290
Isanti1290
Pine1290
Murray1241
Chippewa1071
Morrison931
Wabasha930
Brown892
Faribault890
Meeker872
Rock850
Sibley842
Koochiching793
Jackson790
Pennington751
Cass742
Mille Lacs723
Fillmore670
Renville665
Lincoln580
Grant563
Swift551
Yellow Medicine520
Roseau520
Pope480
Houston420
Aitkin411
Norman400
Kanabec371
Redwood360
Hubbard350
Wilkin343
Marshall290
Wadena270
Mahnomen271
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49380

Reported Deaths: 942
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10444208
Woodbury373452
Black Hawk315766
Linn242888
Johnson211819
Dallas189835
Buena Vista179412
Scott174314
Dubuque169831
Marshall145026
Pottawattamie133228
Story117315
Wapello90533
Muscatine85148
Webster8268
Crawford7313
Sioux6433
Cerro Gordo63417
Warren5721
Tama55429
Jasper48127
Wright4751
Plymouth47011
Clinton4164
Dickinson3844
Louisa37814
Washington30510
Boone2623
Hamilton2511
Franklin24512
Bremer2307
Clarke2043
Clay2011
Carroll1942
Emmet1934
Des Moines1872
Shelby1861
Hardin1840
Marion1750
Poweshiek1608
Benton1601
Floyd1582
Allamakee1564
Jackson1561
Mahaska14217
Guthrie1355
Cedar1341
Jones1332
Buchanan1291
Henry1274
Madison1252
Butler1252
Hancock1212
Lee1183
Humboldt1181
Pocahontas1172
Delaware1171
Lyon1152
Harrison1101
Cherokee1101
Clayton1063
Taylor1000
Winneshiek971
Iowa971
Page950
Monona910
Kossuth900
Mills890
Palo Alto880
Jefferson870
Calhoun862
Winnebago860
Sac860
Fayette850
Osceola840
Grundy801
Mitchell790
Cass791
Union781
Monroe748
Lucas734
Worth670
Davis612
Montgomery604
Chickasaw550
Appanoose513
Howard500
Fremont430
Greene430
Keokuk371
Van Buren361
Ida310
Adair300
Audubon291
Decatur250
Ringgold231
Wayne201
Adams160
Unassigned10
Rochester
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Sunny start to Wednesday before more rain chances arrive
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 8/12

Image

More students enrolling Pine Island

Image

Rochester's Ronald McDonald House adapting to new normal

Image

Shots fired at Rochester apartment complex

Image

Big Rochester Races on MN Primary Ballot

Image

Jump Bikes in Rochester

Image

Coaches react to Big Ten cancellation

Image

Wind Farm Project Update

Image

Biden chooses a running mate

Image

The impact of a pandemic on a primary

Community Events