United States v. Lynch, No. 10-50219 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to manufacture, possess, and distribute marijuana, as well as other charges related to his ownership of a marijuana dispensary in California. The panel held that defendant suffered no wrongful impairment of his entrapment by estoppel defense, the anti-nullification warning was not coercive, and the district court's evidentiary rulings were correct in light of the purposes for which the evidence was tendered.
The panel remanded for resentencing on the government's cross-appeal of the district court's refusal to apply a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, which unavoidably applied to defendant. The panel need not reach the question of whether an appropriations provision, which the panel interpreted as prohibiting the federal prosecution of persons for activities compliant with state medical marijuana laws, operates to annul a properly obtained conviction, however, because a genuine dispute exists as to whether defendant's activities were actually legal under California state law. The panel remanded for the district court to make findings regarding whether defendant complied with state law.