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Medical Marijuana Prisoner, Luke Scarmazzo, Finally Free After 14 Years, Fed. Judge Grants Freedom Thanks To The Weldon Project And Mission [Green]

Weldon Angelos, founder of The Weldon Project and Mission [Green] which focuses on gaining the release of cannabis prisoners, announced that he helped secure the release of Luke Scarmazzo, who was serving 22 years in federal prison for lawfully operating a state compliant medical cannabis dispensary from 2004-2006. U.S. District Court judge Dale A. Drozd granted compassionate release to Scarmazzo, who has already served over 14 years. In rendering the ruling, judge Drozd wrote the following:

“When considering the unique confluence of all of these circumstances—changes in the legal landscape with respect to federal enforcement of laws relating to distribution of marijuana in California; the significant disparity in the sentence actually served by co-defendant Montes and the 14+ years already served in prison by defendant Scarmazzo; defendant’s good behavior, meaningful employment, volunteer work, pursuit of educational opportunities during his imprisonment; defendant’s solid release plans including job offers and family support; the lack of danger posed to the community were he to be released; and defendant Scarmazzo’s difficult family circumstances that have developed during his imprisonment—the court is persuaded that the granting of the requested relief is appropriate at this point and is supported by both extraordinary and compelling circumstances and consideration of the sentencing factors set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).”

Angelos, a former music producer who was recently pardoned by president Donald Trump on December 22, 2020, has been helping with the process and advocating for the release of Scarmazzo through his nonprofit organization, The Weldon Project, and Mission [Green].

“Luke’s story is one of the most tragic stories perpetrated by our criminal justice system. He was following state law but treated as a drug kingpin by the federal system. But I’m finally relieved that he can go home to his family and have a chance at rebuilding his life after serving 14 years in prison,” stated Weldon Angelos, president of The Weldon Project, who was incarcerated with Scarmazzo in Lompoc, California, from 2010 until his release May of 2016. “We’ve helped a lot of people, but this one is different. Luke is my friend and someone I’ve been fighting for since we were in prison together seven years ago. Now, Luke has the ability to join us in this fight to free those we have both left behind.”

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Photo: Courtesy of CNW Group/Mission Green

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