After raiding their house in 2012, federal authorities prosecuted the Kettle Falls Five for growing marijuana, even though medical marijuana was legal in Washington. DANIEL FISHEL
A federal judge has vacated the convictions of three Washingtonians found guilty in 2015 for growing medical cannabis near Kettle Falls, putting an end to a legal saga that tested the power of federal authorities to crack down on marijuana operations.
The so-called Kettle Falls Five was a family of growers: Rhonda Firestack-Harvey and her husband Larry Harvey, Rhonda’s son Rolland Gregg, Rolland’s wife Michelle, and a family friend named Jason Zucker. Federal prosecutors charged the group in 2013 for growing and distributing cannabis and owning guns “in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.” The family argued they were following state medical cannabis laws; the feds argued there’s no such thing as medical cannabis under federal law.
Zucker cut a deal and testified against the others. As Larry battled late-stage pancreatic cancer, prosecutors dropped the charges against him. In early 2015, the remaining three were found guilty of growing but acquitted on the