'Chicago, IL — Thomas J. Franzen, 37, has never been arrested or committed a crime before he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer that has spread to both his lungs and abdominal cavity last year. However, because government claims the authority to throw people in jail over a plant, Franzen’s self-medication process for his cancer has now landed him in prison—for the next four years.
Last month, Franzen was forced to plead guilty in Kane County Circuit Court to possession of more than 5,000 grams (176 ounces) of cannabis, a felony that carried a prison term from 12 to 60 years. He ordered THC-infused chocolates from California to treat his cancer and he will now be put in a cage for it.
Because Franzen ordered such a large amount of the chocolates from California, police accused him of trafficking it, so prosecutors — who had to take this “dangerous drug dealer” of the streets — followed through with the case.
Luckily for Franzen, however, at least one of the prosecutors showed him some compassion for his cancer and they knocked the distribution charges down to possession.
“He’s very relieved to have the case over,” Franzen’s attorney David Camic said. “The judge was cognizant of his health and wanted to give him a break, but ultimately 40 pounds of cannabis is a large amount.”
Sadly, Franzen will now be thrown in a cage as he continues to battle cancer, and he will not have the added help of the cannabis.
“In recognition of the seriousness of Mr. Franzen’s medical condition, our office reduced a 12-year mandatory minimum sentence to 4 years, of which he is required to serve only 2 years,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the statement. “We did this in spite of evidence that proves that Mr. Franzen is a drug dealer.”
On June 14, Franzen will be locked in a cage — despite never causing harm to anyone, and despite the fact that Illinois just passed a bill last month that legalizes the possession and commercial sale of marijuana in the state. That bill is awaiting Governor JB Pritzker’s signature.'
Read more: Cancer Patient Sentenced to Prison for Buying THC Edibles as Treatment
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