Montana’s First Registered Medical Marijuana Caregiver Dies in Federal Prison

Richard Flor died in a Las
Vegas Bureau of Prisons medical facility on Wednesday.

Flor, 68, was just a few months into a five-year prison sentence
for running a Billings, Montana marijuana dispensary with his wife
and son. Flor also co-owned Montana Cannabis, one of the largest
medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, and which was the
subject of a March,
2011 federal raid. 
 Montana legalized medical
cannabis in 2004, but that doesn’t matter under federal law.

Flor’s wife got two years in prison for bookkeeping, and his son
got five years for running the Billings dispensary. These were
pleas entered and settled before the Department of Justice (DOJ)
could make sure that medical marijuana went unmentioned
in the
court room.
 (More about the debate over mentioning the
state legality of marijuana in court defenses can be found


US District Court Judge Charles Lovell sentenced Flor to years
in federal prison despite testimony that he was suffering from a
variety of illnesses, including dementia, diabetes, hepatitis C,
and osteoporosis. Lovell did recommend that Flor “be designated for
incarceration at a federal medical center” where his “numerous
physical and mental diseases and conditions can be evaluated and

The Great Falls Tribune
confirms this list of ailments and

Last month, [Flor’s attorney Brad] Arndorfer filed a motion
requesting the court release Flor pending an appeal of his sentence
due to health concerns. Arndorfer’s brief supporting the motion
detailed how Flor suffered from severe osteoporosis and on multiple
occasions while in custody, Flor had fallen out of bed breaking his
ribs, his clavicle and his cervical bones as well as injuring
vertebrae in his spine. Flor also suffered from dementia, diabetes
and kidney failure among other ailments, Arndorfer said.

“He is in extreme pain and still is not being given
round-the-clock care as is required for someone with his medical
and mental conditions,” Arndorfer wrote in his brief to the court.
“It is anticipated he will not long survive general population

In his Aug. 7 order denying the motion, Lovell

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