United States v. Henry, No. 10-5201 & No. 10-5219
Decided Mar. 8, 2012
Kimberley and Edgar Henry were convicted in a jury trial of two offenses related to their growing marijuana at their home. The Henrys appealed, raising issues of whether a thermal-imaging search warrant that led to the seizure of marijuana on their property was valid; whether the district court erred in excluding testimony that Edgar Henry used marijuana for medical purposes; and whether the district court erred in determining that the Henrys were ineligible to receive “safety valve” sentencing considerations. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The Court held that the collective strength of the information used to establish probable cause for issuance of the thermal-imaging search warrant was sufficient. Further, because Congress has determined that there is no medical benefit from the use of marijuana, medical use of marijuana cannot serve as a defense to conduct prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act. Finally, the Court found that the Henrys did not carry their burden of proving that they satisfied the requirements of the safety valve sentencing considerations, and that therefore the district court’s decision denying application of the safety valve provision was affirmed.
-Sara I. Salehi