Christopher Wayne Williams #11839-046
Offense: Distribution of cannabis; Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime
Sentence: 60 months
Incarcerated Since: 2008
Priors: level 1 misdemeanors
Date of Birth: 6/8/1974
Family: 1 son
Forfeitures: Cash and possessions
Did you go to trial?: Yes
How many people in your case are now free?: Three are free, four are not.
Why commutation: Because this country can do better than arresting and prosecuting people who were following state marijuana laws in order to help sick people.
Post Release Plans: To continue my education and start a new business in the tourism industry.
About Chris Williams Case
Former US Marine, Chris Williams and his partners operated one of Montana’s largest Medical Marijuana dispensaries, ’Montana Cannabis’. Chris Lindsey, Dan Nichols, Thomas Daubert and the Flor family worked in strict compliance with all state medical marijuana laws.
In 2011, Federal Agents raided William’s dispensary and Helena greenhouse in an all-out assault on the state’s medical marijuana providers and patients and charged Williams and his former partners with felony drug and weapons charges.
Having no medical defense in federal jurisdiction, Chris’ former partners all pled guilty and asked for leniency from the courts, but Chris stood alone and entered an innocent plea.
”The main reason that I went to trial is because I felt it was my duty,” Williams said during the sentencing hearing.
Williams operated under legal guidelines and refuses to admit guilt in a crime.
In September 2012 a jury found Williams guilty of eight felony counts facing a mandatory minimum sentencing of 80 years in prison. Supporters posted a White House petition that called to “Free Chris Williams” with over 27,000 signatures.
Judge Dana Christensen intervened, calling the two attorneys together, and prosecutor Joseph Thaggard agreed to drop all but two charges against Chris and waive the $1.7 million forfeiture requirement.
”An 85-year sentence in this case would simply be unjust,” Christensen said.
This was an unusual post-conviction agreement. Chris will serve just five of the originally proposed 80+ years for a weapons charge and his time already served was punishment for the marijuana charge. Chris also had to give up the right to appeal.
Write to Chris Williams
Chris loves to get cards and letters. Write to him here:
Christopher Wayne Williams #11839-046
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198
Getting to Know Chris Williams – In Prison for Pot
We asked Chris Williams a series of questions to help everyone get to know him better, Here’s what he said:
What meal or food do you crave most that you will want to eat when you get out?
Elk steak with baked sweet potatoes and asparagus!
What are your favorite books or who are your favorite authors?
Fiction: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Nonfiction: Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, and Thinning Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
Prefer winter or summer?
Nocturnal or morning person?
Prefer to be near an ocean or a river?
Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea during the day.
Snow boarding, mountain biking.
The Indian Runner, The Big Lebowski, Black Hawk Down.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Deadwood, The Simpsons, MASH.
What is your favorite color?
If you could walk out tomorrow and go anywhere – where would it be and why?
The Snowcrest Mountains on the Ruby River. No cell phones. No people. Just mountains!
If you could travel to any country – where would it be and why?
Northern India. I want to climb the mountains and know the culture.
What do you most want people to understand about being incarcerated that you don’t think they understand?
Incarceration is not difficult. The separation from friends and family is what makes things hard. The prison industrial complex is designed to destroy families and the community.