VT Digger (Vermont) experiences..
“Big John” Van Hazinga was sentenced to 5 years probation Friday in Burlington federal courtroom for illegally promoting marijuana out of the Ridin’ High skateboard store, which he co-owns together with his important different, Samantha Steady.
Steady was sentenced to 2 years probation.
Van Hazinga and Steady agreed to plea deals in March for the costs. Under the agreements, Van Hazinga pleaded responsible to a felony depend of distributing marijuana, for which he confronted as much as 5 years in jail, and Steady pleaded responsible to a misdemeanor depend of marijuana possession, for which she confronted as much as a yr in jail.
The pair appeared in courtroom in consecutive sentencing hearings Friday. At each hearings, the defendants obtained a harsher sentence than what the federal government was requesting, although neither social gathering obtained jail time.
At Van Hazinga’s listening to, Judge Christina Reiss highlighted a lot of elements she was taking into account in her sentencing determination. She famous that Van Hazinga’s intensive report put him within the highest prison historical past class underneath federal sentencing tips.
She additionally famous that even though Van Hazinga dedicated the offense partly due to his philosophical beliefs in favor of marijuana legalization, his actions can be unlawful underneath each federal and state legal guidelines. She mentioned each the quantity and technique of Van Hazinga’s distribution places his crime far outdoors the bounds of what’s allowed underneath Vermont’s 2018 legislation legalizing the usage of marijuana.
Reiss additionally acknowledged that regardless of the drug’s illegality, it isn’t an extremely dangerous or harmful substance, and nobody was critically injured because of Van Hazinga’s crimes.