Tom Daubert

Medical marijuana activist Tom Daubert received five years' probation at his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

GWEN FLORIO/Missoulian

A former medical marijuana provider is attempting to cut short his probationary period after completing one year of a five-year sentence in order to care for his ailing mother and rebuild his flailing career.

Thomas Frederick Daubert, 61, was convicted of maintaining a drug-involved premises in U.S. District Court after his medical marijuana business was shut down in a statewide sweep of the controversial industry in 2011.

Instead of receiving the minimum recommended sentence of nine years in prison, the former political consultant and medical marijuana advocate received five years of probation.

Daubert, a former Quaker, helped pen Montana’s 2004 medical marijuana initiative, but he has not been able to work with pot-related issues since his sentencing in 2012.

In a motion to be heard next Friday in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Daubert and attorney Peter Lacny argue his sentence is unnecessarily harsh and puts constraints on his attempts to travel to see his aging mother, who lives out of state.

“Tom is well aware that his sentence was both compassionate and lenient,” Lacny writes. “At the same time, the effects of his prosecution and sentence have been severe and have taken a harsh toll on Tom’s life.”

His father, Lacny wrote in the motion, died in September and Daubert wasn’t able to receive permission in time to see his father before his death.

Furthermore, the conditions of his sentence have ruined his political consulting career and sent him into debt, while the 61-year-old should have been “enjoying the fruits of his lifelong labor,” Lacny wrote.

But federal prosecutors are opposing the motion.

After emphasizing the leniency of Daubert’s sentencing in a response filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thaggard argued that the sentence doesn’t restrict Daubert’s attempt at finding viable employment. He suggests Daubert is able to resurrect his career as a political advocate easily enough without advocating for marijuana.

Thaggard also dismisses Lacny’s argument that Daubert needs the sentencing reduction in order to visit his aging mother.

Thaggard said Daubert is able to obtain the permission necessary for travel, and the woman’s condition should have no bearing on her son’s sentence.

A hearing on the early termination motion is set for next Friday at 9 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen in Missoula.

Reporter Kathryn Haake can be reached at 523-5268 or at kate.haake@missoulian.com.

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