Federal trial of medical marijuana growers begins in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Trial began Wednesday in federal court in Spokane for a group of people accused of growing marijuana near Kettle Falls in northeast Washington.

The group claims it was medical marijuana. The case is seen as a test of federal drug law in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana.

The group was originally known as the Kettle Falls Five, but now there are only three defendants. The charge against a 71-year-old cancer patient was dropped. The Spokesman-Review reports (http://bit.ly/1LIukEn ) another defendant made a plea deal and agreed to testify against the others.

Prosecutors said the five were growing 100 plants that would have produced more marijuana than they smoked.

A defense lawyer told jurors it was a case of overzealous prosecution against a rural family.