Patrick Steve Beadle, left, talks to his lawyer, Cynthia Stewart, during his sentencing hearing at the Madison County circuit court Monday, October 15, 2018. Beadle was sentenced to 8 years for trafficking marijuana.

Patrick Beadle, an Oregon-based musician convicted of drug trafficking in Madison County last year in a case that brought up tensions between differing state laws on marijuana, may now get out of prison in three years, according to a Clarion Ledger report.

A trial jury had found Beadle guilty last summer, though he and his family maintained that he used marijuana for religious and medicinal purposes and was not a trafficker. William Chapman, the now-retired judge on the case, sentenced Beadle in October to eight years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Beadle’s appeals lawyer Cynthia Stewart told the Clarion Ledger that after the initial sentencing, Chapman set aside Beadle’s conviction, allowing Beadle to enter a guilty plea for simple possession. Chapman then re-sentenced Beadle to 12 years in prison, though he could be eligible for parole in three years.

Beadle’s conviction drew attention as his family and lawyers argued his arrest was the result of racial profiling by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.

They have also maintained that he obtained the marijuana legally, as the state of Oregon has decriminalized the drug. A movement is currently underway in Mississippi to legalize medical marijuana through a ballot initiative.

At the trial, jurors learned there were less than three pounds of marijuana found in Beadle’s car.

Read the Clarion Ledger story here.

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Michelle Liu was a 2018 corps member for Report for America, a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms. She covered criminal justice issues across the state from June 2018 until May 2020. Prior to joining the Mississippi Today team, her work appeared in the New Haven Independent.