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Owner of marijuana dispensary faces prison

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., March 11 (UPI) -- A California man who ran a legal marijuana dispensary -- legal under state law that is -- faces up to 100 years in federal prison when sentenced this month.

Charles Lynch told ABC News there was nothing secretive about his business in San Luis Obispo County. He held a ribbon-cutting ceremony when he opened and joined the Chamber of Commerce.

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But he was arrested by federal agents in March 2007.

"I hear the banging of my front door," Lynch said. "I opened the door and about 10 to 15 agents with shields, bullet-proof vests, guns, masks, they came barreling in."

California voters legalized marijuana for medical use. A number of other states have done so as well by referendum or legislative action.

But federal laws have not changed. The Obama administration has said it will stop raids on marijuana dispensaries that are legal under the laws of the states they are in, but that will not spare Lynch a prison term.

John Littrell, Lynch's lawyer, said the county sheriff tried to catch Lynch breaking the law but found he and his employees were meticulous about requiring doctors' recommendations. Littrell thinks it was the sheriff who triggered the raid by passing information on to federal authorities.

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