Mixed Martial Arts referee Josh Rosenthal was given 37 months in jail, three years of probation and a $100 fine for allegedly growing cannabis in Oakland in 2012.
The sentencing comes after Rosenthal’s attorneys reached a deal with the state. He was initially facing ten years to life in prison, five years probation and $10 million in fines. All for growing some pot.
Rosenthal was busted last April after police raided an Oakland warehouse with more than 1,300 plants inside. Police estimated the plant’s value at more than $6 million.
The warehouse was registered to Rosenthal, who originally pled not guilty to the charges back in October. He later changed his plea to guilty. The sentencing comes after months of Rosenthal battling a severe staff infection.
According to stats from the Federal Register, it costs more than $25,250 per year to keep someone in prison. That means taxpayers will spend more than $75,000 over the next three years to house and feed Rosenthal – all over some marijuana plants. When all is said and done with his years on probation, he will have cost taxpayers more than $100,000. That’s all money that could be much better spent elsewhere.
The high-profile ref will be missed, according to several MMA blogs. Rosenthal was seen as an accurate and fair judge who has overseen several title fights in his time with Ultimate Fighting Championship.