Were Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer acting with compassion as medical marijuana pioneers? Or did they cross the law to make a profit?

The El Dorado County couple began five year sentences in federal prison Monday related to the marijuana recommendation, cultivation and sales operation they’re accused of running out of their home from 1999 to 2001 in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The trouble apparently began not when Fry, a doctor, began doling out medical marijuana recommendations or Schafer, a lawyer, began growing marijuana for their use. They came under federal scrutiny when they began selling pot, delivering pot and mailing pot, according to Sacramento Bee reporter Peter Hecht’s look at the case.

On one side, medical marijuana supporters say the couple fell victim to conflicting federal and state laws.

On the other hand:

Schafer admitted that by 2001, the couple had made between $750,000 and $1 million selling these recommendations to more than 5,000 customers.

What do you think?