I got another call today from another defendant. this time a federal indictment… actually I heard from two defendants in the same case. It’s a familiar story. a state compliant (as far as anyone involved) storefront collective and charges of conspiracy, money laundering and a host of others in federal court. A place by the way that completely disregards all state marijuana laws. I’ve heard the judges instructions over and over. Juries are told ” You will not consider any state or medical marijuana laws while deciding this case.“Montana medical marijuana provider Chris Williams on Thursday was found guilty on all eight counts related to his work at a state-licensed medicinal cannabis caregiver organization” Stephanie Landa and Tom Kikuchi both did federal time for cultivation of a state sanctioned grow. Steven and Joshua Burke had small backyard 215 compliant grows and 3+ years later face state charges. Aaron Sandusky was convicted last week and faces a 10 years to life mandatory sentence and it goes on and on….
All this is happening at a time in our nation’s history where 17 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing qualified patients to possess,transport, cultivate and distribute medical marijuana. In spite of this, the DA’s of of many states still persecute defendants with vigor,they continue to consider anyone involved drug dealers and cartel kingpens. Then there’s the Feds. The President came out and told the good people of America that he would not prosecute individuals that were following state law. Then the Ogden memo came out and the Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in the nation reinforced the position. (neither of which have been allowed to be mentioned by a defendant in federal trials resulting in a mandatory 10 year sentence.) The US Attorney has made it clear that that the government’s position is that Marijuana is illegal and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In case you are unclear what that means please do some research and you will likely be shocked.
We are a low hanging fruit to law enforcement, we have assets to be seized and something to lose. Most of the time, plea deals are coerced and snitches are created all without the hassle of a trial or a chance of justice. When the brave ones stand their grounds, often the wheels of justice forget which way they are pointed. Kangaroo courts, denied defenses and sentences that in no way mirror the charges. Put this in the hands of a typically incompetent, uninformed jury and little to no press coverage and what do we get. We get a bulging prison population and no end in sight.
Law enforcement uses random raids, smash and grab swat style assaults on non aggressive targets such as ourselves to keep us hobbled and fearful. Unfortunately, we haven’t been much of a challenge thus far. We keep opening up and cultivating like nothing will happen (til it does) then when it does, we pay up and go away. The few of us that stand tall and take the fight to them are met with in most cases a formidable foe with the deepest of pockets. When the press gives these cases any attention at all, the worst possible light is cast at least most of the time. Terms like profit and sales are used in with the same offensive tone as rape or extortion. All of this over a plant! and not just any plant, one that has to this date not been responsible for even one death.
As government regimes becomes more oppressive the hearts of patriots come emboldened…. well they are supposed to and I guess one by one, the few and the far between gather their voices and passions and deepen their resolve to change the world to a place where freedom and justice and liberty can be had by all. We are the same nation that thought it wise to end slavery, allow women to own property and vote, let the citizens decide if they want to drink or what to do with their bodies, We are the same nation that topples dictators of other nations for their inhumane policies.
The truth is that we hold the keys to success in ending the failed policies of prohibition that keep putting our dads, and brothers and sisters and mothers in prison for a plant, a reprehensible concept by nature. First off if we stood by our fallen as law enforcement, the military and even the mafia does instead of running away like rats (sorry folks it’s true on it’s face with way too little exception.) If we pooled our resources and made sure that every defendant willing to risk his freedom had competent if not brilliant representation, more would stand up. that takes us to the next step. If everyone charged or indicted for cannabis related charged refused a plea deal and demanded a trial by jury, a constitutional right that far too many waive, the courts would soon overcrowd with these cases and judges would be forced to reckon with the reality of prioritizing and dismissal. Next, if the courtrooms were packed with well behaved supporters and protests happened every time our tax dollars were wasted on such petty pursuits the jury and the press would be forced to take notice. If the press reported on the real stories of the atrocities from this “War on drugs” the public perception would change as well. I Believe that if most Americans understood what was really happening to it’s citizens and with it’s tax dollars, they would be moved to act. Not just the
“stoner” culture that usually lives up to it’s reputation, but to the average and extraordinary American that just wants to see things be right. Finally, if the juries of America knew the power they wielded, to veto unjust laws simply by voting “not guilty,” More would decide that jury duty was worth taking time off work for even if it’s a sacrifice. If juries refuse to convict in cases involving drugs, especially cannabis, the tide would turn. Abraham Lincoln said “”He who molds the public sentiment…makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.” Never a truer statement was spoken. If we the people refused to accept these policies of prohibition and tyranny, they would be forced to change.
I urge everyone that has reached this point with me to decide right now, to make a difference, to join those of us that have decided to be a part of the end of prohibition once and for all. Decide to act with courage rather than fear and when one of our own gets taken out run to them rather than away. Act with empathy rather than apathy. When you hear about a defendant that needs support, just once decide to take a personal day or even a morning or an afternoon. Never a more grateful reception is found than from the face of a defendant looking back on friendly support. Join a group like the Human solution or any number of others, it’s a great way to share ideas with like minded liberty lovers and really make a difference. If these are just too much then at least donate to a group so that they can act on your behalf. Share the information. We live in a viral society and if we just shared the pertinent information of defendants and this persecution that goes on under our noses,instead of impotently “liking” it would force the mainstream coverage it deserves. Finally and this may be the most important, When the jury summons comes, take it up as a weapon of ultimate power. Remember, if selected to sit on a trial, you the juror hold the same power as a governor or even as the president, the power to veto an unjust law simply by voting not guilty, without any fear of punishment!
So here’s the challenge or offer (depending on how you take it) Simply show up at any of the events or activities mentioned above and share the story with me and recieve a gift for your effort! yep it’s come to this, I have a gift for everyone that has read this diatribe and decided to once and for all become a superhero. I am easily reached and can be found in courtrooms around California supporting defendants. (although this is not limited in any way to California) send your story and a picture to [email protected] and I’ll get your gift to you!
thank you in advance all that step up your game and remember, NO one should go to jail for a plant. EVER