Voices of the Cannabis War – prison outreach news as of July 2016. You can help.
PRISON OUTREACH NEWS FROM JULY 2016
The 4th of July will come and go and each year that we celebrate freedom by having the day off and barbecuing, a plant prisoner sits in jail wondering when the rest of the world will wake up. As we drink our beer, smoke our legal or illegal herb pending on what state you are in, let us take a moment of remembrance for those who have lost their lives and are losing life while sitting in a cold loveless jail cell; prison is meant for criminals, not potheads. As July 4th approaches, we must give attention to one of our heroes who was serving a LIFE sentence for cannabis. Bill Lamorte passed away on July 4th, 2007 at the Fort Dix prison in New Jersey, from a heart attack after serving approximately 15 years in prison. Eugene Fischer, one of our released POW’s who served 25 years of a life sentence for cannabis, who was friends and had served time with Bill before he passed away, describes Bill as, “A gentle, helpful, kind man who should never have died in prison.” When Eugene got out of prison, he left some of his cannabis LIFER friends behind and is determined to fight for them all. To hear more from Eugene, one of the Voices Of the Cannabis War radio hosts, and some recently released LIFERs listen to recent episode:
Celebrations are in order for three LIFERS who were given their freedom back this month! President Obama granted clemency to Ronald Gregory Farah from Boca Raton, Florida and Jesus Ruiz of Kennedale, Texas. They will be released in October of this year. Weldon Angelos was immediately released May 31st after a federal court granted him a reduction in sentence.
Michael Thompson: We would like to extend our condolences to Michael and his family. Michael is incarcerated in a Michigan State Penitentiary serving a LIFE sentence for cannabis. We are sorry to report his mother recently passed away and grief bars is difficult to process, at best. Michael was allowed to see his mother just before her death, but as is the case for everyone, he was not able to be at his own mother’s funeral.
Chris Martin: Chris is in an Arizona state prison for providing cannabis to patients. His wife Andi and his children have done the best they can in his absence, but the latest blow to the family hurts deeply. In a social media post Andi described the consequences of the unjust decision best:
“I am missing my Husband, my best friend, the other part of me. The prison has denied us again for visits. I am at a loss and just want to see Chris. Too sad to get into the fighting I have done to try to see him and how this is just wrong and they have made a huge mistake and won’t admit it. My husband does NOT deserve this my family does NOT deserve this and I’m just tired of it all, our kids are hurting again because of a (expletive) up justice system…….and i have exhausted all my appeals for visitation, they said I can see him when he gets home.”
Jerry Duval: In April, Plant Prisoner Jerry Duval went missing! Jerry’s co-defendant and son, recently released POW, Jeremy Duval recently talked to him, and found his disappearance is because his dad is serving 60 days of his federal sentence for cannabis on lockdown. Until Recently, the reason for his lockdown was unknown. Jeremey found out that his dad got in a scuffle with another inmate, and when he was let out he refused to stand for count. Jerry is not allowed to communicate with his family or the outside world until August 17. Jerry is a kidney and a pancreas transplant, also lives with glaucoma and neuropathy patient. Jeremy and his family are worried he is not being properly cared for on lockdown. Jerry can receive mail! Please send Jerry a card to Gerald Lee Duvall # 10717-050, FMC DEVENS, FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER, P.O. BOX 879, AYER, MA 01432. Please sign his petition online at https://goo.gl/iBXw8S.
News Around the Nation
Oregon – Paul Stanford of Portland joined VOW in an interview to discuss how he avoided prison time, in large part, due to jury nullification. He is the founder of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, THCF Medical Clinics, and the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp. Stanford discussed the inherent corruption of our government and the need to make drastic changes to the whole system in order to retain our human rights. One part of our system he supports is the role of the jury. “Jury nullification is a critical component…and final protection in the judicial system.” To hear the full interview and interviews with FIJA’s Kirsten Tynan and NJ Weedman go to: http://bit.ly/1Y41x6q. Stop by and see Paul in person at Portland’s Hempstalk September 24th, and 25th. Visit http://hempstalk.org/site/ for more information.
Lance Gloor: Washington- Sentencing for Lance Gloor, former mmj provider was held in Federal court on June 3rd. Lance was sentenced to 10 years by Judge Leighton. Despite dozens of letters from the community, the judge based his decision based on testimony from the snitches in Lance’s case. The judge called Lance a ‘flim flam man’ and the federal prosecutor referred to our state’s MMJ laws as an ‘experiment’. Lance’s attorney fought hard to have Lance released based off of current mmj cases that are being held in the 9th circuit appeals court. Regardless of Lances fight to be free, the judge kept him in prison. Lance followed state laws, and because our state and federal laws are different, he will spend the next 10 years in prison, and 5 years on probation. Lance’s family is presently trying to raise money for an appeal via GoFundMe. If you would like to help cheer up Lance, please send him a letter to: Lance Gloor #44270-086, FDC SEATAC, FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER, P.O. BOX 13900, SEATTLE, WA 98198.
The Rise Of The Pothead Politicians – Ever since Washington State passed its recreational law, the medical marijuana program has taken a large hit, not just the program, but the medicinal value and who deserves to treat themselves holistically has been drawn into question with the reshaping of the program with SB5052 which ironically was called the Cannabis Patient Protection Act which ended up hurting dispensaries, medical providers, holistic caregivers, and in the end patients. Three people in Washington State’s medical marijuana industry have decided to take a stand and are running for office, trying to change the law from within. These three superstars are Michael Scott (running for State Representative in the 10th Legislative District under the libertarian ticket), Tammy Ramsay (running for State Representative for the 24th District), and finally drug war victim Stephanie Heart (running for State Representative for the 46th Legislative District). Each of these individuals has been involved in Washington State’s medical marijuana program one way or another and have witnessed first hand the harms of the recreational law that was scared of the medical market already in place. Stephanie Heart, who is running for 46th district is also behind initiative 1419, Wa State Cannabis Patient Reform Act. This initiative will help keep us all out of jail! To sign the petition, please go to: http://goo.gl/lh5VES
Kansas- The highly publicized case against Shona Banda continues to take its toll on the Crohn’s survivor. Banda however, has not given up on her freedom, and continues to fight. At this time she is in search of new representation and court is fast approaching with a date set in July. In a live video post to Facebook, Shona explained that she feels it is important to earn the money needs to obtain qualified counsel and no longer wishes to rely on donations. She does not feel “safe” represented by a randomly assigned public defender and needs to raise the funds necessary to hire an attorney. To earn the funds needed, Shona is selling a second edition print of her book “Live Free or Die.” You can find her book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and authorhouse.com. Connect with Shona directly to obtain your personalized copy. Go to: https://goo.gl/QBtD4Z to obtain your personal copy of her book and the latest updates on her case.
NO VICTIM = NO CRIME = NOT GUILTY
NO ONE SHOULD BE CAGED FOR CANNABIS!
By: Kristin Flor, Mindi Griffiths, Miggy 420, Becca Nichols & Danielle Vitale – O’Brien