Diverse Sanctuary & Designing Your World!

Posts tagged ‘Marijuana’

H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

 

legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300

 

 

 

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND SUPPORT THIS BILL TO REMOVE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA FROM THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO A “REPEAL” BILL THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED AND IT IS BEING SUPPORTED BY MOST ACTIVISTS!

 

Find your legislator HERE!

 

To write or call the White House, click here

 

AND FINALLY, WE USE TWITTER!

The White House 

@WhiteHouse

 

President Trump

@POTUS

 

 

February 27, 2017

Mr. Garrett (for himself, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Taylor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Application of the Controlled Substances Act to marihuana.

(a) In general.—Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.

“(a) Prohibition on certain shipping or transportation.—This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

“(b) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91–513; 84 Stat. 1236) is amended by striking the item relating to section 103 and inserting the following:

“Sec. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.”.

SEC. 3. Deregulation of marihuana.

(a) Removed from schedule of controlled substances.—Subsection (c) of Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “marihuana”; and

(2) by striking “tetrahydrocannabinols”.

(b) Removal of prohibition on import and export.—Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking “paragraphs (1), (2), and (4)” and inserting “paragraphs (1) and (2)”;

(4) by striking paragraph (4); and

(5) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively.

SEC. 4. Conforming amendments to Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking “marihuana,”;

(2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) in clause (vi), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(II) by striking (vii); and

(III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(ii) in subparagraph (B)—

(I) by striking clause (vii); and

(II) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)” and inserting “subparagraphs (A) and (B)”;

(iv) by striking subparagraph (D);

(v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); and

(vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as redesignated, by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”;

(B) by striking paragraph (4); and

(C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;

(3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))—

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “marijuana,”; and

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “, such as a marihuana cigarette,”; and

(8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking “section 401(b)(6)” each place the term appears and inserting “section 401(b)(5)”.


All Actions H.R.1227 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

 

03/16/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
Action By: House Judiciary

03/03/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce

02/27/2017
Referred to House Judiciary
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives


https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/all-actions

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.xml

Additional LINKS of Information:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kentucky-house–senate-action-alerts.html

https://www.facebook.com/Kentucky-House-Senate-Action-Alerts-133526500152199/

Advertisements

Thorne Peters and his 4/20 “Potcastathon”

peters

I was very much looking forward to a three hour 4/20 show with Thorne Peters on Facebook.

It was going to be about the use of “No Men’s Rae” when pleading a Marijuana case,  and was featuring several guests along with Mary Thomas-Spears of Kentucky for Cannabis who was offering a different view on the use of this plea in a Court of Law, which apparently Mr. Peters did not wish to hear.  However, he DID invite her to his show for her to give her point of view and I knew it would be a good debate … or at least I thought it would be… 

There has been a much heated environment of late concerning “No Men’s Rae”, particularly on Facebook where both Thorne Peters and Mary Thomas Spears reside.  Both are long time Activists.  Mr. Peters is from Tennessee and Ms. Spears, is a long time Kentucky resident.  Both have had a number of legal cases involving Cannabis/Marijuana and are no strangers to the Legal System. 

RELATED:  Is No Men’s Rae “The plea to SET US FREE” ?

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthorne.peters%2Fvideos%2F1309776462436029%2F&show_text=1&width=560

I, as well, received an invitation from him.  I am assuming because I wrote the article concerning “No Men’s Rae” about  a week ago.

I invite you onto my 4/20 LIVE POTCAST to call in and talk about activism. I will be on from 4:20 pm ET til 4:20 pm PT 3 hours LIVE!

Thu 1:52pm

Psycho Mary will be calling in.

I replied later that day,

Thu 5:05pm

Need a call in #…. Isn’t Mary supposed to be on the show? At what time? Im listening!!!

Chat Conversation End

I knew as soon as I saw that message from him, and the way he referred to Ms. Spears, that it probably wasn’t going to be a fair debate, but thought maybe that was just his way of being “funny”.

Ms. Spears also speaks slowly and has a very deliberate voice, explaining details as she goes, and tries very hard to tell it in a way that everyone will understand.   When someone deliberately tries to talk over the top of her in a conversation, as he did, she can get very annoyed, understandably.  He purposefully spoke above her and never gave her a chance to fully explain herself, and as well actually made  “fun” of her during the “conversation”, (if you could even call it a conversation).  He had previously during the show used an automated voice of her commenting about “No Men’s Rae”, to which she had no chance to respond.  (Please review video starting at @1:55).

Oh and I finally listened to his broadcast and he sounds like he studied one of my broadcast nearly repeats everything I said only in stead of screaming repeal he is screaming no Mens Rea (Rev. Mary)

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmarythomas.spears%2Fposts%2F654968434600555&width=500

 

No automatic alt text available.

Mary Thomas-Spears aka Rev. Mary EITHER IT IS BEING CENSORED OR IGNORED. NEITHER CAN CHANGE THE TRUTH LINK

It suffices to say that I believe that there is no place for this kind of badgering between Activists.  There are a lot of us, we all have differing opinions on a lot of things.  We should not be harassed when being spoken to especially in a public conversation. 

When looking at the comments displayed under the video it seems there where a few with a differing opinion of No Men’s Rae and a few others which were not happy with the way Ms. Spears was treated while a “guest” on his show.

I was very disappointed and I feel it puts a cloud over the issue when a “Host” acts as Mr. Peters did on his show.  Everybody center’s on the ongoing “entertainment” instead of the real issue – the Justice System in this Country.  But then entertainment invites listeners and gets people talking and I’m thinking maybe that was what he was trying to do – use her for entertainment purposes?  I hope that he thinks before being this disrespectful to anyone again!

We will be watching when “No Mens Rae” goes to Court in July!

And yes, I still wish him much luck in his endeavors!

As well, I have much respect for Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears and her opinion.  I have seen years of Activism and teaching as well as actual Court Cases in the  Justice System which she has endured.  She has spent years learning from Activists such as Jack Herer, Gatewood Galbraith,  Ron Kiczenski, Joseph Zoretic as well as educating  Cannabis Activists, including myself, and I have never had her tell me anything that did not prove to be true.

I trust her judgement.

The following is a few excerpts from Facebook Messenger conversations:

Rev. Mary:  His Attack Began on the Comments he left on post on my wall he then starts contacting people on my list I guess to attack me personally… Because then I get this from Jeri Rose…

Jeri Rose:  just got this PM from that man (Thorne Peters), trying Mens R Here is what he wrote: She identifies herself as a psychic. If her victory had any merit, I would not be facing CANNABIS charges and no one else would be arrested…I will accomplish that on July 31, 2017. 750k getting arrested every year, only a brain dead sheeple would declare a legal victory. Getting your own ass off the hook with a begging plea for mercy does none of us any good. Follow the law. NO MENS REA.

Rev. Mary:  At which point I think… Really????That’s what your going to do??? Make personal attacks to my character like a government agent or psych-ops?

Thorne Peters (to Rev. Mary):
I will be reading your take on NO MENS REA from your group post on my LIVE @ 4:20 pm CT POTCAST as a shining example of how even intelligent people can be led astray by flock mentality. Perhaps you should listen to the facts from a court of law. If your position on MENS REA is true, then how come Negroes didn’t follow the laws against them? …

Mary Thomas-Spears:
You are singing to the choir here but your also wrong in your approach
Apr 11
Mary Thomas-Spears:
@Thorne Peters Yes! I know! I already proved that in court = pot is Legal already!
Years ago as you can see by the above!
Problem is, it is still Prohibited by an Unconstitutional CSA!
And you are wrong about how your going about it!
Because of your being out of order…
Order is very important!
I say this to you as someone who has been there and who has been through more from experience in an attempt to help.
Please try to understand that you are contradicting yourself
And they will use it to their advantage because it is what they do
Hear ???

Thorne Peters:
I invite you onto my 4/20 LIVE POTCAST to call in and explain your position. I will be on from 4:20 pm ET til 4:20 pm PT 3 hours LIVE! Call in and set me straight if you are up for it.
Today at 12:11am · Sent from Web

Thorne Peters:
My 35 years as a strip club dj has trained me to win over all audiences . . . my charming wit is undeniable. My deviant style pales in comparison to the evil inflicted by the DA. I am following the law. EWE THE SHEEPLE and The Ministerz of Injustice seek to redefine the law by ignoring the fact there is NO MENS REA for POTHEADZ. You proved NOTHING, because people are still busted for POT After my case the jig is up.
10 hours ago · Sent from Web

Mary Thomas-Spears:
ok good luck with your slide show in Court
10 hours ago

Mary Thomas-Spears:  Still don’t have a number and I am being told by everyone around me not to lend my name to any more of your BS just so you know!

#

I received this message from Rev. Mary:

About my calling myself a psychic…
See these posts here
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=859464480858420&id=287554521382755

I don’t have to be psychic to know his games will not work in their Courts because that is their Game!

Just saying… When he hadn’t read the transcripts from Any Of My Cases or Others Whom I have Advocated on behalf of…. He is Clueless as to how I addressed any thing or What We Proved!!!

and it was all recorded as well by voice recorders and video…

So like I said, he is only helping him and tooting his own horn and really he is just tooting his own horn and helping himself to a jail cell in my humble opinion!

 

PLEASE REVIEW THE LINKS BELOW:

 

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1309776462436029/

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2017/04/13/is-no-mans-rae-the-plea-to-set-us-free/

https://marythomasspearsblog.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/marythomas.spears/posts/654968434600555

https://marythomasspearsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/the-most-important-lesson-in-understanding-how-you-are-screwed-by-the-words-used/

https://revmarythomasspears.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/the-why-and-how/

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1756126138033609&id=100009087183261&ref=bookmarks&refid=52&__tn__=%2As

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1756018908044332&id=100009087183261&ref=m_notif&notif_t=like

SMK

The “Lessor of Evils” as a Defense for Marijuana

 

MARY 2

 

I must start out with a initial plea of Guilty but Innocent in Order to initiate the Process of establishing no “Mens Rae” with the Motion of a “Lessor of Evils” defense, based on having no other choice but evil in the case at hand!

As for guilt, I have none and I have already proven it by my already having plead Guilty and Not! Based on a Motion for a “Lessor of Evils”.

I am then given the chance to introduce all the evidence in Court that in fact proves my innocence and my lack of guilt in the case or crime I am being charged for…

The real two evil choices you/we are currently given in a Marijuana Case is either ~

A)

I/you/we know we are being forced into choosing between the Evil of choosing to “Uphold” an evil Abusive LIE… = Unconstitutional Controlled Substance Act = Prohibition which they created to divide the Market place for double the profit in order to drive prices, as this also allows for more venues or avenues, for them to profit in while they enslave everyone we love… and everything through their unconstitutionally declared “Foreign Synthetic War” on Nature, I mean drugs! The “drug war” which evidence shows has already destroyed too much and too many in America… While be forced to give up my/your already won Supreme Court decision of Leary vs The U.S, which established Constitutional Inalienable Sovereign Freedoms and Rights… While we bend over for Evil…

Or

B) We risk being deemed evil and getting arrested, criminalized, going to prison, or even worse dying… shot by a cop… For doing the right thing and flexing my Constitutional Inalienable Sovereign freedoms and rights to utilize this plant untaxed, which was upheld in the Supreme Courts Ruling in Leary vs The U.S.!

For my/your/our needs and or the needs of others…

Which they have deemed as evil? And want to call me/you/us a criminal for  violating and breaking their Unconstitutional Illegal overreach and Acts of Congress and Statutes… Not Law! to use this non-toxic food as it was freely Divinely and Sacramentally given to us as a nontoxic most nutritious meat first!  As we also now know that we are all in fact, Endocannabinoid based species or life forms and we also know that it is in fact malnutrition that causes the majority of disease and death…

While many are suffering in pain, in jails or prison, starving and dying from not having this food and the genocide and Slaves being caused by all their propaganda Legal Lies – Legalize BS Babble being told by their Big Corporate Industrial Synthetic Military Prison Church Complex!

Just in order for us to… be, eat, heal, sleep, maintain,… Naturally as it was Divinely ordained by/in Nature and/or G-d…

As apposed to being forced to utilize addictive and/or become dependent and/or being poisoned by all of it… Their patented chemical synthetic look alikes… When we know for a fact, that Cannabis/Marijuana is non-toxic… Breaks Addiction and Dependency while it has has so many other good industrial uses… For our sustainability and tranquility!

https://marythomasspearsblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/is-no-mans-rae-the-plea-to-set-us-free/comment-page-1/#comment-5

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesser_of_two_evils_principle

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leary_v._United_States

http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-statutory-law-and-constitutional-law

http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system

Is No Men’s Rae “The plea to SET US FREE” ?

14518195_1791805051103482_1638685857_n

 

April 13, 2017

The debate over whether or not to use “no mens rae” when facing a Cannabis charge in a Court of Law has been brought to the forefront with Thorne Peters who is facing charges for Marijuana and paraphernalia possession which begins on July 31, 2017 in a Memphis, TN Court of Law.

There is always two sides to every story and multiple opinions, therefore I will attempt to present both opinions that I have been offered, as far as the use of no “mens rae” in a Court of Law.

In the first scenario Thorne Peters feels that no “mens rae” or having no guilty mind at the time the charge was incurred, is of itself enough to render a not guilty verdict if given the chance in a trial by jury.

In the second scenario Rev. Mary Thomas Spears differs in opinion as she states that no “mens rae” plead as a defense from the beginning of a trial is not in anyone’s best interest because this plea is meant to establish the fact the the defendant did not, in fact, know that they were guilty of a crime at the time.  It does not mean that you feel you were not guilty at the time because of your beliefs.

In a Facebook message today, Thorne Peters sent the following to me:

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing and outdoor

Judge Neil Gorsuch, of Denver, Colorado, a Supreme Court Justice nominee, (now confirmed) defends the lawful right of people using drugs and cannabis, as well as a variety of consensual acts currently prohibited.

In his 2006 book, “Assisted Suicide and the Right to Euthanasia”, Gorsuch claims that people have the right to die, kill themselves or join suicide pacts. He also supports the rights of citizens to use drugs, commit prostitution and even sell their body parts.

“If a person has the right to die, they also have the right to use drugs.”

Gorsuch claims the legal standard of “mens rea” (the guilty mind) does not apply to consensual acts.

In Memphis, since February 2015, CANNABIS Proactivist THORNE PETERS, known as “THE KINGPIN”, has been using a “no mens rea” defense against Possession for sales of CANNABIS charges . . . a case that has been set off for trial on two different occasions and is currently reset for trial in Division 1 on July 31, 2017 . . . 29 months after the arrest.

Judge Paula Skahan explained to Peters that “no mens rea” is a matter for the jury to decide. Peters claims the State is reluctant to go to trial because there are no legal grounds to proceed because he had “no mens rea.”

“When I make my case to the jury at THE TRIAL OF THE MILLENNIUM, I will prove my rights are being violated and we will have the legal mantra to end CANNABIS Prohibition. “NO MENS REA!”

Peters notoriously ran a “420 Friendly Nightclub” in Millington, TN which was closed as a Public Nuisance in 2009. He spent 19 months in jail fighting drug trafficking charges that were dropped. Peters was arrested for toking POT from an apple at the courthouse on 4/20/2011. In 2014, he spent a year dealing POT on Facebook; making YouTube videos that he posted to the walls of the local authorities seeking to be arrested. “The only way to make our case is to make the jury understand there is no mens rea. We must follow the law; not seek to change it.”

Once again Peters will represent himself, only this time he claims his case will represent all of CANNABIS Universe.

A case for NO MENS REA cannot be defeated in court, because we have no accuser and we have consent. Like it was in the JIM CROW south, we are being violated by political policies enforced with criminal codes that oppress us.

We will be following this trial till its conclusion, so stay tuned.


MOTION TO DISMISS POT BUST

Thorne Peters·Sunday, November 15, 2015

snapshot

“It is not against the LAW to grow deal and toke POT! It is against an unjust Political Policy known as PROHIBITION, which is as UNCONSTITUTIONAL as JIM CROW!”~ THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!
“ILLEGAL v. UNLAWFUL” . . . a distinction with the greatest difference. LINK


JUDGE PAULA SKAHAN (TN),

“….As far as “Mens Rae”, those are issues for a trial in front of a jury…” 


Now comes a differing opinion from Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears and the group of “Americans for Cannabis” which is also a repeal organization.

407802_10150588781162994_1598323166_n
Mary Thomas-Spears shared Constitutional Cannabis‘s post to the group: Kentucky for Cannabis™.

From another educational page of mine here on FB… –

Constitutional Cannabis

First Lesson to remember in Law is – That despite what you believe all the words mean… That those words are translated back to their Latin Definitions by the Courts = like Doctors

The Judges, Lawyers,… Use Latin Words and Terms to communicate and do their business!

“Where being a good Catholic boy pays off!” ~ Gatewood Galbraith

So your first lesson is? They do not want you to know what they are saying as they hide the true meanings of the words… While they taught you to read a Webster’s Dictionary….

They use Black’s Law Dictionary or West Business Law for the most part.

It is very important to note that both of these Dictionaries quote Cannon Law.

As the Law is an extension of the Law of G-d handed down or Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and or Mosaic Law.

Just as Government is the extension of, incorporation or Corporation, Corpse = Dead Body of the Administration or Ministry established by the Church for Control and Profit = why the Church is Tax Exempt and why Courtrooms look like churches with pews…

Any questions??? About any of this?

Continuing on…

Bernard Lucas

I have a question for you Mary. I see a number of cannabis activist’s promoting a #NoMensRea (No Guilty Mind) To be used as a cannabis defense when charged with cannabis possession in a court of law. I have not seen any documentation or court cases, or defendants having their cannabis case dismissed by using the plea #NoMensRea? I don’t think activist’s should be promoting this defense when courts may be most likely to ignore this defense? Would you please be able to clear up this possible misconception and set us straight on this defense?

Mary Thomas-Spears

TY! Bernard Lucas for asking a question that I have asked myself, as it is a good question!
The question is #NoMensRea ?
No!!! I do not promote the use of this defense
http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/criminalLaw/basicElements/CommonLawMensRea.asp
Why???
I am not an Attorney so you can not construe this as Legal Advise as I share my understanding from research and experience only.

Making that your Defense is like making an Insanity Defense in my opinion.
Which is nearly impossible for most conscious people to pull off…

Why? It has to be proven or established to at least what?  Cast doubt upon a Jury…
I can see more than one problem with this defense in any Court in any case where it may be proven that the defendant was aware of the Laws in Question? Or the Charges brought before them… Or where they did anything covertly = any attempt to hide what they was doing… Or was not out open and upfront with their actions on….

Why? Because all the Prosecution has to prove at this point is, were you aware of the Law(s) and did you knowingly intend to break the Law = you intended to commit harm upon the State or Feds… As they are claiming to be the victim at this point.
It opens a can of worms that is hard to keep alive in the Courtroom without addressing their unconstitutional over reach… Like their claiming to be the victim!

Common Law Mens Rea

nationalparalegal.edu

 

Bernard Lucas

“Excellent answer Mary. Just as I had thought about it from my research. Kentucky for Cannabis™ and all Americans For Cannabis groups, pages etc. Will not be promoting anything like this defense. Which may send a defendant the wrong message.”

In another post on Facebook Mary states the following in response to a discussion with Thorne Peters,

I CHALLENGE ANYONE ATTACKING ME AND DEFENDING #ThornePeters to document ONE CASE where his Motion for #NoMansRae has ever worked in a Courtroom when filed in the ORDER of Process in which he had ADVISED OTHERS to FILE it .

As I have already stated – IN MY OPINION- THE PROPER ORDER OF LEGAL PROCESS IS,

One friend wrote – “Her point is you have to be Arrested first!”  That isn’t my point at all but it is true.  No and Yes! Yes, you must first be arrested,

No,

HE IS OUT OF ORDER IN THAT  you have to first be willing TO ACCEPT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU KNOW, =  the current LAW WHICH YOU CHOSE TO BREAK.  You know you chose to break an Unconstitutional Act of Congress!  An Unconstitutional Act that is an Evil Lie! = ADMIT YOUR GUILT = START BY FILING A PLEA OF GUILTY BUT INNOCENT BASED ON A MOTION OF “LESSOR of EVILS” as YOUR DEFENSE  IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH  #NoMansRea. Otherwise you are pleading insanity in these cases.   I am just saying  that they know that you knew you were choosing to break the law = commit evil according to them! The next comment I have later added for clarity fact is – Unless you follow the Order of Process given above how will you be able to prove your case?  Because unless you first admit you knowingly broke an Unconstitutional Law,  how will you ever get to introduce the evidence that it is in fact, an unconstitutional, evil law? You can’t.

Common Law Mens Rea:

Mens rea, or “guilty” intent, deals with what the defendant needs to have been thinking at the time he or she committed the actus reus* for criminal liability to attach. In order to be guilty of most crimes, the defendant must have had the mens rea required for the crime he was committing at the time he committed the criminal act. As with the actus reus, there is no single mens rea that is required for all crimes. Rather, it will be different for each specific crime. LINK

*(ac·tus re·us /ˌaktəs ˈrēəs,ˈrāəs/ noun  / Law noun: actus reus / action or conduct that is a constituent element of a crime, as opposed to the mental state of the accused)


Mens Rea:
The state of mind that the prosecution, to secure a conviction, must prove that a defendant had when committing a crime.


Sheree 2009

In conclusion, first of all I do not think it is in anyone’s best interest to go into a Court of Law as a defendant and a defense attorney!  It is not a great idea to represent yourself in any circumstance, especially in trial.  Secondly, I would never try to use No mens rae because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the statutes will deem me guilty as charged if I tried to say I did not know marijuana was illegal!  **I definitely know that Marijuana is illegal – according to the statutes which the Government now have in place to regulate commerce – it makes it an offense to the Government that I was using, possessing or giving away Marijuana.  And I KNOW this.

Rather, if I were to pursue a trial by jury I would make a guilty plea and then use a “lesser of two evils” defense.  Because of the fact that I have a disability for which Marijuana is  “the lesser of two evils” versus a strong pharmaceutical pain reliever, I may be able to convince the jury to nullify my verdict.  Mind you that this is just an example but I think it explains the concept.  As Rev. Mary so eloquently explains to me…

**It is all good except where you say you know Marijuana is illegal! You know Gatewood and I already proved that it isn’t.

It is the “trafficking” or possession of a “controlled substance” = not an illegal substance but rather “Controlled“. Controlled by what ? An unconstitutional Act of Congress! That is illegal, not the Substance = you already have a established constitutional right to use marijuana = it is Legal through taxation = the marijuana tax act repealed by Leary = they can’t tax your right to use or possesses!

(What the hell Sheree ? You don’t believe Gatewood ? Or Leary vs the US?? And I respond, of course I know this Mary!  What the hell??  But evidently I must have used the wrong word somewhere, lol)

It is the currency = trafficking = entering the market place That’s controlled!!!

That becomes illegal when you violate the CSA, (Controlled Substance Act), as they are only given authority over Currency, the Market Place and Foreign War and why they can’t tell you what you can consume unless your eating the cash or currency it’s self!

Don’t be misleading by saying you know Marijuana is Illegal because the Constitution is the highest law in the land and according to it it isn’t !

You can say you know that entering the market place = when currency enters in – the trafficking in a “controlled substance” is illegal but not the substance it’s self!

And I respond by saying “Thank you for that clarification, Mary”!

It will be interesting to see how the trial proceeds in July.  I think it goes without saying that we all wish #ThornePeters the best of luck in his endeavor!  I hope that when it’s over Thorne can walk out of the Courtroom a free man and we can all get together and light up a big fat joint and celebrate the fact that we no longer have to feel guilty for breaking the Law to smoke a damn joint!

sk

 

Notes, Links, and definitions of interest:

Mens rea (/ˈmɛnz ˈriːə/; Latin for “guilty mind”[1][2][3]) is the mental element of a crime. It is a necessary element of many crimes.  The standard common law test of criminal liability is expressed in the Latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, i.e. “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”. In jurisdictions with due process, there must be both actus reus (“guilty act”) and mens rea for a defendant to be guilty of a crime (see concurrence). As a general rule, someone who acted without mental fault is not liable in criminal law. Exceptions are known as strict liability crimes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_Penal_Code#Mens_rea_or_culpability

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1293329740747368/

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/petersthorneopn.pdf

http://wreg.com/2015/02/05/man-known-for-marijuana-advocacy-in-jail-again/

http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/sites/default/files/petersthorneopn.pdf

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8317.html

https://www.facebook.com/MaryL.Thomas.Spears

https://www.facebook.com/MaryL.Thomas.Spears/posts/1755983124714577

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1756018908044332&id=100009087183261&ref=m_notif&notif_t=like

Information on “KCHHI”–Kentucky Hemp Health Initiative

 

 

LINK TO KCHHI :

Petition2Congress Logo

 

Some background on the “KCHHI” Petition.

It was re-written by Mary Thomas-Spears and modeled after the CALIFORNIA HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE (shown below) which was started in 2012.

It is important because it represents “REPEAL” of “PROHIBITION” at the State, Federal and Local levels of Government in the United States, in OUR case

KENTUCKY!

If “WE, THE PEOPLE” want to regain our freedom as a people to be “self-governed” we must take this very important step to push for what WE

believe is right. 

No one should be punished for growing, using as medicine or for recreational purposes and most certainly of all using “medicinal marijuana” for

OUR children’s HEALTH needs.  This is NOT to say that it is alright to give to a child under 18/21 years old when NOT being used medicinally! 

That having been, said NO CHILD should have to do without this God-given medicine because of Government intrusion into our lives!

I am praying that the citizens of Kentucky will examine the evidence – what we have seen so far is nothing more than Government

interference in our lives at the Statutory level – even when OUR children’s lives are at stake!

I realize that those with children in dire need are pressed to see ANY form of legislation enacted that would give their CHILD this medicine!

I can honestly say that if I were in that position I would leave the State of Kentucky for Colorado today!  NOT because I like what Colorado

has accomplished!  It is a mess out there – but at least my child would have what they need medically – forget everything else!

The only other alternative at this point is to try to “secretly” medicate my child and hope that I do not get caught and my CHILD be taken away

because the LAW doesn’t approve.  We all know the LAW is BULLSHIT!

I started preaching REPEAL in 2010 and Mary Thomas-Spears had it figured out before me.  Everyone thinks that this is not worth working on

and it is unobtainable.  I say it is!  If enough people will get behind the idea and we start telling our Government what we need as opposed to

letting OUR Government ‘TELL US WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO LET US DO!  WE ELECT THEM! Not the other way around – however this is changing

rapidly.  This is  a valid reason why all those who are eligible to vote MUST do so! Regardless of the fact that the elections are, at this point a “set up” we MUST

retain the right to the voting process – so everyone make sure they register and vote, even if you feel there is no reason!  At least it keeps the

freedom TO vote!

It is close to the point that our entire Country will be under total control of every aspect of OUR lives, up to and including Religion and CHILD

rearing.  If Kentucky lets this happen – so goes the rest of the Country!  (Check out the story :

Connecticut Girl Speaks Out After Being Forced to Undergo Chemo) – Industrialism at it’s worse in my opinion, and it is happening

everyday!  So stop thinking we CAN’T and start thinking YES WE CAN put an end to the tyranny  that is surrounding us and moving in on ALL of OUR freedom’s

as we speak. STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE FROM PROHIBITION AND GOVERNMENT INTRUSION INTO OUR DAILY LIVES

FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THEIR DOMINENCE OVER US!

We lost the first Civil War to the Industrialists.   LET IT NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!

If you do not understand this I urge you to watch “Hell on Wheels” an AMC production which very well explains how the Industrialists took over

and forced slave labor from one entity – the Agrarian (Farming) Community into the Industrialist building of the railroads and the war effort. 

Everyone was forced into leaving the family farms for the Industrial Revolution.  As a result we ended up with corporate farming.

Of note:  The Emancipation Proclamation which “freed the Slaves” was NOT enforced in Kentucky because Kentucky had not seceded from the Union.

It was only a strategy of War between the North and South and Kentucky “sat on the fence”  Don’t take me the wrong way…Slavery was never RIGHT!

And Abe Lincoln did NOT like Slavery which has been documented historically.  However, this information proves that if the Government seems to

be doing something “right” for the people you can bet it is for an ulterior motive.  With a legalize, tax and regulate mentality the Government owns us!

Fight for the freedom from prohibition of your freedoms!

Smk.

 

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN FOR YOUR RIGHT AS A HUMAN BEING TO BE ABLE TO FARM AND USE CANNABIS!  A GOD-GIVEN PLANT!

 

Petition2Congress Logo

 

CALLIFORNIA HEMP HEALTH INITIATIVE 2012

 

clip_image002[4]

clip_image004[4]

clip_image006[4]

O.K. EVERYONE THIS IS YOUR DAILY REMINDER THAT WE NEED SIGNATURES ON KCHHI !!

 

 

 

KYUSMJP

 

THE PETITION IS LOCATED HERE: (DIRECT LINK) http://www.petition2congress.com/9641/kentucky-cannabis-hemp-health-initiative-2013-2014/  

 

It is my opinion that this is the Initiative we should be getting as many signatures on as possible so that we, as a group, can go to Sen. McConnells office at an opportune time and present it to him.

At the same time we could have groups of people in each district present it to their Representatives. This represents true repeal of prohibition on the Cannabis Plant in Kentucky. It needs to be presented as soon as possible, before February 17th,  I would say, in order to have a chance at getting someone in office to back us for the 2016 Legislative Session. Please leave your comments and thoughts on this.

 Read the initiative and then just for the hell of it lets see how many signatures we can get before the 30th of January.

Part II convenes Feb 3rd. Last day for new bill requests is the 6th. I know we can’t find a sponsor by then for this year but if we all show up in Committee meetings which would be every Tuesday at 11:30 for Agriculture and Wednesday at 10 am for Health and Welfare maybe we can give a least a good showing of taking back our human rights to this plant – medical and all.

If we can get 1000 signatures on the petition I will print it out and mail it POSTAL to every Senator. and Representative. in the state.

A lot of you all have been in Frankfort to the meetings, I haven’t. According to the website anyone will be admitted to them. Let me know how this works.

 http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.org/index.php/en/kchhi

Thanks to everyone showing support for this idea.

It may be bold but it may be the way to bring an end to (State) Prohibition in Kentucky!  We still have to worry about Federal.

Sheree Krider

shereekrider@usmjparty.com

Three men sentenced to death by hanging for selling weed in Malaysia

By Jack Daniel in Culture, Global, News

Thursday, June 20, 2013

malaysia.map.flikr.jpg

Deep in the conservative heartland of the upper Malaysian peninsula, the state of Kelantan was once known for its secluded location and coastal piracy, but today is known more for the strict Islamic order that has been put in place by the long standing hardline government. It is that draconian set of laws that has three friends facing death by hanging after being found guilty of selling weed in a hospital parking lot.

The isolated region has been ruled by the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) since 1990. With a Muslim population of over 95%, the PAS has managed to pass local laws in Kelantan that segregate supermarket lines, as well as public seating, by gender. They have restricted public performances by women if any men are present, and have placed outright bans on many traditional Malaysian forms of theater.

These laws, they say, are in place to squash immorality in the name of Islam. Following their interpretation of Islamic doctrine, the PAS attempted to institute punishments like chopping off fingers or hands of thieves, and execution for something as simple as blasphemy. Fortunately, cooler heads at the national level intervened, blocking the most extreme local legislation on constitutional grounds.

But even national laws in Malaysia leave little room for sympathy when it comes to drug-related offenses. Getting busted with any controlled substance can earn you a heavy fine and instant deportation, at best. Anyone caught with a mere 7 grams of marijuana can be labeled and tried as a drug trafficker, an offense punishable nationwide by the death penalty. They don’t mess around.

The three men convicted today were accused of selling 4.8kg, or over ten and a half pounds, of herb in the parking lot of the Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital in August of 2007. Ultimately found guilty of all charges, the three men will be put to death by hanging.
They had previously avoided the death penalty when the same High Court ruled on the case in 2010, acquitting two of the men altogether, and reducing the third man’s charges to drug possession, earning him 12 years in prison.

The prosecution wasn’t satisfied though. They appealed the case and were granted a re-trial, through which they somehow cast a newfound doubt in the mind of the Judge. With the facts of the case unchanged since the Court’s first decision back in 2010, today Judge Datuk Azman Abdullah announced his decision, stating that the defense put forth was not enough to re-convince him.

Their story is almost identical to a similar case from March of this year, where three men were convicted of pushing over 14 pounds of illegal pot on the west coast of the peninsula, also in 2007. Seriously, if you like your neck at its current length, don’t sell weed in Malaysia.

The friends in this latest case – ages 42, 48, and 52 – all appear to be Malaysian nationals. Charged and convicted under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1952, which carries a mandatory death sentence, their only hope now is for some sort of reprieve from the notoriously dispassionate Malaysian national government.

CONTINUE READING…

Patrick Kennedy On Marijuana: Former Rep. Leads Campaign Against Legal Pot

Reuters  |  Posted: 01/05/2013 2:11 pm EST

By Alex Dobuzinskis

 

Jan 5 (Reuters) – Retired Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy is taking aim at what he sees as knee-jerk support for marijuana legalization among his fellow liberals, in a project that carries special meaning for the self-confessed former Oxycontin addict.

Kennedy, 45, a Democrat and younger son of the late “Lion of the Senate” Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, is leading a group called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) that opposes legalization and seeks to rise above America’s culture war over pot with its images of long-haired hippies battling law-and-order conservatives.


Project proposals include increased funding for mental health courts and treatment of drug dependency, so those caught using marijuana might avoid incarceration, get help and potentially have their criminal records cleared.

Kennedy wants cancer patients and others with serious illnesses to be able to obtain drugs with cannabinoids, but in a more regulated way that could involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration playing a larger role.

The eight-term former congressman from Rhode Island and the group he chairs will put forth their plan on Wednesday with a media appearance in Denver.
Their efforts follow the November election that saw voters in Washington state and Colorado become the first in the nation to approve measures to tax and regulate pot sales for recreational use. Kennedy’s group is seeking to shift the debate and reclaim momentum for the anti-legalization movement, in part by proposing new solutions with appeal to liberals, such as taking a public health approach to combat marijuana use.

Legalization backers have argued that the so-called War on Drugs launched in 1971 by former President Richard Nixon has failed to stem marijuana use, and has instead saddled otherwise law-abiding pot smokers with criminal records that may block their avenues to landing a successful job.
Kennedy faults the U.S. government for allocating too much of its $25 billion drug control budget to law enforcement rather than to treatment and prevention.
“Yes, the drug war has been a failure, but let’s look at the science and let’s look at what works. And let’s not just throw out the baby with the bathwater,” Kennedy, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2011, said in a telephone interview.

The U.S. Department of Justice is still developing a policy in regard to the new state legalization measures.

President Barack Obama said in an interview with ABC News last month that it did not make sense for the federal government to “focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that’s legal.”

BIPARTISAN APPROACH

 

Conservative political commentator David Frum, a speech writer for former President George W. Bush, is also a board member on Project SAM, which lends it a bipartisan flavor.
For his part, Kennedy is aiming many of his arguments toward liberals like himself. Polls show Democrats largely favoring legalizing marijuana, and among the 18 states that allow medical marijuana, several are in the West and Northeast and are heavily Democratic.

“The fact is people are afraid on the (political) left to look like they’re not for an alternative to incarceration and criminalization, and they’re afraid they’re not going to look sympathetic to a cancer patient” who might use marijuana, Kennedy said. As a result, he said the legalization position mistakenly comes to be seen as “glamorous.”

Kennedy admits to having smoked pot but also said that, as an asthma sufferer, he “found other ways to get high.”


In 2006, he crashed his car into a security barrier in Washington, D.C., and soon after sought treatment for drug dependency. He said he was addicted to the pain reliever Oxycontin at that time and suffered from alcoholism. He added that he has been continuously sober for nearly two years.
Kennedy, who was married for the first time in 2011, said he worries his 8-month-old son might be predisposed to drug abuse – due to a kind of genetic “trigger” – and that is part of his fight against legalization.

He also said he wants to “reduce the environmental factors that pull that trigger,” such as marijuana use being commonly accepted.
Meanwhile, another prominent figure from Rhode Island, the newly crowned Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, is making waves by also objecting to legalization. She told Fox News this week there are “too many bad habits that go with the drug.”

In Washington state, Alison Holcomb was campaign director for the legalization measure, which billed itself as having a public health element to help people dependent on marijuana.
The measure, which is not set to go into full effect until after state regulators spend most of 2013 setting guidelines, would allow adults 21 and older to buy marijuana at special stores.
Holcomb argued that drug dependency courts are more geared toward users of hardcore drugs, and that the approach her group put forward is the sensible one.
“I don’t know what a public health approach without legalization looks like, if you’re still arresting people,” she said.
Taxes on marijuana sales would generate, at the high end of estimates, over $500 million a year with $67 million of that going to a state agency that provides drug treatment, said Mark Cooke, policy adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state, which supported the campaign.

Also included in the tax revenue would be $44 million for education and public health campaigns – including a phone line for people wanting to quit using marijuana, Cooke said. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Gunna Dickson)

CONTINUE READING…

Trading Sex for a "F–cking Happy Meal?

Mom Can’t Get Food Stamps After Drug Offense, Resorts to Prostitution to Feed her Kids

If she’d committed murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed her children. But because the crime she committed was related to drugs, she can’t.

December 21, 2012  |  

images2

Carla walked into my office with despair in her eyes. I was surprised. Carla has been doing well in her four months out of prison; she got off drugs, regained custody of her kids, and even enrolled in a local community college. 

Without much prodding she admitted to me that she had retuned to prostitution: “I am putting myself at risk for HIV to get my kids a f—ing happy meal.”

Despite looking high and low for a job, Carla explained, she was still unemployed. Most entry-level jobs felt out of reach with her drug record, but what’s worse, even the state wasn’t willing to throw her a temporary life preserver.

You see, Carla is from one of the 32 states in the country that ban anyone convicted of a drug felony from collecting food stamps. With the release of the Global Burden of Disease Study last week, it bears looking at how we are perpetuating burdens among the most vulnerable Americans with our outdated laws.

If she’d committed rape or murder, Carla could have gotten assistance to feed herself and her children, but because the crime she committed was a drug felony, Carla joined the hundreds of thousands of drug felons who are not eligible.

The 1996 passage of the Welfare Reform Act was supposedly implemented to prevent drug addicts from selling their food stamps for drugs. But that concern is virtually unwarranted today. Unlike old food-stamp coupons, today’s food stamps are distributed electronically, which makes selling or trading them quite difficult.

Nonetheless, the law persists.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nine states have a lifetime ban for food-stamp eligibly for people convicted of drug felonies.  Twenty-three states have a partial ban, such as permitting eligibility for persons convicted of drug possession but not sale, or for persons enrolled in drug treatment programs.

Denying food stamp benefits to people convicted of drug offenses is an excessive and ineffective crime control strategy. The policy increases an individual’s risk of returning to prison by making it more difficult for people to survive after they get out, slowing or possibly even preventing their reintegration into society. People without the financial cushion necessary to get through the initial period of job searching and re-establishing a life have little choice but to turn to illegal means to make ends meet.

What’s more, the food-stamp ban is a law that works against good public health policy. As a doctor who cares predominantly for people who are released from prison, I see the damaging consequences of this ban on food stamps. I have seen patients of mine with diabetes go without food and end up hospitalized with low blood sugar, and still others with HIV skip their antiretrovirals because they don’t have food to take with their pills.  Not having access to food is associated with bad health outcomes including worsening diabetes, HIV, depression. Young children face anemia, diabetes, and depression.

Women with children are especially affected. It’s estimated that 70,000 women and their children are banned from obtaining food stamps. This means mothers who are simply trying to feed themselves and their children, and who are trying to get back on their feet after serving their time, are banned from receiving the money to pay for the basics necessary to survive.  Meanwhile, 46 million others, including college graduates and PhDs with far more resources, can receive food aid.

No other criminal conviction results in such a ban—not arson, not rape, not even murder.

Carla was arrested at 20 for selling marijuana.  At the time, she had also been making money working for her “boyfriend” as a sex worker.  Her boyfriend was also arrested for robbery.  He could qualify for food stamps upon release. But not Carla. She continues to pay for selling marijuana— a drug which two states have now voted to legalize outright—and the price is health risks for herself and for her children. 

CONTINUE READING….PAGE 2…

Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff.

Marijuana Crimes: Five Senior Citizens Serving Life Without Parole For Pot

AlterNet  |  By Kristen Gwynne Posted: 12/26/2012 11:16 am EST

Should five non-violent offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?

December 23, 2012  |  

Photo Credit: Farsh/ Shutterstock.com

Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff. They are all more than 60 years old; they have all spent at least 15 years locked up for selling pot; and they are all what one might call model prisoners, serving life without parole. As time wrinkles their skin and weakens their bodies, Michael Kennedy of the Trans High Corporation has filed a legal petition with the federal government seeking their clemency. Otherwise they will die behind bars for selling a drug 40% of American adults have admitted to using, 50% of Americans want legal, and two states have already legalized for adult use. Since these men were convicted of these crimes many years ago, public opinion and policy related to marijuana have shifted greatly. Should these five non-violent senior-citizen offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?

1. John Knock, 65, has been incarcerated for more than 16 years. The only evidence against him was the testimony of informants; Knock was convicted of conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana. The judge sentenced him to 20 years for money laundering plus not one, but two terms of life-without-parole — a  punishment typically reserved for murderers. Despite the uniquely unjust sentence, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court denied his pleas for reconsideration via appeal or court order.
Waiting for death in jail, Knock suffers from chronic sinus problems linked to an untreated broken nose. Due to circulatory problems, one of his ankles swells to twice its size. Knock also suffers from what the legal petition called “untreated” hearing and vision problems. Easing some of his pain are visits from his family and his participation in prison programs. He has taught home building and physical education inside the prison that has become his home. According to the legal petition, he is assured employment and a home should his sentence be commuted.

2. Before he was incarcerated, Paul Free obtained a BA in marine biology and was starting a school while teaching English in Mexico. Now 62, he has continued his passion for education behind bars, where he has lived for the past 18 years. Free helps inmates prepare for the General Equivalency Diploma tests, and according to the petition, prison officials have applauded Paul’s hard work and his students’ high graduation rate. Paul suffers from degenerative joint disease, failing eyesight, sinus problems, and allergies, and he has had 11 skin cancers removed.

3. Once a union carpenter, Larry Duke, a 65-year-old decorated Marine, has spent the last 23 years of his life behind bars for weed. On top of the difficulties life in prison lays on the psyche, Duke suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from multiple tours in the Vietnam war. Like Knock, Duke received two life sentences without parole for a non-violent marijuana conspiracy, and was unsuccessful at appeal. According to the legal petition, Duke is the longest-serving nonviolent marijuana prisoner in the nation.  
Despite his incarceration in a country that has failed him, Duke works from behind bars to design patentable concepts that would assist the general public. While locked up, he has already managed to obtain a federal patent for a water-delivery system he plans to market to the U.S. Department of Defense. According to the legal petition, Duke enjoys the support of his wife and a growing family including two children, two grandsons, three siblings and many nieces and nephews. “They all want him to come home and be part of their lives and dreams,” the petition said.

4. William Dekle, 63, is also a former U.S. Marine serving two life sentences without parole, 22 of which he has already completed in a Kentucky penitentiary. Despite the depressing possibility that he will die behind bars, Dekle has participated in more than 30 prison courses, including counseling other inmates. Before his conviction, Dekle was a pilot certified in commercial and instrument flying, as well as multiengine aircraft. Now he suffers from a chronic knee injury. He is supported by his wife, two daughters, and grandchildren, who call him “Papa Billy.” Dekle’s relatives would ensure a stable home environment should he be granted clemency, the legal petition said.

5. Charles “Fred” Cundiff is a 66-year-old inmate who has served more than 20 years of his life sentence for marijuana. Before the marijuana arrest that changed his life forever, he worked in construction, retail and at a plant nursery. In prison, he worked for Unicor (Federal Prison Industries) for 12 years before his declining health interfered with his ability to work. Battling skin cancer, eye infections, and severe arthritis in his spine, Cundiff uses a walker. While the legal petition makes no mention of family, it says he is regularly visited by “friends from his youth.”
While these men have all spent many years behind bars for crimes they were convicted of many years ago, the same draconian punishments are handed down to marijuana criminals — young and old — to this day. Conspiracy charges, combined with mandatory minimums for marijuana sale and firearms charges, can quickly add up to decades behind bars. Should anyone in the entire criminal operation have a gun (legal or not), everyone involved can be charged with firearm possession during a drug offense, a five-year mandatory minimum that can reach 20 if the person is charged with continuing criminal enterprise — a long-term, large-scale operation. In the end, these sentences are often not applied, but used to encourage guilty pleas in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Marijuana prisoner Chris Williams is an example of one such case. He was recently facing a mandatory minimum of 85 to 92 years behind bars for providing medical marijuana in Montana, where it is legal. Citing a moral opposition to plea bargains forced by the threat of a lifetime in jail, WIlliams rejected a deal that would have drastically reduced his sentence by cutting away mandatory minimums. Then, this Tuesday, federal prosecutors agreed to drop six of eight of Williams’ charges, provided he waive his constitutional right to appeal. Now Williams faces a mandatory minimum of five years for the firearm-related charge, and another five for distribution.

“With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer,” Williams said in a statement. “If Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the five-year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son’s college graduation. This would most likely be impossible had I rejected the latest compromise.”

Kristen Gwynne covers drugs at AlterNet. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and psychology.

CONTINUE READING….

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: