In 2016, more people were arrested for cannabis offenses than robbery, aggravated assault, rape, and murder COMBINED.
Hopefully I have your attention now.
Being arrested and imprisoned for pot should be a crime in itself, but in the midst of new cannabis companies flourishing, it’s just insulting. I’ve been studying more cases of ridiculous sentences and charges innocent people are facing for possession or consumption. Take brotha Beadle, for instance.
Patrick Steve Beadle, 46, was visiting his 8 year old son in Ohio and decided to drive through Mississipi to explore the state’s musical heritage, which the state is known for. Beadle is an Oregon resident, where it is legal to possess up to four pounds of medical cannabis (lol Oregon over there looking like a whole snack) and medical cannabis card holder. He also practices the Rastafarian religion, which encourages the use of marijuana for spiritual enlightenment. After visiting his son in Ohio, he was pulled over in Madison County, MS for crossing over the fog line, but most likely for having an out of state tag and long locs. The hell is a fog line anyway? Ultimately, Beadle was tased by the arresting officer for allegedly not exiting the car upon demand and his car was illegally searched. He was charged with trafficking even though no large sums of money was found, nor weapons, and the amount of cannabis found is a ridiculously small amount to assume trafficking. Yet, he still may face 40 years.
Jackson, MS councilman De’Keither Stamps has been a key decriminalization promoter that has assisted police get re-educated on cannabis laws and pool their resources into stopping violent and property crimes. Jennifer Riley Collins, executive director of ACLU of MS, said jailing for small possession cost millions.
“We continue to waste millions of dollars in the criminal justice system by having police, prosecutors and the courts treat marijuana use like violent crimes,” she said. “It is unconscionable for our state and cities to spend taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute and crowd the courts and jail people for possession of a small amount of marijuana.”
Other cases of ridiculous prison sentences:
- Crystal Munoz-20 years: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute
- Ferrell Damon Scott-Life: Distribution
- Bernard Noble-13 years: Possession
- Christopher Butler-30 years: Possession
- Patricia Spottedcrow-12 years: Distribution
- Lee Carroll Booker-Life: Possession (cultivation)
Later this week, I’ll be reposting all 4 video of Merry Jane’s docuseries, “Prisoners of Prohibition” that follows the lives of people serving life sentencing for pot crimes and their fight for freedom.
For now, get involved! The Can-Do Foundation is a great space to access fundraisers and information about people and women serving time. Visit www.candoclemency.com to find out more about women and men serving time for non-violent marijuana offenses!