Mom of 4 reflects on first year in prison for $31 marijuana sale
Category: News | Posted on Mon, December, 26th 2011 by THCFinder
TAFT - Wearing prison-issue yellow clothes, Patricia Spottedcrow reflects on her first year in prison through the lens of tears and determination.
One year ago, on the week of Christmas, the first-time offender was checked into the Eddie Warrior women's prison - the first holiday away from her four young children.
"I cried and cried just thinking of my kids opening presents on Christmas and I wasn't there," she said. "This year, it's going to be any other day. I try not to keep up with days in here."
At her mother's home in Kingfisher, there is a somber tone among her children - ages 2, 4, 5 and 10.
"We're crying here too," said her mother, Delita Starr. "We'll try to make sure there is money in her account for a phone call. What else can we do?"
Spottedcrow, 26, was arrested and charged for selling $31 in marijuana to a police informant in December 2009 and January 2010. Starr, 51, was also charged.
Because children were in the home, a charge of possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor was added.
In blind pleas before a judge, Spottedcrow received a 12-year sentence and her mother received a 30-year suspended sentence. Neither had prior criminal convictions.
The judge sentencing the two said she allowed Starr to avoid prison so she could care for Spottedcrow's children.
When Spottedcrow was booked, after her sentence was handed down, marijuana was found in the jacket she was wearing. She pleaded guilty to that additional charge and was sentenced to two years running concurrent with the previous sentence.
After her story was published in the Tulsa World, a groundswell of support grew. Supporters expressed concern with possible racial bias, unequal punishment among crimes, women in prison, effects on children of incarcerated parents and extreme sentences for drug offenses.
Oklahoma City attorney Josh Welch has been donating his services to fight what he calls an inequitable punishment.
In October, a Kingfisher County judge took four years off her sentence. The judge issued an order rather than allow her an appearance in court. Her attorney and supporters believe it was to avoid the crowd expected to be at the courthouse that day.
Welch said he plans to file for post-conviction relief, alleging the original attorney was ineffective and had a conflict in representing Spottedcrow and her mother. He plans to make the filing in early January and submit an early parole packet at the same time.
"We are grateful to get four years taken off her sentence but still believe the sentence is unjust and excessive," Welch said.
Say It Ain't So, Steve DeAngelo
I'm disappointed in Steve DeAngelo, who stated at the end of the fourth and final episode of Weed Wars: "I don't believe in legalizing cannabis for recreational use."
DeAngelo (left) is the star of Weed Wars, which Discovery has been accused of stealing. Even worse in my mind is his (and his brother Andrew's) blatant hypocrisy.
Years before they started Harborside Health Center in Oakland, DeAngelo was a marijuana activist/pot dealer in Washington, DC. In fact, he was arrested for possession shortly before he left DC for the West Coast.
I wouldn't dredge this up if DeAngelo (or Stevie D as he's know in cannabis circles) wasn't such a turncoat.
He's made millions selling pot to medical patients in California. His mantra is "cannabis should be used for purposes of wellness." Nice spin. Now let's get back to reality.
Just last year DeAngelo proposed a legalization initiative for California. When Richard Lee beat him to it with Prop 19, DeAngelo pulled back and said he'd wait for 2012. Now it appears that he's not in favor of taxing and regulating marijuana for all uses any longer.
(Read More) by Steve Bloom
Helium is More Dangerous Than Cannabis, Ecstasy and Mephedrone Put Together
This might some as something of a surprise to those who are invested in the war against drugs but the inert gas helium actually causes more deaths each year in the UK than cannabis, ecstasy and mephedrone put together.
According to the ONS data, in 2010 there were more helium deaths than cannabis, ecstasy, mephedrone and GHB related deaths put together. Helium is an inert gas which kills when people use helium to deprive themselves of oxygen. The recent explosion in helium deaths from under two per year until 2008 to 32 last year appears to be due to it’s recent promotion as a form of suicide.
It’s worth looking at that whole post to see some of the numbers from the front lines of the drug wars. For example, there are an entire 7 deaths from cannacis (2) and ecstasy/MMDA (5) put together and it really wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear that the authorities themselves, in their war on drugs, have killed more than 7 people over the course of the year.
It absolutely wouldn’t surprise me to hear that the war on drugs, through the enforced illegality of the drugs and thus their impurity, kills more than it “saves”.
But even if you aren’t quite that liberal (in its proper, English English sense) if the damage being done by the war on drugs is greater than would be done by drugs in peacetime, isn’t it about time we stopped and thought about declaring victory and just let people get on with it?
Jury Refuses to Convict Anyone for Marijuana Possession!
Medical pot for ADD, OCD? State mulls petition
Category: News | Posted on Wed, December, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
SEATTLE — State officials will consider a request to allow medical marijuana for people with attention deficit disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
The petition is the latest attempt to add a mental illness to Washington's list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. Three other petitions, for depression and other mental health disorders, have been denied.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Washington state since 1998. The law allows patients with terminal or debilitating conditions to use marijuana. Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and "intractable pain."
The latest request involves an Edmonds man who petitioned authorities in September to include attention deficit disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, conditions he said he has suffered from for years.
The state will consider the petition on Jan. 11.
Three Former Federal Law Enforcement Agents Want To Legalize Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, December, 19th 2011 by THCFinder
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Dec 19, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Cannabis Science, Inc. CBIS +1.02% a pioneering US biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis products, is very pleased to report that two former US Attorneys, and the former head of Seattle FBI, are in favor of Washington State Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana.
On Seattle television King 5 News, two former US attorneys, John McKay and Kate Pflaumer and the former head of Seattle FBI, Charles Mandigo, spoke out on why they think it's time to change the federal law and to legalize of marijuana.
Pflaumer stated, "It's a policy position that has become obvious to me over 35 years working in criminal law enforcement and criminal law defense."
Even though both US attorneys agree that it's a bad policy, they said it was their job to enforce the law.
Former head of Seattle FBI, Charles Mandigo says he does not condone the use of marijuana, but he supports the initiative, because he feels strongly that the illegal drug trade and the resulting violence is destroying to our society.
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