Dear Marc and CC,
I am 17 years old. I live in America, and am a pot smoker. One morning at school, after finishing my work, I began talking to my classmates about pot. I?m very open about my smoking because I feel it?s something that I should not be ashamed of. As our talk went on, we were showing our bowls to one another in a lowkey manner. The substitute teacher yelled at me to put what I had away. I complied and said I was sorry and would not bring it out again. The sub said, ?security may or may not come down here.? 10 minutes later I took him aside and told him I was a very good student (true) and I dreamed of going to college, and if he called security it would mess it all up. He cut me a break ? or so I thought. He called anyway.
Next thing I know I was in the assistant principal?s office being handcuffed by a Lansing police officer, who looked at my glass spoon, my acryclic bong (I had it because the day before was 4/20), and the last of a sack I bought, maybe $10 worth. They put it all in a bag, and I was escorted out of the building in handcuffs, carrying my backpack behind me, down the hall and past almost every window in the school. Everyone saw me, some even yelling to me as I was taken away. I was put in a cop car and taken to the city jail, where I was treated ?as an adult?. They had told me at the school that because I was ?an adult? they didn?t have to call my mom. So there I sat, 17 years old in a jail cell with eight gang-bangers, four domestic abusers, one heroin addict, and one ?attempted killer? (that?s what he told me).
I had no clue if anyone knew where I was. I had to pay $750 US dollars to get out, and the domestic abusers were fined only $100-150!
I?m writing this to you because I want my story to be heard. I am just another example of how this ?drug war? is doing nothing but hurting the innocent.
Marc & Jodie,
Greetings in the name of Jah Rastafari! I am in the belly of the beast at Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution. This is a low-security federal prison located in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. I am presently serving my 68th month of incarceration, and I still have 100 months left to serve on my Babylonian imposed sentence. My crime is ?conspiracy to manufacture marijuana in excess of 1000 plants?. The punishment for this act of civil disobedience is a mandatory minimum of no less than 10 years. My judge gave me 120 months for the conspiracy charge, and an additional 48 months for Obstruction of Justice and Leadership/Organizer Role enhancements. This made a total sentence of 168 months (14 years) and was truly a blessing, because it was the bottom of the US Federal Sentencing Guidelines that were available to him (168-210 months).
What saddens my heart the most is the fact that I am a true American, and I love the USA with all my heart, but I do not love the government and its oppressive ? Babylonian shitstem?! Just last week the terrorist who was convicted of plotting to bomb the LAX airport in Los Angeles was sentenced to 22 years in the B.O.P. This man, willing to kill and wound hundreds of innocent people, is sentenced to only 4 more years than me? All I did was have a small half-acre of ganja growing on my Texas Hill Country ranch, that was meant for consenting adults to enjoy as Jah-Jah meant us to have ? ?Herbs is the healing of the nations? and ?Herbs grew on King Solomon?s grave for mankind to use?! I?m a non-violent offender and no danger to society whatsoever. Rasta is about peace and love, and that is what make Babylon ?fraid, mon!
My sister has a subscription to CC and she sends me your excellent publication. I really want all of you there to know how much I-and-I people appreciate your hard work and dedication to fighting oppression of all ganja lovers! When I have a chance to view such sweet and wicked herbs, I must honestly say that my breath is taken away! It?s true; my heart skips a beat too! I?m a ganja man 100%! However, until this ?Babylonian shitstem? sets me free, I will not be able to partake in my God-given right to blaze the most wicked indica, sativa, and ruderalis gifts from Jah-Jah Himself!
Jah has blessed me since my unjust incarceration in 1999, and that is Jah has given me the talent to become an artist. I have included photos of some of my work to share with you. I wanted to compliment Jodie on her centerfold. It was so tastefully done, and I was inspired to attempt a portrait, but unfortunately Babylon tries to censor my work at times, so I mailed it to a friend of mine who can display it properly in his home. I like the innocent and shy look she portrays in the photo ? it?s so lifelike and realistic! I know your publication reaches heaps of Irie Sistas all over the world. Do you think you could help this lonely sufferah? Maybe if you list my address here at Seagoville F.C.I. I might get some mail. (Send mail to: James J. Moore Jr. #03891- 180, Housing Unit D-54, PO Box 9000 FCI, Seagoville, TX, 75159-9000, USA)
Keep up the great work and remember, ?Babylon Will Fall?!
Give Thanks once again,
Mr. Marc Scott Emery,
Before November 2004, I had never smoked a cigarette in my life and only had alcohol on limited occasions. Now I don?t drink at all and I?ll never smoke a cigarette as long as I live! Furthermore, I?ve always been a Republican (despite my entire family being Democrats) and voted for Bush in both elections, for which I now sincerely apologize. Consequently, I think this makes my position on the cannabis issue fairly powerful. In September 2004, I was fortunate enough to acquire a terrible disease that I?ll carry with me all my life. The disease has opened my eyes to so many things and I know a new life is ahead of me.
Prior to September I was a business owner. I had my own very successful personal training business. In fact, I was named Kansas City?s #1 personal trainer. My business was people?s health; and then I became deathly ill in a heartbeat. I have a digestive disorder called ?ulcerative colitis?. Actually, it is a problem with my immune system. My immune system had an overabundance of antibodies when it attacked a virus in my
body. There was nothing left for the antibodies to attack so they attacked my large intestine.
When I checked into the emergency room I had lost so much blood that my heart was minutes away from giving out. Throughout the next 3 months specialists struggled to help me. I went from 200 lbs. Of solid muscle to under 140 lbs. My #1 gastrointestinal doctor, a Harvard graduate, said later that it was the worst case he?d ever seen. Apparently the first hospital bed I?d ever been in was going to be the bed I died in.
The doctors tried every medicine known to man. Unfortunately, every one of them seemed to do more damage. I acquired a string of other conditions (like pancreatitis) from the medicine. None of the nausea medicine worked and the pain medicine was literally a nightmare. They had me on Demerol, because it was the strongest. Every drug affects every person differently, and Demerol messed up my mind so much that I honestly thought I was in hell. Not to mention it had a list of side effects two pages long; I know this because one of the concerned nurses took my mother aside and showed her. Then they put me on every other pain medicine in the hospital. I had reactions to all of them. Eventually, I refused to take them, so I lay in pain.Thank God, I finally started to improve. They made me leave the hospital with narcotic pain patches and a bunch of hydrocodone prescriptions. I knew there had to be a better way.
For my entire life, as long as I can remember, I?ve been a strong Christian. Growing up I taught Sunday school classes. My disease brought me closer to God. Finally, out of the hospital I got the answer I was looking for from God. My best friend mentioned to me he?d seen that Montel Williams suffers from MS and smoked pot for his pain. That wasn?t an option for me because pot is not only wrong, but also extremely harmful. Right?
Well, it didn?t take long before I had torn through my narcotic prescriptions so fast that the doctors were afraid to give me more. Not only was there a huge risk of addiction and dependency, but they do incredible damage to the digestive system ? irreversible damage. At the beginning of November, lying in tears, I finally asked my friend if he knew anyone who could get me marijuana. When I smoked marijuana for the first time, within seconds my pain was gone. Now, one of the other dangers of narcotics is that when they relieve your pain you are unable to feel anything that is going on with your body. The doctors said I wouldn?t be able to tell if my body was healing. When I smoked pot, I still felt everything that was going on in my intestines, but it didn?t hurt.
Over the next few months, I ate only natural foods and stopped taking my prescriptions (which my doctors said I had to have, or I would be back in the hospital). And I smoked a lot of weed. I got better. I started to grow my own marijuana in my home. Medical cannabis is illegal here, so eventually I had seven policemen handcuffing me, ready to take me downtown. I was fucked. They harassed me, and all that. One of the things I told them was that I was a good Christian with a chronic disease. They called me a liar and made fun of me for my illness. Then we got into a big debate about marijuana. You should have been there, Marc Emery. You?d have loved it; it was beautiful. Among other things, I told them about how marijuana smoke doesn?t have carcinogens like tobacco. And I had just read the new Cannabis Culture 56 (June/July). One of the cops sarcastically said, ?Yeah, I?m with you. Everyone should smoke pot. My wife is pregnant. She should probably be smoking it, right??
Of course, I rattled off all the facts I could remember from Reverend Damuzi?s article ?Cannababies?. I was not only released, but I?m quite certain I changed their minds. They went from harassment to asking me all sorts of questions. They took off the handcuffs and picked my brain on marijuana until they got a call to be somewhere else.
Marc Emery, I believe you serve a very good cause, and I am eager to help. I?ve beaten an incurable disease. I?ve enclosed a picture I drew of you, just for laughs. I hope you enjoy.
Kansas City?s #1 personal trainer
To the entire staff of Cannabis Culture magazine, I take a great pleasure of sending you these few lines on behalf of the ganja farmers in this little British colony of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. My name is the Honorable Irasto Chance and I am a single 26 year old, devoted to my Rastafarian belief, and a prophet in the Bobo Shanti order. I am a second-generation cannabis farmer with almost two years of service. I came from a poor family. Cannabis is one of the most important sources of income for many like myself. Our population is not more than 112,000 people and I predict that at least seven of ten use cannabis or at least have used it already. Our island is known throughout this side of the hemisphere for producing top buds and weed; in fact, Jamaica, which produces more cannabis than us, is struggling to keep top market in the region, due to the quality of our product.
I have included some photos in my letter. I hope you enjoy. Again, it is a great pleasure reading your magazine. A friend of mine, he gave me a brief look through, so I decided, I will take down the address so that I can get in contact with this great organization. On behalf of the cannabis culture down here, I-and-I send our heartfelt love and appreciation.
Hon. Irasto Chance
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
SEND YOUR POT THOUGHTS TO:
15 – 199 W. HASTINGS ST.
We’ll print the most interesting letters, and we reserve the right to edit for length.