Please help by recirculating this letter via blogs, email and social networking.
Since I have been elected as executive director of Green Aid several months ago, the organization has taken a much more active stance for the rights of medical marijuana users all over the country. We have three active cases right now. We need your help in obtaining justice. You might be familiar with the very first case. Millions of people have seen the video of the Columbia, Missouri SWAT team raid (The video). Millions of people saw this video and the police chief received over 94 pages of international and national complaints. When he exonerated the officers involved it was only my assistant and Green Aid volunteer and myself who filed a formal appeal of the decision with Citizen Review Board. (http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/06/23/todays-question-should-swat-team-officers-undergo-psychiatric-evaluations/). In that complaint I proposed a psychological examination of the officers involved.
This has taken headlines in Missouri. I realize that this happens all over the country, but by highlighting this particular case and putting a focus on it, we can use it as a means of educating people and changing policies not just in Columbia, but all over the country. http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2010/jun/21/review-board-gets-first-official-swat-complaint/
There are many reasons why Columbia is an excellent project for us. First of all, it is already well known. Second, it was a horrendous act that very few people can comprehend. For instance, if I asked you “would you take a job where you had to shoot pets as a matter of course?” most people would say they never would. You can see what an emotional topic this is, and it’s emotional because it is so important. When police shoot pets it causes grief in families, not to mention it is completely unnecessary. That is why it resonates.
Columbia has a lowest priority regulation in effect. This is a good reason to examine a SWAT raid based on evidence only of use. The police overreaction to the situation is not an isolated incident in Columbia, but if you can change it there you can change it other places. This is an educational tool. For this reason we are sending my assistant and Green Aid volunteer to Missouri to work with Dan Viets, a Columbia attorney as well as one of the members of the board of National NORML and head of Missouri NORML to look into this incident and another similar case he is working on.
The second case is that of Robert Wooster, whose arrest I witnessed in an airport in Los Angeles (The photos) . I took photos with my cell phone and posted them on my blog. Since then, Green Aid has gotten in contact with him. We have procured him attorney Allison Margolin, (http://www.lasdopestattorney.com/) a prominent and top-notch Los Angeles lawyer specializing in marijuana cases. He is working with her now with support and donations from myself via Green Aid. Allison is working at a significantly reduced rate for us and it is a great honor to be working with her.
The third case is that of Marc Emery, who is imprisoned in the United States for helping us Americans have access to marijuana seeds when no one else would. We seem to be one of the few American organizations that even acknowledges that Marc is in prison here in the United States. He seems to be a forgotten man, even to the many thousands of people who availed themselves of his services and were able to change their lives by growing good varieties that Marc provided. If you are in Northern California and you would like to help with the Free Marc Campaign and are unable to donate to Green Aid please contact [email protected]
For these three reasons I am asking for contributions to Green Aid. It is really important, help us change these laws using the courts. We have to raise $10,000 in the next 20 days to pay for attorney’s fees and expenses for the activist we are sending to Columbia as well as any incidental legal filing fees. All donations to Green Aid are tax deductible (for questions on tax deductions please email [email protected]).
Green Aid pays no rent, has no bureaucratic staff, and no regular funding. All of the money that comes into our account goes directly to activism. Please make it easy on us, we are not very good at raising money, we are much better at activism and prefer to keep our focus on that. This is why our expenses are so low but our results so great. We seek out particular cases that change precedent.
In the last year alone we have freed Will Foster from re-arrest in a 15-year long Oklahoma battle, assisted Eugene Davidovich in staying out of jail, and just discovered that our work in another case led to charges being dismissed in a Modesto, CA court. We have helped shape medical marijuana policy in Lake Elsinore, CA and helped fuel activism in other cities.
Simply put Green Aid produces a lot of bang for your buck. Please help us change these laws and get people out of jail. Please make contributions in whatever amount you can.
Ed Rosenthal and Green Aid