Pot in the can

Getting pot into prison without getting yourself into prison along with it can be sticky. In July, 19-year-old Caitlyn Derck was busted for smuggling nugs into the Lorain Correctional Institution in Grafton, Ohio by hiding “less than one gram” of cannabis under each stamp on 10 separate pieces of mail sent to a friend on the inside.
Also in July, 28-year-old Olivia Perkins was busted for secretly bringing buds to her jailed lover by hiding them in a bible. One month earlier, Lawyer Barry Mattes was busted for sneaking 113 grams of cannabis into inmates at Cook County Jail, Illinois, in a bag taped to his thigh, when a police dog barked at him. Lawyers are usually excluded from searches when they enter US prisons to confer with clients.

The arrests of Derck, Mattes and Perkins were small-time. Studies and reports from around the western world ? including the 1995 Report on Styal Women’s Prison ? show that drugs are more available inside prison than out, and that the most reliable supply route is the guards.

Paradoxically, the only person who needs to worry about getting pot in the can is Canadian med-pot user Mike Patriquen, currently an inmate at a New Brunswick prison. Patriquen holds a license from the Canadian government to legally use med-pot for severe back pain, but is denied it by his captors. According to New Brunswick prison officials, cannabis doesn’t belong behind bars ? just the users do.