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Citizen journalism from the front lines of America's weed wars:  United States v. Marijuana.  Follow court trials of medical marijuana patients in the Dispatches From the Field court reporting blog.  Read essays by green POWs (marijuana prisoners of war) in Dispatches From Inside.  Profiles of current marijuana POWs include prisoner addresses so you can write to a green prisoner today.  Read about the persecution of medical cannabis patients in California, Montana, Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, and at the federal level in the Court Cases section of United States v. Marijuana.

Recent News

"Life for Pot" prisoners represented at Los Angeles Global Cannabis March: An 8-foot wide banner spanning the sidewalk pleaded “A Marijuana Offense Should Not Equal a Life Sentence. Set them Free!” Another sign listed the names of 22 people serving life sentences for marijuana.

Want to reform the prison system? Take 30 seconds to sign the petition to President Obama requesting group clemency for nonviolent drug offenders serving life sentences.

Prisoners of War (POWs)

  • Aaron Sandusky POW #63038-112 Southern California medical marijuana patient and provider Aaron Sandusky is serving a 10 year federal prison sentence for operating a medical cannabis cooperative in full compliance with state law.Federal ...
    Posted Feb 27, 2013, 12:23 AM by The Editor
  • Scott Feil POW #14313-111 Scott Eric Feil #14313-111CI TAFTP.O. BOX 7001TAFT, CA 93268
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 3:00 PM by The Editor
  • Erik Stacy POW #64977-097 Erik Stacy #64977-097FCI LA TUNAP.O. BOX 6000ANTHONY, TX 88021Release date: 11-16-2014April 27, 2010 - Five gardens allegedly connected to the B&C ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 6:29 PM by The Editor
  • Charles Kisor POW #64974-097 Charles Lee Kisor 64974-097CI TAFTP.O. BOX 7001TAFT, CA 93268Release date: 08-24-201April 27, 2010 - Five gardens allegedly connected to the B&C ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 2:05 PM by The Editor
  • Christopher Bartkowicz POW #36791-013 Christopher Bartkowicz #36791-013Leavenworth USPP.O. Box 1000 Leavenworth, KS  66048One day after he was interviewed on a local television station about his home medical cannabis garden ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 2:02 PM by The Editor
  • Sherry Flor POW #11358-046 Sherry Flor #11358-046 Phoenix FCI 37930 N. 45th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85986
    Posted Feb 20, 2013, 8:37 PM by The Editor
  • Joshua Hester POW #59277-112 Joshua John Hester #59277-112San Diego MCC808 Union St.San Diego, CA 92101Federal agents arrested 12 people in San Diego County associated with Joshua Hester, who was ...
    Posted Feb 20, 2013, 9:49 PM by The Editor
  • Dale Shafer POW #15839-097 Dale C. Shafer #15839-097CI TaftP.O. Box 7001Taft, CA 93268Civil attorney Dale Schafer and his wife, physician Dr. Mollie Fry, began serving 5 year sentences ...
    Posted Jan 29, 2013, 11:10 PM by The Editor
  • Mollie Fry POW #15840-097 Marion "Mollie" Fry #15840-097 Dublin FCI 5764 8th St. Camp Parks Dublin, CA 94568Physician Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband, attorney Dale Schafer, began serving 5 year sentences ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 8:04 AM by The Editor
  • Brian Epis POW #09636-097 Brian Epis #09636-097 FCI Terminal Island P.O. Box 3007 San Pedro, CA 90731Medical marijuana grower Bryan Epis has been caught in a legal nightmare ever since June ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 5:43 AM by The Editor
  • Virgil Grant POW #47375-112 Virgil Grant #47375-112 FCI Terminal IslandP.O. Box 3007 San Pedro, CA 90731Medical marijuana provider Virgil Grant III came to the attention of law enforcement in December ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 5:38 AM by The Editor
  • Roger Christie POW #99279-022 As of June 2013, Roger Christie has been held without bail in federal custody for over three years.  He is currently incarcerated at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center awaiting trial ...
    Posted Jun 11, 2013, 4:47 AM by The Editor
  • Luke Scarmazzo POW #63131-097 Luke Scarmazzo #63131-097USP Lompoc3901 Klein RoadLompoc, CA 93436After the City of Modesto failed to shut down the California Healthcare Collective by banning dispensaries, the DEA ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 5:16 AM by The Editor
  • Eddy Lepp POW #90157-011 Charles Edward Lepp #90157-011 FCI La Tuna P.O. Box 6000 Anthony, TX  88021After an August 2004 raid on Charles "Eddy" Lepp's northern California property, the Drug ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 5:09 AM by The Editor
  • Marc Emery POW #40252-086 Marc Emery, #40252-086 Yazoo City, Med FCI P.O. Box 5888 Yazoo City, MS 39194On July 29, 2005, Canadian police, acting on a request from the United States ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 5:50 AM by The Editor
  • Richard Montes POW#63130-097 Richard Montes, #63130-097 FCI Lompoc 3600 Guard Road Lompoc, CA 93436After a car accident left him with both a disabling injury and a monetary settlement, destiny seemed clear ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 4:53 AM by The Editor
  • Timothy Dellas POW #93161-011 Timothy Dellas #93161-011 FCI Sheridan P.O. Box 5000 Sheridan, OR 97378Humboldt County resident Timothy Dellas was convicted on May 4, 2006 of one count of manufacturing marijuana ...
    Posted Jan 31, 2013, 2:28 AM by The Editor
  • Dustin Costa POW #62406-097 Dustin Costa #62406-097USP Florence ADMAX Satellite Camp P.O. BOX 5000Florence, CO 81226Known as "D.C. Greenhouse" of the Merced Patients Group, no one has motivated ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 4:49 AM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 18 of 19. View more »

Newsreel

  • Dustin Costa Denied Medical Care in Federal Prison (Florence, Colorado-November 10, 2014) Dustin Costa has served nearly ten years in the USP Florence ADMAX satellite camp. He is diabetic suffering from an infection in his foot. Dustin ...
    Posted Nov 11, 2014, 7:45 PM by The Editor
  • DeLisi Has Hope For Freedom as The Human Solution announces “The DeLisi Project” Richard DeLisi has been incarcerated since 1989 for non violent cannabis offenses and is serving 3 thirty year sentences. Bartow, Florida. November 6, 2014. The Human Solution International (thsintl.org ...
    Posted Nov 9, 2014, 12:22 PM by The Editor
  • "Almost half of American states have taken steps to legalise cannabis. The federal government should follow," says The Economist After voters in Alakska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia voted on November 4, 2014 to legalize marijuana (and voters in Florida came up just short of the 60% majority ...
    Posted Nov 8, 2014, 12:05 PM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 24. View more »




Dispatches From the Field

  • United We Stand Festival Ignites a Wave of Action Among Independent Journalists and Active Citizens The "United We Stand” festival kicked off on May 10th in downtown Los Angeles at the Belasco Theater with musical guests Immortal Technique, Wu-tang Clan, Rooftop Revolutionaries, A-Alikes, Sounds of Solidarity, Kellee Maize, and Chuck D of Public Enemy. Social activists on a #waveofaction at the festival included comedian Lee Camp, Green party political candidates Rosa Clemente and Jill Stein, March Against Monsanto founder Tami Canal, Emma Cape of Free Chelsea Manning, Diane Goldstein of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, authors Rosa Koire, Ellen Brown, and David Swanson, and dozens more.LOS ANGELES -- Hosted by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation, the inaugural “United We Stand” festival kicked off on May 10th in downtown Los Angeles, showcasing music, journalism, and ...
    Posted Jun 5, 2014, 7:33 PM by The Editor
  • Global Cannabis March Los Angeles Represents Drug War Prisoners Serving Life Sentences for Marijuana On the first Saturday of May, people gather in over 400 cities worldwide to celebrate cannabis hemp. The 16th annual Los Angeles Global Cannabis March (also known as the Million Marijuana March) marched at high noon along Crenshaw Boulevard to Leimert Park on Saturday, May 3, 2013. LOS ANGELES — Despite multiple last minute changes at the whim of the LAPD and the City of Los Angeles, the 16th annual Global Cannabis March took place on Saturday May 3rd in solidarity with hundreds of cities around the world. Three days prior to the event, the permit holder was informed that construction on the Crenshaw Metro line required a shortening of the parade route.  Social networks and phone chains ...
    Posted May 5, 2014, 9:49 PM by The Editor
  • Federal Prison—American Hellhole by Cynthia Johnston I wish I was a headlight on a north-bound train I’d shine my light through the cool Colorado rain. ~ “I Know You Rider,” Grateful Dead classic by “Traditional” The Colorado sun was baking hot. The ground was still muddy from thunderstorms that flooded Four Mile Canyon the night before. Clumps of dirt and dung exploded into clouds of dust as I stroked the horse’s flank with a stiff metal brush. Glittering dung-dust settled on my face and arms as one word kept rolling around in my head: Scarmazzo. Luke Scarmazzo. What he wouldn’t give for a cloud of sunlit dust. Luke Scarmazzo. Locked away in a cold, cramped cage, Luke Scarmazzo is serving over twenty ...
    Posted Jun 10, 2013, 7:53 PM by The Editor
  • Cops Break Law on Taxpayer Dime: The Joe Grumbine Trial Covered by Cynthia Johnston Just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints. As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer, ‘cause I’m in need of some restraint. ~ The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil” “We lie to them,” testified Lead Detective Oscar Valenzuela. “We lie through our teeth." For once, he spoke the truth. Lead Detective Oscar Valenzuela was on the stand as the People’s first “expert” witness in the trial of former medical marijuana dispensary owners Joe Byron and Joe Grumbine. It was Thursday, December 1, 2011 – Day Four of a massively expensive and pointless criminal trial in Long Beach, California. Detective Oscar Valenzuela was a main player in this jaw-dropping drama. Not for the first ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2013, 5:27 AM by The Editor
  • Victory At Jury Trial for LA's Dopest Attorney by Jessica Lux On May 31, 2011, defendant David Rios was found not guilty by a jury of his peers in the San Fernando Courthouse on charges of transporting five pounds of marijuana. Attorneys Allison Margolin and Raza Lawrence (Margolin & Lawrence, Beverly Hills, CA) demonstrated to the judge and jury that Mr. Rios was a qualified patient under Proposition 215 acting in accordance with state law. After three days of deliberation, spanning the Memorial Day weekend, the jury returned a NOT GUILTY verdict on all felony counts. Mr. Rios was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) while transporting medicine for a collective from northern California to the Los Angeles area. Upon a search of the vehicle, officers found five 1 lb ...
    Posted Feb 19, 2013, 5:28 AM by The Editor
  • Women in Prison -- An American Growth Industry by Cynthia Johnston  However high the cost of justice,the cost of injustice is greater still. Who says “American Exceptionalism” is dead? Not when it comes to incarceration. Nowhere on Earth -- except the USA -- does a country put more of its citizens in prison. And, increasingly, those citizens are female. In 1980, before the War on Drugs became big business and prison corporations were allowed to regain a toehold, there were 12,300 women incarcerated in the United States. By 2008, that number had grown to 207,700. The rate of increase between 1995 and 2008 alone was a staggering 203%. The $9 million dollars it cost to incarcerate female offenders in 1980 has now ballooned to over $68.7 billion. Who are ...
    Posted Feb 16, 2013, 12:30 AM by The Editor
  • Prisoners -- America's New Cash Crop by Cynthia Johnston A disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself. ~ Hannah Arendt At the 2011 dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, many speakers, including President Obama, quoted from King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in which King eloquently spoke out for freedom and justice. Yet almost fifty years later King’s son, Martin Luther King III, says his father’s dream has not been realized, that America has “lost its soul,” in part by “having more people of color in prison than in college.” He is not wrong. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, in the last decade nearly one in three African-American men aged 20-29 ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 3:39 PM by The Editor
  • Court Support Now by Joe Grumbine At a time when everybody is distracted by mere survival, it’s hard to imagine you can change the world. In fact, the easiest and most powerful thing you can do as an activist is show up in court. By just showing up to bear witness, you empower the defendant, you hold the judge accountable, you give the defense attorneys a chance to shine and you knock the prosecutor off his game. All that can add up to the magic words:  “Not guilty.” Or, “In the interest of justice, case dismissed.” I know. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen a man’s anguish turn to resolve at the sight of twenty people wearing solidarity ribbons show up at ...
    Posted Feb 19, 2013, 5:27 AM by The Editor
  • War Without End by Cynthia Johnston It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous.~ George Orwell, 1984 While it’s fairly well known that the United States Constitution was written on paper made from the controversial hemp plant, it may come as a surprise to know that growing hemp, also called cannabis, or marijuana, was once mandatory. Indeed, our first marijuana law, written in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia, ordered all farmers to grow “Indian hemp seed.” During hard times in the mid-1760s, a farmer could be thrown in jail for not growing it. By 1850 we had over eight thousand ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2013, 11:52 PM by The Editor
  • Bend Over and Assume the Position: The Joe Grumbine Trial Covered by Cynthia Johnson In the Halls of Justice, the only justice is in the halls.~Lenny BruceThursday, June 9, 2011 When Joe Byron opened the doors of Egg Heaven at seven o'clock that morning, breakfast was on him. For most diners, a free breakfast at this friendly spot on the corner of East 4th Street and Ximeno Avenue in Long Beach would be a happy occasion, but the folks sliding into booths on this chilly morning bore the obvious signs of strain. It was a familiar drill for most of them. After breakfast they’d be heading to court to stand once again with Joe, a medical marijuana defendant, and his friend and former business partner, Joe Grumbine, in their ...
    Posted Feb 13, 2013, 8:07 PM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 10 of 11. View more »


Dispatches From Inside

  • Medical Malfeasance by POW Tom Kikuchi It started out like any other prison night. LPOP had just sent me the latest Dean Koontz novel and I was eager to dig into it. The lights go out in the dorm at 10 PM but inmates are allowed to purchase AAA battery powered reading lights that clip onto the back cover of a book. With these discrete lights, I could read until the wee hours of the morning if I cared to. This night, however, was not to be one of enjoyment and mental escape. Shortly after the dorm's harsh fluorescent lighting went off, there is a relative quiet with the sounds of snoring punctuating the stillness. I was intently following Koontz's storyline in the dim ...
    Posted Feb 3, 2013, 10:36 AM by The Editor
  • A Open Letter to President Obama by POW David Allen, M.D. Dear President Obama,A Travesty of Justice Occurs: When cannabis is intentionally mis-scheduled by the federal government, as having no medical use and not safe under a physician’s supervision, despite mountains of scientific evidence proving multiple uses and safety, unsurpassed by any man-made medication. When scientific medical study of cannabis is prevented by the government to perpetuate intentional mis-scheduling of cannabis. When intentional mis-scheduling of cannabis is used by local government to profit from seized property and incarceration of citizens, and deny them the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. When police seize legally purchased property prior to court appearance or a chance to defend yourself in court (establishing guilt prior to ...
    Posted Feb 3, 2013, 10:41 AM by The Editor
  • 8,000 Days to Emancipation by POW Luke Scarmazzo This essay was written in spring 2011, live from United States Penitentiary Lompoc, when Luke was serving year three of his thirty-year prison sentence.  Luke Scarmazzo will be incarcerated until the year 2027 for operating a legal CA medical marijuana dispensary. As school children we are all taught that you are innocent until proven guilty but any good defense attorney will tell you that the American justice system operates on exactly the opposite premise. Before one word of argument is spoken, the defendant starts out surrounded by a cloud of guilt and  has to fight both tooth and nail to dispel this prejudice; the rules of the courtroom are slanted heavily in favor of the prosecution. Also, to make ...
    Posted Jan 28, 2013, 12:58 AM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 3. View more »

Newsreel

  • Dustin Costa Denied Medical Care in Federal Prison (Florence, Colorado-November 10, 2014) Dustin Costa has served nearly ten years in the USP Florence ADMAX satellite camp. He is diabetic suffering from an infection in his foot. Dustin ...
    Posted Nov 11, 2014, 7:45 PM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 24. View more »

Court Cases

  • United States v. Noah Kleinman (2011-present) The Obama administration's tactic against medical marijuana in California has been to have US Attorneys send letters threatening landlords with property forfeiture for renting their property to dispensaries deemed ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2014, 12:22 PM by The Editor
  • United States v. Roger Christie (2010-present, Hawai'i) As of June 2013, Roger Christie has been held without bail in federal custody for over three years.  He is currently incarcerated at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center awaiting trial ...
    Posted Jun 11, 2013, 5:17 AM by The Editor
  • State of New Hampshire v. Rich Paul (2010 arrest, Cheshire County, NH) New Hampshire liberty activist Rich Paul freely admits that in May 2012, he delivered multiple ounces of marijuana to a confidential informant, leading to his arrest by the Keene, NH ...
    Posted Jun 11, 2013, 2:39 AM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Sister Somayah Kambui Medical marijuana pioneer Sister Somayah Kambui publicized the use of hempseed oil and cannabis to treat sickle-cell anemia.  Sickle-cell anemia is a debilitating disease in which round red ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2013, 2:22 AM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Martin and LaVonne Victor (Temecula, CA) July 18th, 2002. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court granted medical marijuana patients powerful legal protection against state prosecution for possession and cultivation of marijuana. The court ruled ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2013, 1:02 AM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Jason Browne (2002, Sonoma County, CA) July 18th, 2002. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court granted medical marijuana patients powerful legal protection against state prosecution for possession and cultivation of marijuana. The court ruled ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2013, 12:50 AM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Marvin Chavez (1999-20??, Orange County, CA) July 18th, 2002. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court granted medical marijuana patients powerful legal protection against state prosecution for possession and cultivation of marijuana. The court ruled ...
    Posted Feb 22, 2013, 2:32 PM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Richard and Kim Levin (1999-20??, Shasta County, CA) July 18th, 2002. In a unanimous ruling, the California Supreme Court granted medical marijuana patients powerful legal protection against state prosecution for possession and cultivation of marijuana. The court ruled ...
    Posted Mar 2, 2013, 8:34 PM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Richard and Donna Tognoli (2010-present, Butte County) In June 2010, law enforcement officers raided eight medical marijuana collectives in Butte County, CA, seizing property and taking forfeiture action against bank accounts of the defendants, but initially only ...
    Posted Feb 22, 2013, 2:40 PM by The Editor
  • State of California v. Myron Mower (1997-2002, Tuolumne County, CA) The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on July 18, 2002 in the case of Myron Mower that medical marijuana patients should be protected from unnecessary prosecution, declaring, "Possession and cultivation ...
    Posted Mar 2, 2013, 8:33 PM by The Editor
  • United States v. Jason Washington (2011-present, Flathead County, MT) Former University of Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jason Washington was arrested after simultaneous November 2011 raids on his Missoula, MT Big Sky Health medical cannabis dispensary and a Wye, MT marijuana ...
    Posted Feb 22, 2013, 2:40 PM by The Editor
  • United States v. Evan Corum and Ryan Blindheim (2011-2013, Flathead County, MT) On July 6, 2011, Evan Corum and Ryan Blindheim of the Black Pearl medical cannabis operation were among the several medical patients indicted in Missoula, MT federal court for conspiracy ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2013, 12:41 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Jonathan Janetski, Michael Kassner, and Tyler Roe (2011-2013, Missoula, MT) On July 6, 2011, Jonathan Janetski, Michael Kassner, Tyler Roe were charged in Missoula, MT federal court with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to ...
    Posted Feb 21, 2013, 4:12 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Chris Lindsey (2011-2013, Helena, MT) Montana Cannabis was one of the most visible state medical marijuana providers raided in the March 2011 statewide crackdown by federal authorities.  Chris Lindsey, an attorney and co-founder of ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2013, 3:29 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Tom Daubert (2011-2012, Helena, MT) In March 2011, federal authorities launched a statewide crackdown on Montana medical marijuana providers.  Criminal search warrants were executed on 26 locations in 13 Montana cities on March 14, 2011 ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2013, 3:29 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Dan Nichols (2011-present, Helena, MT) After March 2011 raids of medical marijuana providers in 13 Montana cities, the owners and employees of Montana Cannabis, one of the largest and most visible medical marijuana operations in ...
    Posted Feb 25, 2013, 1:03 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Chris Williams (2011-present, Helena, MT) In March 2011, federal authorities launched a statewide crackdown on Montana medical marijuana providers.  Criminal search warrants were executed on 26 locations in 13 Montana cities on March 14, 2011 ...
    Posted Jun 6, 2013, 3:30 AM by The Editor
  • United States v. Paul Schmidt (2011-present, Helena, MT) On January 3, 2013, Paul Schmidt, owner of the former medical marijuana dispensary Sleeping Giant Caregivers in Helena, MT was sentenced to one year in prison for growing marijuana and ...
    Posted Feb 3, 2013, 10:04 PM by The Editor
Showing posts 1 - 18 of 105. View more »