PLEASE JOIN THE STRUGGLE TODAY!
I AIN'T N
I'm the son of a US MARINE, if fact my father and
CNN's Berdnard Shaw were in the same Platoon on Hawaii.
If I ever do get national attention
Mr Shaw may remember the name.
| Those who suffer most from the war on pot tend to
be poor or working-class people. They cannot avoid prison by hiring costly
attorneys and can be devastated by the loss of state or federal benefits.
In 1997, Gary Martin was arrested in Manchester, Connecticut, and
charged with possession of marijuana. Almost twenty years earlier,
he had been severely beaten during a robbery, resulting in permanent
After the beating, he endured a series of strokes, which left his right side paralyzed. He developed circulatory problems and his left leg was amputated. Martin regularly smoked marijuana to relieve "phantom pains" in his amputated leg. After being arrested for possessing less than four ounces of pot, he was evicted from his apartment at a special housing complex for the elderly and disabled. None of the doctors or nurses treating Martin was told in advance of his eviction. They would have lobbied the authorities on his behalf. "Kicking this guy out of his apartment for pot," says Hartford Courant reporter Tom Condon, "was just pathetic."
The offspring of important government officials, however, tend to avoid severe punishments for their marijuana crimes. In 1982, the year that President Reagan launched the war on marijuana, his chief of staff's son was arrested for selling marijuana. John C. Baker, the son of future Secretary of State James Baker III, sold a small amount of pot - around a quarter of an ounce - to an undercover cop at the family's ranch in Texas. Under state law, John Baker faced a possible felony charge and a prison term of between two and twenty years. Instead, he was charged with a misdemeanor, pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000. In 1980, Republican Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana introduced legislation that would require the death penalty for drug dealers. "We must educate our children about the dangers of drugs," Burton said, "and impose tough new penalties on dealers."
Four years later his son was arrested while transporting
nearly eight pounds of marijuana from Texas to Indiana. Burton hired
an attorney for his son. While awaiting trial in that case, Danny Burton
III was arrested again, only five months later, for his growing thirty
marijuana plants in is Indianapolis apartment. Police also found a shotgun
in the apartment. Under federal law, Danny Burton faced a possible
mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison just for the gun,
plus up to three years in prison under state law for all the pot.
Federal charges were never filed against Burton, who wound up receiving
a milder sanction: a term of community service, probation and house
arrest. When the son of Richard W. Riley (the former South Carolina
governor who became Clinton's secretary of education) was indicted
in 1992 on federal charges of conspiring to sell
In September 1996, Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif.,
attacked President Clinton for being "cavalier" toward illegal drugs and
for appointing too many "soft on crime" liberal judges. "We must
get tough on drug dealers," he declared. "Those who peddle destruction
on our children must pay dearly." Four months later, his son Todd
Cunningham was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration after helping
to transport 400 pounds of marijuana from California to Massachusetts.
Although Todd Cunningham confessed to having been part of a smuggling ring
that had shipped at much as ten tons of pot throughout the U.S. -
a crime that can lead to a life sentence without
Todd Cunningham was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
He might have received an even shorter sentence had he not tested
positive for cocaine three times while out on bail. "The sentence Todd
got had nothing to do with who Duke is," says the congressman's Press secretary.
"Duke has always been tough on drugs and remains tough on drugs."
Ed Forchion didn't even posses
marijuana. He's charged with conspiracy. He's facing a possible 30 year
term with no political relative to cry to the Judge. The laws all fucked
up. Nobody should be in jail for marijuana at all, but it appears rich
kids have exemptions.