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... a weekly service for the media on news items related to Marijuana Prohibition.

April 6, 1993

Update: Jimmy Montgomery Shares Prison Cell With 40 Prisoners

        April 6, Wheelchair-bound Jimmy Montgomery has been forced to share a cell with forty other prisoners who risk infection from the chronic anti-biotic resistant infections afflicting the lower half of his body.  On Monday, Jimmy was picked up by law enforcement officials and sent back to prison in Lexington, Oklahoma to serve the balance of a ten year sentence for possession of less than two ounces of pot.  According to Oklahoma NORML Coordinator Michael Pearson, cannabis reform activists in Oklahoma (and nationwide) have been calling the Governor and the chief of the Bureau of Corrections.
        Pearson says that "Jimmy's case is getting incredible statewide media exposure.  The Montgomery case is seen by even the most conservative politicians as demonstrating why non-violent offenders shouldn't be taking up valuable prison space."

        [The Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating, can be reached at 405-521-2342.  OK NORML, Michael Pearson, can be reached at 405-840-HEMP.]

Meanwhile... Willie Nelson's Pot Charges Dropped

        April 4, Waco, TX About the time that Oklahoma was re-imprisoning Jimmy Montgomery, an undoubtedly relieved McLennan County District Attorney decided to drop marijuana possession charges against Willie Nelson rather than appeal an adverse cour ruling.  The court had ruled that the enormously popular Texas singer/songwriter had not been properly advised of his rights and also that there was not probable cause to search his Mercedes.  Police had spotted the remains of an alleged marijuana cigarette in the ash tray of Nelson's car when they found Nelson taking a roadside nap.  Since many Texans who drive Mercedes roll their own tobacco cigarettes as an economy measure, the police were not justified in assuming that the cigarette was anything other than harmless tobacco, which is still legal.

        Nelson is very candid about his marijuana use and has even talked about having smoked marijuana on the roof of the White House when Jimmy Carter was President -- a few years after Montgomery was paralyzed in an industrial accident.  Had Nelson been tried and convicted he could have been sentenced to six months in jail ... and the District Attorney might have had to leave the country.

        [The contrast between the treatment of Nelson with that of Jimmy Montgomery illustrates the extreme disparity in consequences for the one thousand Americans who are arrested everyday on marijuana charges.  For some, it is only an embarrassment.  Others find their lives ruined.  It is better to be rich, famous and healthy than to be poor, obscure and crippled -- especially if you want justice.]

Police Chief Of Hawaii County Suffers From A Case Of 'Reefer Madness'

        March 24, In a letter written to U.S. President Bill Clinton, Hawaii County Police Chief Wayne G. Carvalbo stated: "We request the reference to "hemp" be deleted from executive Order Number 12919 ... From a local law enforcement standpoint, we view the promotion of hemp in Executive Order 12919 as a vehicle being utilized by pro marijuana groups to promote the legalization of marijuana.  The proponents are using the false environmental arguments to promote the use of a drug that bears substantial health risks to the user."