Last February 6, DRCNet distributed a call to action on behalf of Will Foster, a medical marijuana patient in Tulsa, Oklahoma who has received a 93-year prison sentence for cultivation of marijuana. Reliable sources have confirmed for us that Foster is a legitimate patient. Foster is pursuing various legal options to mitigate his sentence, but even the best likely scenario is bleak, and at this time he is in prison. Foster is a 1st time offender and father of two, who was gainfully employed as a computer programmer until his incarceration. (If you weren't with us in early February, or would like to refresh your memory, our Will Foster bulletin is posted on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/2-6-1.html.
Even if Foster weren't a medical marijuana patient, the 93- year sentence handed down by a jury still shocks the sensibilities. Recently, the highly respected human rights organization Human Rights Watch denounced draconian drug sentences as in violation of several international human rights accords to which the US is signatory. (See http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/3-18-1.html or http://www.hrw.org.
The Tulsa World newspaper's has offered online reformers a golden opportunity to express their opinions. An editorial in today's edition (3/26) discusses Oklahoma's problem of jail overcrowding, and how low-income counties are unable to afford the new jail construction that has been requested by law enforcement. Tulsa World makes the unimaginative suggestion of regionalizing the jail system. How about letting out the nonviolent drug offenders? How about starting with Will Foster?
The editorial is online at http://www.tulsaworld.com/scripts/tulsaworld.dll/TOPSTORY?970325_Op_a16edit2, and has a reply box at the bottom for you to send your comments. We don't know if it will be there past today, so please take a few moments right now to visit the Tulsa World web site and let them know how you feel. (If you have trouble following the link listed above, try http://www.tulsaworld.com/scripts/tulsaworld.dll/COVER?.
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