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Prosecutor Blocks Jimmy Montgomery's Release with Last Minute Objection

The following news release and action alert appears courtesy of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20036,
Phone: (202) 483-5500
Fax: 483-0057.

May 8, Oklahoma City, OK. The release of paraplegic Jimmy Montgomery from life threatening imprisonment was blocked at the last minute by an objection filed by Richard Dugger, the prosecutor for the five county area where Montgomery resides. After weeks of efforts by Oklahoma NORML and numerous calls to Governor Frank Keating's office by concerned citizens from around the country, Jimmy was finally scheduled for release to house arrest this week. It was originally planned that Montgomery would be hospitalized for the treatment of anti-biotic resistant infections in his lower body. Now he will remain confined to the prison where he does not even have access to a shower or adequate clean bandages. He can only bathe in the whirlpool shared by other prisoner patients, exposing them to his infections and in turn, exposing him to theirs. (Montgomery used marijuana for medical relief, and was caught with a small quantity of it in the pouch of his wheelchair. His original life sentence was reduced to 10 years.)

Last week President Clinton said that it is "wrong to kill people ... who are minding their own business." He did not say whether it is also wrong to kill people by locking them up and denying them proper medical care, but if action is not taken quickly, Montgomery will not survive.

[Please call Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating at (405) 521-2342. Prosecutor Richard Dugger's home number is (405) 225-3678. PLEASE BE POLITE.]

(Meanwhile) Washington State Arrests Medical Marijuana Patients And Activists Who Provide Marijuana To Sick, Dying And Disabled Persons

May 5, Seattle, WA. A federally funded Washington State "narcotics" task force (WestNet) arrested medical marijuana activists Joanna McKee and Ronald Miller of Bainbridge Island, WA. McKee is a co-founder of the Green Cross Patient Co-op which promotes the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Police valued the marijuana seized at $300,000, but knowledgeable observers consider this a gross exaggeration. A spokesman for the task force said that they consider McKee "just another marijuana grower."

McKee depends on a cane and a wheelchair to get around and has spoken openly about providing marijuana for people with AIDS, cancer, and various debilitating injuries. Last week she told Tacoma News Tribune columnist C. R. Roberts, "There are a lot of people whose lives are depending on this." Roberts wrote a column called "Marijuana may be illegal, but barring its medical use is the real crime." His views reflect those of the majority of the American people, but not those of the Clinton Administration which is blocking research on the medical use of cannabis. President Clinton is now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the defeat of the last regime to actively persecute the sick and disabled as a matter of policy. The task force is just following orders.

[McKee and Miller are being defended by Seattle NORML Legal Committee member Jeffrey Steinborn. The Governor of Washington, Mike Lowry, can reached at (360) 753-6780.]

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