Happy Weedsday, y’all!
This past April, in Missouri, a jury took less than twenty minutes to convict a very sick man on felony charges for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. A month later, the judge sentenced him to ten years in prison — basically, a life sentence.
The man’s name is Steven Sutherland. Even before he was convicted, the 60-year old St. Clair resident’s health was failing. He’d been diagnosed already with chronic heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and was being given supplemental oxygen to treat sleep apnea. He also has a history of seizures.
This case started in January 2015, when the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department raided Sutherland’s home. Deputies recovered about 110 grams of marijuana and 21 marijuana plants in Sutherland’s basement, according to a probable cause statement filed at the time.
Sutherland said he’s been self-medicating by using cannabis for many years. He admitted that this included obtaining a medical marijuana card from California. He also said that he’d been ordering California cannabis products through the mail until he couldn’t afford them anymore. He then decided to do a home-grow operation, which eventually brought the deputies to his front door.
Think about this: This is a man’s health. Don’t we all have the right to the best health we can get or at least the choice of the health treatment we receive? This man wasn’t hurting anyone. He was helping himself be healthier. He was using a plant which is something even his doctors admitted would probably help him better than some of the pharma pills, which were not helping at all. Yet this man was sentenced to live probably most of his last days in a prison cell, suffering, and without proper medical treatment. It didn’t matter either, apparently, that during the ongoing proceedings of his trial, the state legalized cannabis. They even made it a constitutional right.
In Missouri, doctors are given discretion to qualify patients, even beyond the ten conditions specified in Article XIV (including cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and HIV, among other conditions). Yet, Sutherland is still in prison.
It shouldn’t be a luxury to be healthy. It should be a human rights violation to not have access to cannabis if one chooses that. No person should be locked in a cage for using a plant that heals.
Outraged? Go to Change.org/p/missouri-state-senate-free-steven-sutherland-from-a-10-year-prison-sentence?signed=true to sign the petition. I signed it!
With all the information we have on this plant, there is ample enough proof that it works for many medical ailments. All cannabis use is medical. We have an endocannabinoid system for a reason. Cannabis has been the culprit of zero deaths, unlike alcohol. Cannabis is even safer than many of our groceries!
If you think stories like this are a disgrace and you too would like to see change, follow this link to Walk4Change.us/ and see how you can get involved.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the MONTROSE STAR.