Not one day, and sure as hell not a life sentence. Yet, sadly, that is what is happening to people at this very moment. Marijuana opponents are always quick to say, ‘Yes, there are people in prison for marijuana, but they are a very small percentage of people that get caught with marijuana.’ As if that’s an OK stance to have. They might as well say, ‘Nevermind those poor souls seeing their lives wasted in prison, there aren’t that many of them, so they don’t count.’
I am an avid cannabis consumer, and I couldn’t fathom getting sentenced to life in prison for a plant that has been proven to be 114 times safer than alcohol. Lee Carroll Brooker is serving a life sentence in prison. He appealed his case all the way up to the Alabama Supreme Court, which upheld his conviction. Mr. Brooker then appealed his case to the United States Supreme Court. Sadly, the Court decided to pass on his case today. Per ABC:
The Supreme Court on Monday turned away an appeal from a 76-year-old Alabama man who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for possessing less than three pounds of marijuana that he said he grew for personal use.
Lawyers for Lee Carroll Brooker argued that the stiff sentence under the state’s habitual offender law violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
But the justices let stand a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court upholding the sentence. Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore had written separately in the opinion last year to call the sentence “excessive and unjustified.” He said the stiff sentence for a non-violent drug offense showed “grave flaws” in Alabama’s sentencing system and urged lawmakers to revisit the system.
I don’t care what anyone says – a life sentence for marijuana is cruel and unusual punishment. Even one day is cruel and unusual punishment, but a life sentence is beyond unfair and ridiculous. My heart goes out to Mr. Brooker and his family. It is beyond time to free all cannabis POWs!