Medical Marijuana POW Needs Your Help

When U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced last year that the federal Department of Justice would no longer prosecute medical marijuana patients and providers complying with state law, reform advocates cheered it as the greatest victory in over a decade.

The shift in federal policy was indeed a breakthrough for the medical marijuana movement, but did little good for Bryan Epis of Chico, California.

Last week, a federal judge ordered Bryan to prison for a 2002 conviction involving 100 marijuana plants he maintained for several state-legal patients. Under the current administration’s policy, Bryan would likely be left alone by the feds, but the problem is that his arrest and conviction occurred well before the new policy was implemented.

Bryan was sentenced to ten years in federal prison and has already served two years behind bars, but has been out on various appeals since 2004. Today he’s sitting in the Sacramento County jail awaiting transfer back to a federal penitentiary.

Friends and family are hoping President Obama pardons Bryan so that he isn’t forced to waste more of his life locked in a cage because of his compassion towards sick and suffering patients.

Bryan’s partner is circulating a petition urging President Obama to grant a pardon and she requests your help. A printable petition form can be downloaded here. Please help Bryan by collecting as many signatures as you can and mailing the petition back to the address at the bottom of the page.

15 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana POW Needs Your Help”

  1. This is a shame, but highlights the reason to get all of our support behind this vote:

    VOTE for Legalizing Marijuana on Change.org:

    I am hoping that MPP, NORML, SSDP, LEAP and others will use their email lists and get behind this vote. They ask us to go support their videos, questions, ideas…. so hopefully they will rally behind us and get their email lists involved. The idea has dropped into 7th place, and there are many that are very close behind. Now is the time for us to be active!

    9 days to go….

    There is time to secure our spot in the discussion and there is plenty of time to lose it. What is your choice???

    MPP, NORML, SSDP, LEAP…. Can we count on you???

    http://bit.ly/cMZCHB

  2. DarthNole, I have voted for this issue. But I suspect that most of us activists feel that it will just fall on deaf ears, or worse get laughed off. It hurts to be ignored and rejected, and most of us harbor angry resentment about it, I for one in particular. But I will keep shoving my opinions, thoughts and ideas down Barry from Punahou’s throat, and the U.S. Govt’s., regardless of their calous disregard for the strength of our voice.

    Peace to all my bruddahs and sistas. See y’all in Cali, after the 2010 vote. California here I come, right back where I started from.

  3. Situations like this, I believe, are in part what has been lurking in the back of the minds of many legislators and holding them back from open support for both medical cannabis and outright legalize and tax legislation. They are afraid. Afraid of what?

    Looking like fools.

    Looking like sociopathic criminals.

    And some of the more deranged, pot-bashing, lock-’em-all-up, crazed ones are, indeed, sociopaths.

    But I’m willing to forgive them.

    I’ll insist on the truth, that they were wrong, that the war on marijuana was a giant mistake, an abuse of human rights on the scale that is less than some in the past, but every bit as bad as many.

    I’ll be OK with them voting themselves amenesty for everything they did to people like Bryan Epis, like me, like — what is it now? — over half a million Americans a year who are arrested in some form for cannabis.

    I’m OK with them putting reasonable regulations on the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis, as well as some form of taxation. And forgiving them because they knew not what they did — because they were ignorant brutal fools.

    It doesn’t make it right, but if that is what it takes to bring the day when it doesn’t happen to anyone else one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour, one minute, one second closer, I’ll forgive them. We’ll call it even. Let our prisoners go. We’re OK with not suing you. We’ll get on with our lives, just take the charges out of the system, it’s only fair.

    Then all you have to do is live with yourselves.

    Pass the kootchie on the lefthand. It’ll help, I promise.

  4. Nicely put m…

    Christ Almighty… anger can be a great motivator sometimes, (I’ve had my share as well) I’m sure many politicians or whoever on the opposing end, like it when people are more discouraged and give up when rejected. Keep fighting and eventually we’ll win. ;)

    Darth… Those polls have finally started to kick up today!

  5. “Under the current administration’s policy, Bryan would likely be left alone by the feds, but the problem is that his arrest and conviction occurred well before the new policy was implemented.”

    I don’t care if he broke the laws before the new policy was in because the laws are unjust and completely old fashioned in the first place. Not to mention based on false facts that the government pushed years ago. This is such a HUGE oversight by the American people and it has gone on for way to long. Bryan deserves (along with every single person arrested for medical marijuana) restitution for damages, also time lost with friends and family. NOW, not later. The justice system had to throw him in jail with killers, rapist, and all the others that truly deserve a spot in fed. prison. But why…seriously WHY! I shed tears for all the families that have been ripped apart over this kind of crap.
    Freakn punks…
    I say if they all go running for bunkers in 2012′… good. Seal the doors and make sure they stay put, like the bad dogs they are.

  6. The laws must be changed. This year we will get more states with med mj but nobody is trying to free those locked up already for cannabis. This is an ongoing problem that must be addressed as soon as possible. All people in jail for posession and cultivation should be set free NOW!! There is no justice in keeping cannabis users in jail. Let those that truely need to be out, get out. One day there might be a class action lawsuit for abuses by cops and I hope it is sooner than later.

  7. Christ Almighty:

    I agree with you and hope that this isn’t once again laughed off and brushed to the side. I hope that the format that is in place for this “vote” forces the Administration to really discuss this issue openly since there should only be 10 Ideas when all is said and done.

    But what I do know is that the other “Ideas” that are highly ranked are sponsored by National Organizations that can turn out the online vote overnight. This “Idea” is being voted on by word of mouth and true grassroots support. I am still hopeful to open my email and find letters from MPP, NORML and others directing all of their supporters to this vote.

  8. I’m glad to see so many well spoken activists posting on this site. It’s a great pleasure sharing ideas and views with so many like minded folks, BUT i’m tired. As many of you mentioned yourself “we’re preaching to the choir”, “this falls on deaf ears”.
    We need to get off the web and go public. Yesterday I saw one guy protesting in front of Morgan Lewis, a single dude speaking loud about his issue. He probably won’t get anywhere but I’m sure he caught a lot of people’s attention going in and out of that building. Now what if it’s not 1 but 100 or 1000 people and in front of the City Hall.
    I’m in NYC and I’m looking for people to rally with. My e-mail address is Dmitriy_Gunik@yahoo.com I invite all fellow New Yorkers to join me on 04-20-10. Get in contact with me if you interested so we can get organized.
    Social Disobedience Day 04-20-10
    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  9. JJ,
    I now a few communists. NONE of them support the war on drugs and in particular, none of the support the laws against cannabis. It would be useful to can the irrelevant discourse, as it’s a distraction from the truth — that people have wrapped themselves in the flag in the course of trashing the Constitution. Those doing this have far more similarity to Joe McCarthy than any resemblance to communism, whatever you think of it.

  10. @JJ – I’m far from giving up. I’m just ready for more decisive action. Almost Everyone that I see posting here already shares the same goals and ideas. We need to go outside of this site and web alltogether and take this fight to the streets, to the people who dont know the truth. We need to rally and send the message of truth to more people, people who probably don’t visit blogs like this.
    Also, communist party have evolved a lot and hardly represent prohibition these days. Last time I heard prohibition and communist in the same sentence was back in 1986 in Russia.

    Free The Weed. Free The People.

  11. Free and M…
    ok so maybe pot and communists have no ties. But my beliefs as personal freedoms being a number one issue and Pres Obama and Nancy Pelosi and all the others in Congress are taking away EVERY personal freedom. Smoking Marijuana is a Personal Freedom.
    Now, as far as rallying. I do. Many of you guys know me face to face, or at least a few. Only thing is is that I cannot go flaunting my need for Medical MJ until it is legal since my wife is in the medical profession and myself am in a profession that has a Prohibitionist for a company president. So, I have to do all my rallying and protesting in different STATES just on the chance mine or my wifes’ boss see us. So, i continue to support our cause through letters, phone calls, and blogs. BUT since I recently got on a shift where state travel is possible, SOON I will be going more places and seeing more MJ smokers than I could dream.

  12. hey guys, this isn’t exactly on topic, but is there anything happening in Georgia for cannabis in general?

  13. It was very interesting for me to read that article. Thanks the author for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Best regards

  14. I really can’t understand why they cry they have no money yet they have the money to continue holding these non violent POWs.I know what it is like to be prosecuted, convicted and jailed over Cannabis.Fortunately I won my appeal.The Money wasted trying to ruin my life was absurd.I may have won an appeal but I realized that the Internet is not going to just go away.Yes one may be able to EXPUNGE records but try to EXPUNGE the internet.I am branded for life as a pothead.I feel it can be worse they can be accusing me of being a BOOZER and that would piss me off.I am a POTHEAD and that is reality.I feel the US has been so ignorant in this war.I no longer take this lightly.I demand my rights now and I will not be made out to be a lower class citizen just because of the stigma.Shame on the self Righteous Boozers.I say this because when the Army turned against me in 1981 they wasted so much money then ignoring the Alcoholics and kicking out the Potheads.The waste is absurd all over an herb that GOD placed on earth for us to get relief from our AILS and there are still the MORONS that insist we suffer instead of feeling GOOD.They prefer us to feel like CRAP then they are truly happy.The real idiots are the ones who say that there is a pill that is better,BULLSHIT! I had the VA shrinks feed me so much useless crap for PTSD.What works for PTSD is cannabis That’s what works.I am a Baby Boomer Army Veteran who says that we are fighting a bunch of ignorant wars on many fronts.Some with our own citizens.The Drug War is Over and the Government Lost.Someone should inform them ASAP.I hope to see some of this ignorance be rectified before I die but I will not be holding my breath.Check Out The Spending on the Drug War. DRUGSENSE.COM has the up to the second tally on the spending so far this year on the Ignorant War on Drugs.Imagine how much of that is cannabis related. GOD BLESS ALL

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