Spottedcrow Flies Free

Patricia Spottedcrow, an Oklahoma woman who was sentenced to 12 years for selling $31 worth of pot, with no prior convictions, was released from prison yesterday (Thursday, November 29th), after serving almost two years of her twelve-year sentence.

Her case received significant coverage after the story was featured in 2011 Tulsa World series on why Oklahoma ranks number one for sending more women to prison per capita, than any other state. Grassroots organizers then rallied together to bring attention to this egregious example of our overzealous sentencing for marijuana-related crimes. It worked, outrage spread far and wide.

After several targeted campaigns to local law enforcement and elected officials, as well as an especially strong grassroots effort spearheaded by outraged mothers and reformers, the lobbying paid off.  Officials decided to reconsider her twelve-year sentence.

In July of this year, upon the unanimous recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board, Gov. Fallin agreed to approve her parole, contingent upon her completion of the community service part of her sentence. Today, Spottedcrow is a free woman that has since been reunited with her family and her three small children.

After spending over two years in prison, Patricia Spottedcrow greets her children when they get home from school. from Tulsa World on Vimeo. (Try this too:

The NORML Women’s Alliance was deeply involved with this effort, as well as providing personal support to Patricia Spottedcrow through a formal letter writing campaign. She received an outpouring of support and sent the Alliance a personal thank you letter.

“This is an inspirational reminder that justice still exists.  It proves that with cooperation and determination, grassroots efforts truly can make a significant difference in people’s lives,” said Sabrina Fendrick, Founder and Director of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

58 thoughts

  1. Amazing how much effort it took to get this done but they let out actual violent criminals without batting an eye. Im glad some “justice” was served and those kids have their mother back with them.

  2. And how much did it cost to imprison this poor young woman for such a minor offense? 100,000?? More?? ridiculous….

  3. I am so happy for this woman. She can now hug her beautiful children everyday. Thank you Norml Womens Alliance for the best Christmas present you could ever give her and her family.

  4. Does anyone know the weight of marijuana she sold? I mean, $31 worth must be like a couple cigarettes, right? TWELVE YEARS in prison?

    America the Beautiful (Police State)!

  5. Who on earth sells a 31 dollar bag of marijuana? I’ve only ever heard of even 5 dollar increments with the exception of a 15 sack.

  6. And now those criminals owe her back pay and restitution for emotional suffering. Jesus, what is wrong with my country? Let her out of jail, but she never should have been arrested in the first place.

    No one I’ve ever met supports these insane laws… Not even the police. Yet, here they so we can say, “WHY?”

  7. I’m actually kind of appalled that they still want to make this woman serve any kind of “community service”… She should tell the Governor to GF himself..

  8. Same ole story, put folks in cages who don’t follow the rules of a bunch of old white men, however stupid the rules are! Oh I mean really old white men, and even some old white women like Hillary Clinton. This shit is preposterous!

  9. And to think the parole board in RI recently considered letting a murderer (who killed a woman to experience the thrill) out after a dozen or so years. Crazy.

  10. How do you sell $31 worth of pot?

    Patricia: “How much do you want?”
    Buyer: “Uh i’m not sure really. What’ll $31 get me?”
    Patricia: “A half eighth and stem.”

  11. How would she have gotten 12 years? Couldn’t of been a first offense right? Can someone explain how a sentence like this can happen? Is it multiple convictions?

  12. I dunno?! Now this dangerous heathen is free to walk among all of us right thinking demigods of European ancestry.

    Seriously, honey, congratulations and best wishes. Fly free!

    Who spends the people’s money imprisoning someone like Spottedcrow?

  13. I’ve been outraged by her imprisonment ever since it happened. Ever since then I’ve thought that Oklahoma is absolutely the most screwed up state in America. I’m so glad she has been released.

    In my mind, what makes her insanely harsh sentence all the worse is that she is a relatively poor Native American and a mother of four. I mean, isn’t it bad enough that the white people stole her ancestors land? And now, in modern times they treat her in this manner because of a white man’s law?

    I’m a white man. It’s enough to make me feel ashamed but I don’t! That’s because I’m part of the American majority that does not, in any way, condone what happened to her and have tried to help her. This was perpetrated on her by a small minority of people that are so different from me they may as well be another species entirely. They should be sorely ashamed but I doubt they are…

  14. The government paid for this injustice, and they need to pay the costs of having this whole thing expunged from her record, something so that it is not a hindrance to employment and can not be used against her and it’s as if it was never on her record, can’t be considered or used against.

  15. OK letting pot prisoners out early is a very good example of shifting perception of harm by judges and even parole boards,,until now marijuana was reated the same as heroin in OK,,don’t let the insanity of the law blind you from the positive message this sends.

  16. If u get called for jury,SHOW UP.if the person on trail for cannabis then even if hes guilty ,u say not guilty.Hang that jury:)

  17. CONGRATS and blessings for her and her Family.

    I grew up in OK at the Ft. Sill Army Base.

    OKLAHOMA is a horrible corrupt state.

    Glad I got out and left when I graduated.



  19. Such an unfortunate injustice. It is great, though, to see a family restored due to the efforts of these supporters. Keep on letting your voices be heard!

  20. Good for her. I have been reading on here about 2 years on and off and this is the first story I saw that is heartwarming to me. shouldn’t we all be as lucky as her. Keep up the great work NORML!

  21. Meanwhile back in California ……….

    During the year after the California marijuana decriminalization statute became law, the number of arrests for violent crimes dropped by 16 percent, according to the study. Homicide arrests also reportedly decreased by 26 percent across the state. Drug arrests changed the most, decreasing by almost 50 percent.

    Most of the drug arrest decreases resulted from the change in how the state handles small marijuana possession. During 2010 California marijuana possession accounted for a total of 64 percent of all drug arrests. In 2011, that figure decreased to just 46 percent. The youth crime rate drop in California decreased at a faster rate than anywhere else in the United States.


  22. Since you are thinking about working, do make handwork the center of your life and don’t hesitate to train the children, there is nothing wrong or exploitational about a family business.

    And what product is most needed? Inexpensive hand-made one-hitters (gooogl “Make Smoke (i.e. vape) Pipes from Everyday Objects” and “Make Screens for 1/4″-diameter Single Toke Utensils”) replacing the 500-mg-per-lightup Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide (HBOM) “joint” with a 25-mg serving size so users (not only of cannabis, also of tobacco, which is why the $igarette corporation oligarchs hate cannabis) can TITRATE PERSONAL DOSAGE and escape combustion-related harm falsely attributed to the cannabis.

  23. I’m glad she is free! If she is smart, she’ll leave the ignorant backward state of Oklahoma. The politicians there are an incredibly ignorant lot. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t they have a penalty of life imprisonment if you get caught with a bit of hash? Seriously, how stupid can they get?

    It’s a near certainty that if the child of one of Oklahoma’s politicians got caught with marijuana nothing would come of it; much less a 12 year prison sentence! Do you think the fact that she is a Native American had anything to do with it? This whole issue seems to reek of racism.

  24. It occurred to me the other day that despite centuries of slavery we failed to break the spirit of the black people. On the other hand we destroyed entire nations of red people and herded them out of site onto reservations. We broke the spirit of the red people.

  25. Yeah Elaine, I can’t see how one can pull a 12 year sentence for this non-crime. This doesn’t fit into any “scheduling system” in place anywhere. It is like she won the reverse-lottery; “Well, we’re supposed to only give you 3.5 years, but it’s your lucky day and you’re getting 12 full years”. What? “Yeah, you qualify for extra servings of hate thanks to your native blood”.

  26. Well, once cannabis is legal, you have to be careful about admitting to using it especially if you put on your employment application that you never used it, you know, like most people do, lie about it, and then once it’s legal in your state blabbing and letting something slip.

    So there was the curious case of some fellow employees who partied together, and the one lost his job because he had to admit he lied on his employment application about using MaryJane. And the party friends were shitting bricks he wouldn’t rat them out. And the other curious case whereby one of the party friends was the boss who actually had to break the news to the employee that they had to be let go, forced to be complicit or expose herself.

    Be careful about this shit. More than one MMJ patient has been fired for blabbing about at what age or in what year they first used MaryJane and been fired for lying on the job application.

    Now let’s see some protections from that.

    Let’s see some movement on the federal front.


  27. I was one of the many people who not only wrote to my state’s representatives about this injustice, I also wrote to President Obama about the terribly unjust sentence she got. I never got any replay from any of them. Does not getting a reply infer that they condone this poor woman’s sentencing?

    Even if there was nothing any of them could do, you would think they could at least speak out against this – but no…

  28. This is great. The public is now seeing the kind of prosecutions that have been being passed down over a weed. And this is only the tip of the iceburg. When cannabis prohibition is finials over,,, the truth will be surprising.

    Thanks NORML

  29. There never will be enough justice to pay for all of the abuses of marijuana prohibition, but at least a small measure has been gained here. Thank you Norml Women’s Alliance.

  30. Or how native Americans have grown and harvested hemp since time immemorial Centurys before whiteman ever set foot on this land So the white Man has raped there heritage and traditions by not allowing them to grow hemp because it contains like 1% THC How stupid!!! Are You for real?? U guess the civil war was fought for not Slavery is alive and well in America as long as cannabis is still prohibited

  31. There maybe a lot more to her background then what we know about but even if it included being arrested 10 times for marijuana ” crimes “before she served any time does not matter . No one should serve time behind bars for something less harmful than drinking beer . Pharmacies pose a much higher danger to public health including suicides, robberies,addiction with the sale of pharmaceuticals yet you never hear of cashiers being arrested for selling drugs at your local CVS drugstore .

  32. “How would she have gotten 12 years? Couldn’t of been a first offense right? Can someone explain how a sentence like this can happen? Is it multiple convictions?”………

    I will explain how. Oklahoma is just like how Nevada used to be back in the late 60’s/early 70’s. I remember driving to vegas back then and seeing signs all over the place that said “dont mess with grass, posession:20 years sell:Life” all over the damned place. Oklahoma is justt the same just without the signs. Here is also the state laws (please look these up guys, its on the website!) to affirm what i have said. Pay close attention to the punishments regarding concentrates-this was enacted within the last decade.

    Oklahoma MJ Laws (READ THEM!):

  33. As a side note, you think the state of Oklahoma is bad, you should try the Oklahoma Panhandle. I live in SE Colorado, a stones throw away from this place, and i can tell you with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that the OK Panhandle is the closest thing to Nazi Germany/Soviet Russia that i have ever seen in my entire life, and i was stationed in germany during the cold war!

  34. @Don S – Oklahoma does not deserve to be a part of the United States considering the incredibly brutal and ignorant laws they force their citizens to abide by. I wouldn’t even want to drive through that damn state let alone live there. But what are the good people of that state supposed to do? They could all leave but that would just give all of Oklahoma to the evil bastards that are currently in power there. Seriously, I think the Feds should crack down on the obviously stupid and corrupt politicians in power in Oklahoma and put them in prison! It would be child’s play to replace them with better people.

  35. @Don M— I will not ever so much as drive through that state. I was very serious when i said that the oklahoma panhandle was the closest thing ive seen that compares to Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. If i ever have to go to texas for anything i will just go through new mexico and avoid the Panhandle all-together. as soon as they see an out of state plate, ESPECIALLY Colorado, your getting lit up, regardless of whether or not you actually did anything wrong and beware, the judges and the attorneys, even the defense attorneys, will not help you. If you get stopped in that state, your screwed. Here is a good example of the Oklahoma panhandle, this woman had to get the ACLU involved!-:

  36. Prohibitionist politicians and their cheap sympathizers have divided and nearly ruined the south with their greedy ways and power stealing legislation. I am ashamed of what these rednecks have done to Texas and neighboring states as well.It will be a good day when the last one of these thieves is dead.

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