Just as the government makes a distinction between the responsible use of alcohol and alcohol abuse, we began to insist that they make that same distinction about marijuana use and abuse.
Only when marijuana is finally legalized in New York state, hopefully very soon, will we see the end results of our efforts to convince New Yorkers that “It’s NORML to Smoke Pot.”
The harsh reality is that when one is arrested in this country, there is a strong likelihood of a conviction, and usually without the benefit of a trial.
Jerry Mitchell was being bugged by some new kid in town to help him find a couple of joints. He turned the fellow down on a couple of occasions, but finally picked up 1/3 of an ounce of homegrown from a local source and sold it to the new kid for $5. It turned out the new kid in town was an undercover agent and Jerry was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
John Lennon obviously thought something good might result from his focusing national attention on this unjust prison sentence for a minor marijuana offense, but I suspect he was as pleasantly shocked as the rest of us when, shortly following the event, the Michigan Supreme Court took action to free John Sinclair.
Without marijuana there would be no marijuana smokers and without marijuana smokers there would be no marijuana legalization movement.
Jimmy Carter was the first US President ever to endorse the decriminalization of marijuana, first during his 1976 campaign and again in 1977 in a statement to Congress — which I helped to draft
That enormous challenge of reversing marijuana prohibition would not have been possible without the earlier work of LeMar, Amorphia and those pot-head jazz musicians and hip poets.