Marijuana or Cannabis. Mary Jane, the devil’s Lettice, the chronic. The smoke, the choke, the grass. Whatever one calls the molecules THC, law enforcement has used Marijuana as a stepping stone to violate Americans’ rights since prohibition. The state of Oklahoma once had so many prisoners incarcerated for cannabis convictions they had a whole facility just for cannabis offenders. Now with the passing of question 788 (Marijuana Legalization Initiative) on Oklahoma’s voting ballots, even a felon in Oklahoma can own a dispensary. Oklahoma released a group of canna offenders preceding legalization, but many fell through the release cracks or simply were left behind in an Oklahoma prison cell.
Oklahoma has not changed practices in marijuana discrimination or using marijuana as a form of probable cause since the legalization of medical Marijuana. It has made minority legal gun owners become felons at alarming rates. Oklahoma resident Laure Bratcher felt that discrimination came from both ways in Oklahoma. Laure Bratcher was operating a legal dispensary in Oklahoma after serving his country in the US Army. He was precisely permitted to carry a firearm, even permitted to go to war with a firearm. Bratcher was permitted to defend Americans, but when it came to defending himself, and his place of business, the state of Oklahoma incarcerated Bratcher in an Oklahoma county jail for over a year without bail after he defended himself against a repeated intruder. Laure is now going through court proceedings, being charged with murder. Oklahoma is a “Murder 2” state. This is where the state says if an offender is in the act of a felony when a person dies, they are just as much at fault as if the person’s death was malicious. Many people receive life in prison without the possibility of parole in Oklahoma for a murder 2 conviction.
Cannabis is often used to dehumanize a person being investigated and or arrested for a crime, using marijuana much like back in prohibition days to create a canna user much like a monster. Child Star rapper “Nic Wit It” recently put an SOS Facebook out to the rapper 2 Chains, “Help OG, the overseers recaptured my grandfather, and we need help on the Underground railroad getting him free again.” Nicholas explained in his post that “My grandfather was a marijuana prisoner in Oklahoma. He used cannabis after a long battle with meth. After recovery from the drug, cannabis helped him maintain recovery. With help from thousands, we got my grandfather free. We thought he had a sentence commutation. Now, after a recent parole revocation, we find out his commutation was never signed by the Oklahoma Govaner Kevin Stitt, so he was just placed on parole since he was already released. My grandfather fell through the cracks.”
When Nic Wit It was asked what e meant by the underground railroad in his post, he replied, “It took thousands of supporters to get my dad free from celebrities like Weldon Angelos to fellow prison families like The Free Lance Gloor family. It’s an underground railroad, much like in slavery days, because slavery never ended.” Nic Went on to explain, “Slavery nor involuntary solitude shall be permitted except as a punishment of a crime, tats the 13th amendment we are taught to celebrate. That day changed nothing for slavery but include red, yellow, black, or white as slaves, not just black folks like before slavery was told to us it was abolished.” I asked for 2 Chainz’s help because he felt the stronghold Oklahoma has on the discrimination against cannabis users.
The rapper 2 Caniz, who is known to smoke cannabis openly, had an encounter with Oklahoma police about cannabis possession back in 2013 for allegedly obstructing a police officer after a traffic stop where officers claimed alleged cannabis use. With many Oklahomans doing time for low-level drug crimes, the new marijuana initiative to legalize marijuana in the great plains state is promising once again; this legislation will free all of the pot prisoners currently doing time and prevent any further marijuana incarceration in the state if citizens follow the legalization rules. Most Oklahomans support the bill some who do not support the bill voice concerns on social media, such as the mom and pops business being wiped out by bigger cooperation once federally legalized.
The fact remains that until marijuana is legalized federally, many Oklahomans and American citizens all over the country will continue to face charges and often are incarcerated for marijuana-related offenses. Laure Bratcher and Nic Wit Its grandfather Thomas Landreth face decades in prison for marijuana-related charges in the state of Oklahoma, like many other Americans across this country. Will this be the year, in 2022, that the American government finally reverses the damage done by the American Marijuana prohibition? This being an election year, it will be interesting to see which candidates address federal marijuana legalization when Americans go back to the polls in November. The American people will be watching and waiting to see if the new or reelected officials this year bring in the ending of the war against the American people that has gone on for decades, the war on cannabis.
Amberly Taylor is a 35yr old human rights activist. She volunteers for various non profits Like FreedomGrowForever.org and stands FIRM on SUPPORTING BLM and Civil Rights Movements