3 Of The Most Insane Marijuana-Related Prison Sentences In American History

 Cheri Sicard has been a marijuana advocate for a number of years, but it wasn’t until recently that she discovered Marijuana Lifers. While researching for her seventh book, Sicard came across Randy Lanier who had been the 1986 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, but was sentenced to life in prison by the following year. He was charged for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy offense, but at that point he had been forgotten. With the help of some business partners, Sicard created a website for Lanier and started some outreach for him. Then, she began adding more Marijuana Lifers to the group, eventually becoming an official non-profit organization in 2016, the Marijuana Lifer Project.

The Project aims to insure that all those Marijuana Lifers are released in addition to bringing awareness to this issue. Even though marijuana legalization is increasing and more people are supporting the drug, Marijuana Lifers are still entering the system as recently as 2016. Now the Project has 16 Marijuana Lifers including Craig Cesal and Corvain Cooper. Even though he was sentenced to life, Cesal was convicted of a crime the government never alleged he had anything to do with marijuana, and yet he’s still incarcerated because the war on drugs continues.  


I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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