I never know what’s going to remind me of my past, and at times, it's the little things that bring it back to the forefront. I recently stumbled upon some old boxes that contained a big stack of letters from close friends and acquaintances. Some are letters from when I regularly corresponded with my friends who were incarcerated.
Now if you don't know, I am a felon myself, for the cultivation of large scale cannabis in Arizona in the 90s. I am forever grateful that somehow, the “evidence was lost,” charges decreased, and jail time was not a big part of my story. But for so many, it is.
Those old letters brought up a wealth of old feelings. But more than reminding me how lucky I am, they made me think of how important my letters must have been to those who weren't so lucky, and were incarcerated.
Now don't get me wrong, being a “felon” for most of my adult years has been a challenge in itself. Wondering if I can be my kids’ soccer coach, or apply for that job I wanted, or go to Canada...all the things we take for granted. Thank goodness I live in Vermont and I get to vote. Could you imagine having your voting rights removed? It’s bad enough I can't ever have a gun for home protection or even hunting in Vermont, but to not be able to vote?
That’s a lot, but compare that to being incarcerated. Imagine being locked up for a plant. A medicinal plant at that. Not much to brighten your day or look forward to.
But what about getting a really cool, fun, kinda pick-me-up letter? I know how much it meant to my friends, and what I felt finding that old box of letters. I’m sure that those written words and supportive vibes add some a bit of glow and radiance to someone’s day.
Who takes the time to write letters anymore? Well, maybe we all should. Reach out, show some love, and let those who have been wrongly incarcerated for cannabis know that they are not forgotten, they are not truly lost amongst our outdated and jagged correctional systems. There’s huge value in showing someone that they’re not just a name on a list or a number on their prison scrubs.
My partner and I, being cannabis cultivators, hemp farmers and salespersons, decided we needed to do something more. We might not be able to do more than write a letter every month or two, but it's something. And as we move towards being in the Vermont adult use program, I was both surprised and excited to hear that felons, females and minorities will take precedence in Vermont for licensing.
Never did I think being a felon for cannabis cultivation would help me get in line, let alone the front of the line. That, I am grateful for. I will also be very grateful if you could consider joining me in our attempt to do a little something for those who are still behind bars.
We have chosen to work with the Last Prisoner Project and their letter writing campaign. They have it all set up to make it easy for us, and YOU, to reach out, write a letter, brighten someone's day and make a difference. Every little thing matters, every letter brings a smile.
So please, consider Writing Letters To Prisoners, and supporting the cannabis pioneers and many others who are the true heroes of the cannabis community.