I reported yesterday that an elementary school teacher in Florida was arrested after police discovered a grow-op in her garage. She is facing three felonies and two misdemeanors. In stark contrast, a Harvard professor, Mey Akashah, was popped with six grams of marijuana in her underoos. She had arrived on a flight from Boston to visit her husband in Bermuda, when a drug dog sniffed out her stash.
Facing a maximum penalty of ten years, she did what any well-educated, articulate person would do–turn on the tears. And, it worked. The Magistrate Archibald Warner, listened to her medical marijuana defense, but faulted her inability to provide evidence that a doctor had indeed recommended she use medical marijuana. Folks, this is important–if you are planning on traveling abroad with medical ganja, take your physician certification, or at least the direct contact info of someone you trust to send it along. Ideally, your recommending physician would provide a method for verifying your certification. In this case, Akashah, claimed she could not reach her recommending physician in California. No surprise there. No offense to Cali doctors, but lots of fly-by-night certification agencies fail to back up their patients as promised, despite raking in piles of cash.
Magistrate Warner actually recognized the charge would have “an overwhelming effect” on Akashah. Out of mercy, he imposed a conditional charge, so she will have no conviction on her record for the offense. How can we bring this magistrate stateside to teach our judges some compassion?
We need to remember: for all the chatter on the ultimate power, and all-seeing eye of big brother, we still have a diverse range of ways to retrain the system to treat cannabis rationally. Yes, you can vote, but that’s not enough. If every supporter of the movement spoke out with one voice, no one could ignore it. Our judges need to hear from you. In the end it’s not the Supreme Court sitting there when some poor soul like that teacher in Florida is losing everything. Most often, it’s a state or local judge, or jury who has the power to show mercy on the marijuana movement. Laws are not written in books, but in the ethical tone of our society. We must let those in power at all levels hear the change in our ethical tone. The younger generations are authoring a new era, where racially bigotry, homophobia, violent oppression of those who seek herbal relaxation, and xenophobia have no place. I am looking forward to living in that future. We can all help create it now, through communication, compassion, and unified efforts. If you have ideas, information, or anything else to share, contact me here: