Will Foster Freed from Jail, Had 93 Years for Medical Marijuana 4/27/01

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

Attorney/activist Don Wirtshafter has reported that Will Foster, the Oklahoma medical marijuana patent who was sentenced to 93 years in prison for keeping a small cultivation room in his basement, was released on parole yesterday.

Foster, a 42-year-old father of two, was arrested in 1995 for growing marijuana in the basement of his Tulsa home. He used marijuana to relieve chronic pain caused by acute rheumatoid arthritis. Foster used marijuana because other medication he was receiving, specifically Percodans and Percocets, made him moody and could not be adequately dosage controlled.

Police raided Foster's home on December 28, 1995. They were acting on a fraudulent tip that Foster was selling methamphetamine. The raid terrified Foster and his family, including their five-year-old daughter, who watched police tear apart her teddy bear looking for drugs. Only when they forced open a locked steel door did police find Foster's small, 25 square foot growing room. During Foster's trial, the prosecution claimed the plants were equivalent to 2,652 joints. Ed Rosenthal, a marijuana cultivation expert, testified that the yield would be at most 600 joints.

At the time of the raid, Foster was a highly paid computer programmer. "My medical use of marijuana never interfered with my work, I ran a successful business. "I told my conservative doctor what I was doing, he did not really agree with it cause of the health risk of smoking, but he witnessed my positive results. I was minding my own business taking care of my health and my family. What was I doing to anybody that got me 93 years?"

Despite an absence of evidence of any sales, a jury was convinced to convict him with cultivation and intent to distribute. Aggravating factors of possession "in the presence of a minor under age 11" and failure to obtain marijuana tax stamps increased the sentence to 93 years. In 1998, an appeals court found that the 93-year term "shocks our conscience" and reduced the sentence to 20 years, which opened up the possibility of parole for Foster.

The parole board quickly issued a unanimous recommendation for the release of Foster, but the requests was turned down by Oklahoma governor Frank Keating. The following year, Foster came up for parole and received the recommendation of the board, but again was rejected by the governor.

On his third attempt, Foster was freed. Activists speculate that Keating was willing to approve his release because he is no longer a potential candidate for president, attorney general or drug czar.

Foster immediately flew to California where he plans to rebuild his life.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail drcnet@drcnet.org. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #183, 4/27/01 Editorial: Drug War Fanaticism | Against John Walters: DRCNet Opposes Bush Drug Czar Nomination | Coca Wars I: Over the Peruvian Amazon, Chronicle of a Death Foretold | Coca Wars II: Coca Growers Fight Through Tear Gas, Beatings, Detentions to Reach Capital City, Bolivian Government Shudders Anew as Blockades Set to Go Up Again | Coca Wars III: At Summit of Americas, US Aid Buys Support for Plan Colombia, Paramilitaries Rampage Back Home | HEA in the Press | Racial Disparities in Drug Law Enforcement in Chicago: 99% of Teenage Drug Offenders Prosecuted as Adults Are Non-White | Will Foster Freed from Jail, Had 93 Years for Medical Marijuana | No Time to Rest: Drug Reform Conferences Advancing the Cause Nationwide | ACLU: Supreme Court Ruling Expands Police Powers | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 drcnet@drcnet.org