Equality? Not in the Peach State. During a search for an unrelated issue, I came across the testimony of a retired Air Force Pilot and his wife before the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis. Seems this retired couple was arrested for manufacturing marijuana. I won’t go into the story, as they explain it a lot better than I could in the video that follows. What I will say is that I’m retired from the Air Force also. My initial reaction was “Hoorah”, but the more I watched, that reaction turned to “Wait a damned minute”. By the end, I was thinking “WTF”?
Now there is no doubt this is a great story of sensible action by a compassionate, understanding District Attorney in Fannin County. I couldn’t be happier for this couple, but there is an underlying issue here that deeply disturbs me.
I’d like to introduce you to the case of Sheldon Singleton, an Air Force Veteran who was doing EXACTLY what this couple was. Sheldon was growing cannabis and providing it to a family friend who was afflicted by Multiple Sclerosis. During a knock-and-talk conducted by a Drug Squad Agent who claimed he “smelled marijuana growing”, Sheldon and his wife Joann were both arrested and are still facing prison time as they are tried in Laurens County.
Sheldon was denied bond until his own medical problems began to cost the County money. He is out now but sadly, during his incarceration, his friend died.
Equality? Equal Protection? I’m sorry, I just can’t see that here. But wait, there’s more. Yeah, I’m gonna play that race card. Why is it the affluent, White, retired Air Force Officer Veteran and his wife get a pass, but the poor, Black, Air Force Enlisted Veteran and his wife, living in a mobile home park, are being prosecuted? In what Bizarro State is that Equality?
Speaking of Bizarro, Sheldon and Joann were very recently in court for a Suppression Hearing. There was some issue or other that caused the hearing to be rescheduled. During an interlude, an ADA approached the defendants and their legal team. This ADA offered Sheldon and his wife a plea deal of 15 years probation for Sheldon and they’d drop the charges on Joann. Joann is White, by the way.
Seems to me illegally growing cannabis for medicine is illegally growing cannabis for medicine. In a State of Equality, the color of your skin or your financial status would not enter into it.
Of course, the deeper questions are, “Why is it illegal” and “Why are our homes being invaded because of a plant in the first place”?