Remember Marijuana POWs This Holiday Season

As the holiday season gets into full swing, I am again reminded to count my blessings. One of the most precious blessings is my freedom. I can go where I want, eat what I want, watch what I want and so on. We all need to be aware of that freedom, because many of our peers have lost theirs. The “War on Drugs has created victims, casualties and POWs, in ever increasing numbers.

One of those POWs is from our Big Island “ganja ohana, Rev Roger Christie. He sits in the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, held without bail for more than five months. This FDC is designed for short-term detention, and has no outdoor yard. Roger hasn’t seen the sun or felt the balmy trades in 164 days. His fifth motion for bail was denied by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently, and his trial is not until April 26, 2011.

I spent part of my Sunday looking for interesting articles to mail Roger. He has limited access to information, or even the law library, and needless to say a lot of time on his hands. I try to mail him an envelope weekly, so that he has something to look forward to at “mail call.

I’ve sent letters of support to two other heroes of the reform movement, Marc Emery and Rev Eddy Lepp.

Taking a few minutes out of our day to write a letter is easy, and so beneficial to those POWs. Share a photo, or a story about your life. Something, anything to help break up the monotony of the day.

There is a web site which has information about other people in jail for medical cannabis related crimes.

Below are the mailing addresses for Roger, Marc and Eddy. Please find some time to write them and share some aloha.

Thank you.

Matt Rifkin

Rev Roger Christie
PO Box 30080
Honolulu, HI 96820

Marc Emery #40252-086 Unit Q Pod 2
CI D. Ray James
PO Box 2000
Folkston, GA

Charles Eddy Lepp
FDC Lompoc
3705 West Farm Road
Lompoc, CA 93436

Matt Rifkin, born and raised in New York City, and 20-year resident of Tokyo, Japan moved to the Big Island in 2003 to escape the concrete jungles and neon lights. Became interested in cannabis reform when seeing the vast difference between US and Canadian media coverage of the murder of four RCMPs in 2005. Became personally interested in solving the inter-island transportation issue after being threatened with arrest at Kona airport on Christmas Day 2007. Although living in Puna, Matt lives “on the grid” and while not vegan or vegetarian tries to eat non-GMO papaya and organic fruits as often as possible.

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