Tell me about how you first started using marijuana and why?
I guess when I first started using marijuana I was like most children, you
know, I was in high school ... I smoked it occasionally at parties. I
excelled in high school. I was a star football player. I was fullback, scored
lots of touchdowns, played all sports, passed, graduated high school. But,
other than that, I didn't use marijuana very much, until, I guess, 1990
when I first started having problems with arthritis and back pains.
What happens when you use it?
Well, basically, I used it as medicine. It wasn't something ... every
day. It wasn't something that I had to have. I just smoked marijuana for the
relief of pain.
So, when you started using it for your arthritis, how were you getting it?
I was buying it on the black market. That was the reason that I decided to
start growing it. I didn't know what was in it, what someone could've put in
it, the quality, how it was smuggled in. They bring it in in diesel, and, you
know, it could have all types of impurities in it, so I started growing it
myself so I'd have the purest, natural and know what was in it ...
Tell me about the grow. How did you learn about it?
Well, you can pretty much learn about growing marijuana, I mean, it's pretty
much like any type of plant an ivy. I used a cloning process. Once I got my
plants that I wanted or the strain that I wanted, I just cloned from them.
There's probably a hundred different books on how to grow marijuana on the
Did you talk to other growers?
I know a few people who grow marijuana, yeah.
Paint a picture of the kind of community you live in.
I lived in, I guess, a very nice community. I lived right behind a
shopping mall ... five-bedroom house, a swimming pool, two living areas, three fireplaces. Nice house.
Where did you hide the marijuana?
I had it in a bomb shelter. The house was built in the 1950s during the
nuclear holocaust scares and this house had a bomb shelter built into it and
had a corrugated steel door on it, and I grew the marijuana in the bomb
How much were you growing?
I had about 50 marijuana plants. Now, that's counting clones and everything
... and I was charged with all of those for the same marijuana. And I never
had one person that had a witness that ever said I'd distributed marijuana.
There were several that said I never sold marijuana,
that I did grow it for my own personal use. But they still charged me for
possession with intent.
You're saying you never sold it. Then, you used it all yourself?
The marijuana that I used I grew myself, yes.
All of it?
It is quite a number of plants just to use yourself.
No, actually, no it's not. You only get about an ounce and a half
marijuana per plant, and then it's not like you do when you grow outdoors
... grow a plant for seven, eight months and get a yield of a pound and
half of marijuana out of it. You're only getting, at the most, an
ounce and half to two ounces of marijuana of an indoor plant because you only
grow them for 90 to 120 days.
It must have been tempting, though, in the amount of money you can get for
marijuana these days, not to sell some of it.
Didn't need to sell marijuana. I made over $100,000 a year,
legitimately, in my computer business. Had no need to sell marijuana.
How many years did you do this?
I had just started.
So it was a matter of months?
Months, yeah. I guess I'd started in September and they busted me in
December. So four months.
Did you ever think about getting caught?
No. Not really. I didn't think about getting caught. And I didn't do
anything to really draw attention to me, at least I didn't
think I did.
And, how they busted in my house was a "John Doe" search warrant. They didn't
even know my name. Said that there was methamphetamines bought out of the
house ... I never messed with methamphetamines. When they
searched the house they didn't find any methamphetamines, they didn't find a
razor blade, they didn't find a syringe, didn't find a spoon, didn't find a
mirror, didn't find baggies to the keep methamphetamines in. Didn't find
scales to weigh methamphetamines up on. Didn't know my name, I never got to
confront this confidential informant there in the entire time of the trial.
Basically, an individual, now in America, can go submit evidence against you and
you don't get to face your accusers anymore.
Do you have some idea who it was?
Actually we did find out who the confidential informant was after
trial, and he said that he never told them anything about methamphetamines.
So, what do you think?
Well, the police officers lied.
In order to what?
To gain entry to my house. They didn't know anything about marijuana. I
mean they didn't come to my house for marijuana, they came for methamphetamines.
Which they found no evidence that it ever existed or ever did exist.
Have you thought about why they had some
Well, you know, that's how their promotion scale is. It's just like a thing I seen
on TV in Dallas ... if these police officers in
certain districts didn't start giving certain amount of tickets, they weren't
going to be allowed to ... enhancements to their jobs.
That's how they do their promotion. How many busts, how many convictions you
There are people listening to this that are going to say, how could you not
have thought this was going to happen, especially in Oklahoma?
Well, I didn't sell drugs, people didn't know that I grew marijuana.
I could ... count them all on one hand who knew I grew
marijuana. I lived a pretty decent life. I worked every day. I paid my taxes. I
didn't go out and hurt nobody. I didn't rob nobody, I didn't go carousing
bars, I stayed home with my family, I was minding my own
business, at least, that's what I thought.
You had to have a couple prior convictions of marijuana.
I was at a guy's house that got busted one time, they raided for cocaine and
they didn't find any cocaine, but they found two roaches over a cabinet and they
charged everybody in the house for that possession of marijuana, even though it
was in nobody's possession. I didn't realize that in the common place in
somebody's house that's not even yours, that you're just visiting, that you could
get busted for possession of marijuana there. Of course the charges were all
I didn't sell marijuana, so I'd never really worried about the distribution
part of it, and I didn't know that cultivation carried two [years] to life.
The prosecution made a big point of the fact that you were growing in the
presence of young children.
Oh yeah, but if they don't know about it, is it really in the
presence of them?
How do you feel about kids using marijuana?
I don't think that kids should smoke marijuana. I don't
think there should be somebody on our school yards peddling marijuana. No. If
it has medical purposes and it can help them, then maybe they should smoke
marijuana, I mean, we're free to give them ritalin, which is a
methamphetamine type drug. We've all heard that, prozac, other types of
drugs ... there's kind of a big confusion here ... want to make them drug addicts by
prescribing them very highly addictive pharmaceuticals, but then they're
worried about them smoking
You ever talk about this with your kids?
Actually, I've told my kids I'd rather not them
use drugs ... and I told them the possible ramification of it, but if they were
going to use it, I'd rather them do it in the privacy of our own home. I
don't want them out on the street doing it. I mean, kids are gonna do what
they're gonna do.
Did they offer you a deal of some sort?
Before we went to trial, the best deal that they would give me was 25 years, a
$150,000 in fines. At the time that we were getting to go to
trial, the day of the trial when we were getting ready to put a jury up, they
offered me 10 years and $50,000 in fines.
If I took the 10 years, then they could come and prosecute my wife as it
stood at that time, she would get a misdemeanor, no jail time, if she would
testify against me. So if I didn't go to jury trial, they would just come back
and try to enforce more years on her in jail.
So you were taking a gamble, for...
Well, it was me go to jail and a jury trial. Or me going to jail taking a plea
bargain and her going to jail at the same time.
And what did you think the outcome of the jury trial would be?
Well, I figured with the way that the judge ran the courtroom,
the things that he wouldn't even motion on
like, the confidential informant, the unsigned affidavit for the
search warrant, I mean, I didn't have chance. I knew I was
going to go to jail.
How do you think you ended up with a 93-year sentence for marijuana?
Well, I'm the first person ever in Tulsa county to take the drug case to
trial. Nobody challenges them ... I
did a little research that my own computer program went down and researched
files and from February until March of 1996 there were 120 drug
arrests for marijuana alone and not one person took it to jury trial, everybody
plea bargained out.
So, do you see yourself as a political prisoner in some sense?
Anybody who's in prison
for drugs is a political prisoner of war.
People across America are speaking, look what happened in California, Arizona,
Oregon, Ohio, Massachusetts. They're telling them that the drug war's futile.
You'll never win this thing.
For 10,000 years men have sought out the euphoric feeling.
Alcohol, tobacco, opiates, I could just go on. Dogs do it, birds do it,
bears do it. They find mind altering drugs, that's why the koala bears
eats eucalyptus leaves because it gives them the euphoric feeling.
Do you think that all drugs should be legalized, or do you think
marijuana is different?
Well, you know, it goes back to your freedom of choice ... there's only
actually about 3,000 addicts, what they actually say, true addicts. There's
35 million Americans that use drugs. Now, you know, our government wouldn't
want you to believe that, they've said there's only 17 million.
I don't know if you know much about the new law that the congress has
just passed for the accountability of the drug czar's office.
You know, by the year 2001, they're supposed to reduce half of the people using
drugs, which means that at the current rate, that means we're going be
7.5 million more people in jail by the year 2001. It's going to
empower them to do anything they want to do, it's going to give the police
more power to tramp on your constitutional rights, and it all
boils down to your freedom of choice. If you're a 21-year-old
adult, you've got your job, you work, you support your family, your family is
not going hungry, if you want to smoke a joint or ... if it's
your choice to do cocaine, then you should be able to be allowed to do that.
At one point did you sort of come to all these political conclusions?
I've done the research, looked in the books, read about the
history, and until 1937 you could buy marijuana in any drugstore in America for $1 an ounce.
So you've done the research since your arrest?
No, before I was arrested. And I didn't like the pharmaceutical drugs. I
mean you got the FDA prescribing phenolphan [PH], [which] killed 150
people already, I mean, where is its testing at. You know, obviously they
didn't do the right testing. Now you look at all these people that have
damaged heart valves. Now these are doctors that are prescribing medicine
that's supposed to help people, not supposed to kill 'em. You look at a lot of
the other medicines that are out there on the market. They all have a side
effects--ulcers, liver damage, kidney failures, heart damage, But
somebody wants to smoke marijuana for a medicine that causes none of
these, has no side effects, is not addictive--shouldn't it be a
personal choice, a freedom of choice?
Why didn't you use the medical marijuana defense?
Don't have a medical marijuana defense in Oklahoma.
Have you met other people in prison, who have been in similar situations?
Sure, 45% of the people in Oklahoma prisons are on drug offenses. Mine is
not, you know, one of the most harshest. There's people
that are doing life without parole for an ounce of marijuana ten years for a
joint, 15 years for unlawful delivery of seven grams of marijuana.
The war on drugs is crazy. We spend, in Oklahoma, so much money to
fight the war on drugs. The U.S. government, this year, is going to spend
$17.5 billion to fight the war on drugs, they're not even stopping 10% of the
drugs that are coming into America. I mean, where are our dollars going?
That's not counting the incarceration that we can't pay a school teacher. We
can't educate our children, but we can fork out $30,000 a year to
keep a prisoner in prison when we can't spend $5,000 dollars year to
teach our kids. What's wrong with the picture?
In the the federal penitentiaries there are 71% of the people serving and the
federal penitentiaries right now are for drug offenses alone. We are building
two prisons a month federally in the United States for drug offenders. That's
basically it--50% of the people of the 71% in federal prisons are in for marijuana
offenses. Last year alone there was over six million marijuana arrests in
America. There's a marijuana arrest every 58 seconds in America. Every 58
seconds there is a marijuana arrest.
What's you're medical condition now?
I get no medical treatment, my hand's all swollen up, my joints, my feet, my
ankle's swelled up about this big, I have edema from the swelling of the busted
blood vessels in it. I get no medical treatment, ibuprofen, they
charge you for that, $2 a whack. Go to the doctor here you
have to pay $2 to see the doctor. They put you in prison, at least
they should do is provide you medical attention without having to pay for it.
Why, although you admit its easy to get here, don't you use it then?
Why? They UA people a lot, give 'em urinalysis. I just don't
wanna take the chance of getting called in for a UA ...
your murderers or rapists, its OK, they don't hit them
cause they're not in here for that.
And that will affect your appeal?
I don't know so much about my appeal, but, you know, it could affect my
status, my good time, things like that.
You don't have any regrets about what this whole thing has done to your
Oh yes, my family are the victims. In America, way
back when the 14th amendment, for the crime to be committed they're have to be
against an individual. Against his property, murder. In your drug cases,
there's no victim. Its a victimless crime, the only victim is my family. Me.
Who else was a victim in this? There wasn't one, there wasn't one other. I
didn't ruin nobody's life, I didn't hurt them. What did I do to somebody?
Not a thing. It's a victimless crime, but I'm doing more time than if
there was a whole line of victims.
You're saying people who are here for violent offenses get in shorter lengths
There's Barbara Bell--killed her husband cause he cheated on her, she did
two years in prison and did two years of suspended sentence on probation and
was fined $750. For murder. Same judge that tried me.
What does this say to you about America?
What does this say to me? [LAUGHS]. At one time,
I served my country in the service, I was proud to be an American. If
I had it today, I'd give up my U.S. citizenship and go to several different
places. I wouldn't want to be American.
We're forced to follow the rules of just a few people, and it's no longer a
government for the people by the people. Because our people
speaking, we passed laws in California and Arizona about marijuana and what
does the federal government, the first thing they say, "We don't care what you
guys passed, we don't care. Our laws is what counts." What is wrong
with this? This is something that our people put on the ballot, they
voted it in, they way that it's supposed to be done, by the people, and then our
government is telling us, "No, it don't matter what you guys want" So are we
really free people anymore?
California is one thing, and middle America is another thing. What
did you sense from people in Oklahoma?
You would really be surprised, most people would go for that ... just look at all
the money you would put back into our education, I mean,
our government, Governor Keating just pulled out $14.2 million from our
education fund to put prisoners in Texas. I mean, $14 million would educate a
lot of kids, wouldn't it?
A lot people would say that it isn't just the politicians. There is a
genuine sentiment in the country in support of the current laws.
Sure, when you have your alcohol industry, your tobacco industry, your
pharmaceutical industry, your textiles industry, this would be all direct
competition if marijuana was legalized, direct competition. Your oil
companies--marijuana has more methane in it than corn. You can make a
fuel for gas, or gasoline out of marijuana wouldn't have to use fossil fuels,
it'd stop the ozone warming.
You could grow marijuana for paper and never have to cut down another tree.
You could prescribe marijuana as medicine and take off all your
anti-depressants, your prozacs, your valium, your ritalin.
Marijuana fabric is stronger than cotton, breathes better than cotton. You
don't have to use the pesticides to keep the bugs off it.
So, in short, you think this is really about something else that's ...
It's about money. Where's your CIA going to be able to get their money to throw
over their governments? They can't go to Congress and say "Hey, man, I need a
billion dollars so that I can go down here and finance this government to be
overthrown." It can't happen. So what do they do, they bring in their drugs,
they sell them on American streets, they take the money, and they finance other
governments. Its been proven.
Do you think there is a real hope that this country will de-criminalize
I would hope so. I think so. At least, make it available for people for
There's no sense in people sick and dying, and our government just not
allowing them to have medicine. They do have the compassionate youth program
in America where there is eight people every month [who] get 300 joints
each of governmentally grown marijuana. Now why do these eight people get
marijuana from our government and [not] everybody else?