busted: america's war on marijuana
Will Foster: POW (A Letter from Prison)
May 15, 1997

To Those Who Care:

My name is Will Foster. I am a 38-year-old male who was sent to prison for exercising my constitutional right of Freedom of Choice. I was convicted for cultivation of marijuana on January 16, 1997 and sentenced to serve 93 years on your tax dollars. This is the first time I have ever been in trouble. I was a productive citizen of the United States for the last 20 years. I paid taxes and served my country in the United States Army. I have had my own business for the past five years as a computer programmer/analyst.

I used marijuana for medical purposes. I have crippling arthritis in my feet, hips, lower back and hands. I did not enjoy the side effects of the drugs my doctors prescribed for me, which were mostly codeine-based narcotics. These drugs are highly addictive if used over an extended amount of time. The prescribed drugs left me moody, tired and edgy, making it difficult to enjoy my family and to perform my job.

So I elected to medicate myself, which is allowed in the Constitution under FREEDOM OF CHOICE and in the 8th Amendment addressing PAIN AND SUFFERING and in the 14th Amendment which says that ALL PEOPLE SHALL BE TREATED EQUALLY. THERE ARE 8 PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO ARE PART OF the Compassionate Use Program. These people receive U.S. Government grown marijuana on a monthly basis. Some of these people have the same condition as I do. I do not understand how these 8 people differ from others also in pain. I hold no ill feelings for these 8 people, only for the government which continues to discriminate against the rest of us.

We were a happy typical family that had a life and had dreams, but the Tulsa Police Department had different ideas. The Tulsa Police Department and the Special Investigation Division (SID) entered our home on December 28, 1995 on a "John Doe," search warrant looking for methamphetamine. They found no methamphetamine or any evidence that it had ever existed. They did, however, find my medical marijuana garden.

To make a short story of it, the affiant, who is a sworn Tulsa Police Officer, stated that his affidavit was true even though they found nothing listed on the search warrant. They found a total of $28.00 in cash.

All of this transpired due to a "confidential informant." During the trial, I was refused the right to face all of my accusers. The judge simply refused to force the state to bring forth this so-called "confidential informant." That was a direct violation of my Constitutional rights.

During the two years it has taken to get this to a trial, the police have had an "itch," when it came to my case. You must understand that almost everyone else in Tulsa County ever busted for possession has taken a "deal." Taking the issue to a jury trial was simply unheard of.

So in October of 1996 after the District Attorney and the Special Investigation Division learned that I had no intention of taking a "deal," they decided to "put the pressure on." On October 22, 1996, I was leaving my home ( a different residence because my wife simply couldn't take living in the house where they violated us). I had pulled into a gas station to fill up my car when a Tulsa police officer pulled in behind me.

Upon exiting his vehicle he called me by name and insisted on seeing my driver license and insurance form. He stated that I had failed to signal from my residential street to the main street. He then proceeded to search my person and my vehicle. When I questioned this, he stated that he knew I "had marijuana either on me or in the car." He called in on his cellular phone to the same four officers who had arrested me in December 1995. They had an amazingly good response time -- less than one minute! The found no marijuana on my person or in my car, yet they still arrested me for failure to signal. They detained me in the County jail from 10:40 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. without pressing any charges or processing me through proper channels.

During the time I was being held, my wife found out where I was and came down with my sister-in-law and posted bail on the traffic violation. They still DID NOT RELEASE ME. They did, however, get another search warrant for our home and WHILE NO ONE WAS THERE searched the premises. They claimed on the affidavit for this warrant that even though they found no marijuana, I had "the odor," of marijuana about me, therefore granting them access to a warrant.

The same police officers who searched our home in December 1995 took my house keys from me and granted themselves entry to our home PRIOR to the warrant ever being signed by a judge. They then claimed to have found marijuana. However, this is a bald faced lie because I NEVER KEPT MARIJUANA in my home after the bust in December 1995. I am not an idiot!

Considering that they were in the house by themselves, they could have found whatever they wanted, do you understand? They thought the additional charges would deter me from having an actual jury trial. They thought wrong. In the course of all this injustice, the District Attorney's office decided against pressing the additional charges. Maybe he doubted their authenticity.

What happened to the 4th Amendment right to be free of "UNLAWFUL SEARCH AND SEIZURE?"

Now I am in prison at the expense of all you good souls because 12 people decided that smoking and/or growing marijuana is more harmful than murder. That's what it really comes down to. My sentence is longer than the terms given murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Since I have been incarcerated, I have received no medical treatment whatsoever. I risk the loss of my left leg form the knee down.

Is this the way it was meant to be? I served my country faithfully when she needed me. And now that I need her, where is she? Hiding behind the skirts of "law and order. "

Disheartened is an understatement. I am lost in a system that just doesn't give a damn. Lost from my family and friends. And for what purpose? Because I chose a clean safe medicine. Because I chose not to become an addict for the pharmaceutical companies. Because I exercised my freedom of choice. My research shows that over 60% of the people in the prison where I now sit are non-violent offenders. This is costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year. The governor of Oklahoma recently took $14.2 million out of the state educational fund and paid off a debt owed to this facility. Oklahoma has the third highest incarceration rate in the nation (/100,000), but is 47th in children's education. Oklahoma spends over a billion dollars a year on out of state prisons.

I am tired of the injustice being inflicted upon the people who are in pain and suffering. This is not what our country was based on. These people are our brothers, sisters and children. It is time for a change in Oklahoma and the rest of the nation. Take a long look at the government and all the police you see. This is not what the founding fathers wanted.

This is supposed to be a country OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE! It is time to take control of our own destiny and do with the government as WE choose. If we don't, America as we know it will die. Once I believed in America and what she stood for. Once we had life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Help put an end to this tyranny. Don't make me a martyr for nothing.

I hope that I have touched some of you. Remember me and my family.

Peace to all,
Will Foster

 

 
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