Sadly, as murderers and rapists barely face a ten-year sentence in most cases, non-violent criminals face life in prison for a herb. Recently, Kristoffer Lewandowski, a marine veteran was charged for growing marijuana and because of that was told he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Kristoffer’s trial followed the trial of a murderer who had violently murdered his unarmed best friend. Unfortunately, the man showed no remorse and was sentenced to merely years in prison. Kristoffer, on the other hand, was told that unless he took a plea deal, he could spend the rest of his days in prison. Why? For growing marijuana to treat his PTSD.
Furthermore, the judge even wished the murderer luck with his few years in prison. However, when Kristoffer walked into the courtroom it was an entirely different story. Instead of referring to him as sir, as he had done with the previous defendant, the judge only made promises not to ‘take up anymore of the court’s time.’
Kristoffer was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after serving tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, after a cocktail of 14 pharmaceutical drugs proved to be not only unhelpful but also caused him trouble with his liver, Kristoffer began using medical cannabis. However, in June of 2014, cops responded to a call stating that he had chased his wife through the house with a knife. He then barricaded himself in the house, before ultimately surrendering.
It was then that the cops found the pot plants.
According to his wife, Whitney, the behavior that transpired the night of the call did not reflect her husband’s general behavior.
“They’re trying to use me as a victim and to make it look worse on his case. My husband has absolutely never laid his hands on me ever. He is not an abusive man, ever… quite the opposite. He is extremely doting.” she explained.
While the charges for marijuana cultivation carry a massive life sentence in Oklahoma, he was faced with limited options. He instead followed his council’s instruction to take a plea deal in which he would be placed on supervised probation for five years. Thankfully, because of this, he has avoided a life sentence, at least for now.
Unfortunately, despite him avoiding prison, he will ultimately be branded with a felony, which will cause his military benefits to be taken.
“I am absolutely heartbroken that a medicine that helps me has me fighting for my legal freedom,” Lewandowski said, as reported by the Daily Haze.
Thankfully, there is something that can be done. If you would like to help Kristoffer and his family after this trying time, you can go to the You Caring page that has been set up for he and his family. Also, if you support medical marijuana and its use for PTSD, please spread this around to gain support.