The campaign, created in partnership with the Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party, the Redemption Foundation and FORCE Detroit aims to secure the release of Rudi Gammo, Michael Thompson, and all cannabis prisoners in Michigan
Lansing, Mich., Oct. 20, 2020 — Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing restorative justice to those who have suffered under cannabis criminalization as more U.S. states move to full legalization, has announced the launch of the Michigan Cannabis Prisoner Release Campaign, partnering with the Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party and the Redemption Foundation, with an initial raise of $30,000.
The campaign aims to secure the release and record expungement of Rudi Gammo, Michael Thompson, and all nonviolent Michigan cannabis prisoners. In conjunction with its launch, the Michigan Cannabis Release Campaign announces a donation of $10,000 to the family of Rudi Gammo, whose 6-year-old son Santino has recently been diagnosed with leukemia.
Founding supporters of the campaign include: Weedmaps, C3 Industries, Skymint, Redemption Cannabis, Gage Cannabis Co., The Botanical Company, Truu Cannabis, Home Grown, Driven Grow, Om of Medicine, Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, Real Leaf Solutions, Great Lakes Holistics, Northern Specialty Health, Fresh Coast Extracts, Bullit Budz, Midnight Roots, Sparrow Consulting, O2VAPES, Green Cross Detroit, Arbors Wellness, Act Labs, Cloud Cannabis, The Refinery, Cannrose Cannabis Co., Martin Waymire, and 3Fifteen Cannabis.
Montel Williams, the television host and longtime activist is a supporter of the campaign who has a personal stake in cannabis reform in Michigan as a Black man who was arrested for a cannabis offense in 2002 after being caught with a pipe in the Detroit Airport. Williams said, “Michigan’s failure to address restorative justice as part of cannabis legalization shocks the conscience. Governor Whitmer made a campaign promise and yet somehow, because her parole board refuses to perform its statutory duty in a timely fashion, Michael Thompson remains in a Muskegon prison, now in his 25th year behind bars for selling three pounds of cannabis to an undercover officer in a crime that hurt no one. Rudi Gammo, who operated a medical dispensary in Detroit and only sold to patients with valid medical cards, is serving more than 5 years in prison. I got the celebrity treatment when I got arrested, and the disparity between my outcome and the outcomes for Michael and Rudi haunt me. Madam Governor, it’s long past time to empty Michigan’s prisons of non-violent cannabis offenders.”
“Michigan is one of 13 states in this country to legalize recreational marijuana but the only one that has not provided for non-violent criminal marijuana conviction expungements or sentence commutations at the same time,” said Sarah Gersten, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Last Prisoner Project. “Despite a campaign promise to support marijuana expungements, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has still done nothing to advance this important policy issue, and people have continued to suffer as a result. We call on Gov. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel to rise to the occasion and correct these injustices.”
To contribute to Michigan Cannabis Release Campaign, please visit: https://give.lastprisonerproject.org/give/301353.
About Last Prisoner Project
The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis-related criminal justice reform. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered under America’s unjust policy of cannabis prohibition. Through intervention, advocacy and awareness campaigns, the Last Prisoner Project works to redress the past and continuing harms of these inhumane and ineffective laws and policies. Visit www.lastprisonerproject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.