Jerry Laberdee, 56, is a Vietnam War Veteran who was sent to war when he got caught with pot. Today Jerry sits in jail for the same crime, and is on a hunger strike and while he awaits his Federal charges. This time, however, he was a qualified medical cannabis patient in a Compassionate Use State, but because it is a Federal indictment, and not through the state of Washington, he will most likely be unable to provide a medical defense. Jerry’s daughter, Jessica, has sent us this letter.
By Jessica Vogel | August 27, 2011
The U.S. government has abducted my father!
My dad is Jerry Laberdee, he is not a name, or a cause, or a casualty of this “War on Drugs.”
He is the man who raised me and my five sisters, even though he was barely 20 years old when my oldest sister was born, he stuck around and did the best he could do.
When I was a child my dad approached me and said, with all the sincerity in the world, “You have what it takes to do anything you want to in life. Anything in the world is yours if you want it.”
Constantly he would remind me of this inner strength that he had, and he saw I had it too.
“But you have to be willing to work really hard for it.”
He continued on to say “If you want to go to Harvard, you can. That’s the beauty of America; you don’t have to be poor just because you grew up poor”
Now those words dangle from the tip of my mind, each letter being pushed off one at a time like a train de-railing: “T-h-a-t-I-s-T-h-e-B-e-a-u-t-y-o-f -A-m-e-r-i-c-a”
Don’t get me wrong, my dad always taught me to question authority.
He said that a good government wants you to question what they are doing.
“Only bad governments discourage questions.”
I learned from him, and am learning it now each day as he sits in jail unable to eat, that if we are too afraid to question authority then we are a disgrace to the men who founded this country and the women and men who fought, who continue to fight, to defend that right.
They fought and died for their children, and their children’s children, to live in a land free from tyranny.
We are those children!
We have to continue to make a stance against the unjust.
Not just for my dad, but for all Americans.
My father was one who defended the very rights he’s been stripped of today. His punishment for smoking a joint was to be sent to Vietnam, and as he continues to struggle with PTSD, among other ailments, the only form of medicine that works is the same thing that got my father sent over there in the first place.
He is too old to fight, so now they would rather throw him in jail. And they have.
The media has fed our minds for so long to believe that people who question authority are cynical, hippies or just plain paranoid. What a sad state of affairs, when people who stand up for the Constitution of the United States are viewed as cynics or extremists.
Something everybody needs to know is that U.S. Federal Code Title 21 Sec. 812 Paragraph B states that in order for something to be a Schedule I Drug it must have “no current medical value.”
Therefore marijuana should not be listed as a schedule I drug.
The Federal Government provides marijuana to some patients, and therefore they clearly acknowledge that it does have current medical value. This means that due process has not been achieved, and the 5th amendment says that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”
Our ancestors would be ashamed to see this.
My dad is in jail on a hunger strike because he is being deprived of his life, liberty and property without due process of law.
There will be a rally on August 29th at 10:00 A.M. at the Federal Building in Spokane, Washington. It is my hope that people will come from all over the country to support the man who is supporting our civil rights while this process unfold.