By Sam Sabzehzar | Video by Ian Moody
Jerry Laberdee, 56, suffers from a myriad of conditions and uses medical cannabis to relieve many symptoms his conditions create. We can now add Post Traumatic Stress, as Jerry has spent the last couple weeks in jail for using medical marijuana in Washington, a compassionate-use state, prompting a protest by the citizens in Spokane demanding Federal marijuana charges are dropped in the state that just held the world’s largest marijuana festival.
While Jerry is in jail and on a hunger strike, partly because his lack of appetite which cannabis would help with, there are four others who face similar federal indictments for operating a closed-loop medical marijuana group in Eastern Washington.
Medical Herb Providers, one such group, filled the front steps of the Federal Courthouse after Jerry had spent an entire week in jail before he was finally able to see a judge.
His parter, Dennis Whited, who is missing a leg below the knee and experiences intense phantom pains, also faces federal charges.
As the two fight their case in court, the patient community is planning a strong show of solidarity, from San Diego to Spokane, with groups like The Human Solution and Americans for Safe Access stepping up and shedding light on the plight of patients in pockets of America, even in Compassion states.
One patient close to the Laberdee family, who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear from her local government officials, told Medical Marijuana 411
“Jerry’s not guilty, and he plans on proving that among twelve of his peers in court. The ones who are guilty are still out there wasting tax dollars… the public officials that refuse to do their job and create regulations to protect the rights of Veterans like Jerry; they are the ones who should feel guilt inside. Jerry fought to protect these rights for all of us and to protect us from this type of Tyranny, and they throw him in a cage. They are the ones who are guilty.”
To learn more about the Spokane 5 and how you can help restore some protections medical marijuana states began to achieve, please visit the Save the Spokane 5 Facebook page, and visit Americans For Safe Access, and the Cannabis Defense Coalition.
Music by Tommy G from The 509