In August 2016, law enforcement officials at a fuel station close to Pickens County, Alabama, knowledgeable Sean Worsley that his music was too loud. Worsley, who was simply making an attempt replenish his tank, turned the quantity down. The disabled, adorned Iraq War veteran and his spouse, Eboni Worsley, have been on a visit to assist Sean’s grandmother after she was displaced by a hurricane. The police request appeared like no massive deal. But, the interplay took a flip for the more severe.

The cops requested to go looking the car, and Sean Worsley acquiesced. Reasonably, he thought he had nothing to cover. But, the officers found marijuana in the backseat and arrested Worsley on the spot.

It didn’t matter that the hashish was legally prescribed by an Arizona doctor and was inside a clearly marked prescription bottle. The cops didn’t care that Worsley had a sound medical marijuana card, both. They booked him anyway.

Is it value noting that Worsley is Black? Of course it’s.

Four years later, Sean Worsley is now 33-years-old and stays behind bars. The incident on the fuel station obtained him sentenced to 5 years in the Alabama jail system. Worsley now is not simply disadvantaged of freedom and justice, however he is additionally with out the physician-prescribed marijuana that efficiently handled his combat-inflicted traumatic mind damage and PTSD-triggered nightmares.

Eboni Worsley has arrange a GoFundMe to help getting her husband out of jail and to assist increase cash for different authorized feels. She is preventing for her cognitively-impaired husband with the help of the Alabama Appleseed Justice and Law Center.

On the GoFundMe web page, Eboni acknowledges that it was an error to convey medical marijuana to a state the place it stays unlawful. “That mistake has cost us upwards of $80,000, loss of a child, our home, vehicle, education, and ultimately my husband’s freedom,” she wrote on the GoFundMe web page. “We fully understand we broke a law but could never be prepared for how that law has broken our lives.”

Leah Nelson, Research Director at Alabama Appleseed, spoke to MERRY JANE about Sean’s current standing and what we are able to do to assist.

“What I would encourage people outside of the state of Alabama to do is engage with federal lawmakers,” Nelson mentioned, “to push them to reconsider our cannabis policies in this country. Right now, as long as marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance with no approved medical use, the VA is not going to be able to prescribe it, and states like Alabama will continue to be able to criminalize it. At some point, the federal government is going to need to do the right thing, so that veterans like Sean can legally use this medication.”

Nelson additionally identified how emblematic the Sean Worsley case is total. “It illustrates so many racial and justice points in this nation and so lots of the ways in which we’re nonetheless doing issues improper. It exhibits who goes to warfare as an enlisted soldier in the Army. It exhibits who will get injured in warfare and what occurs once they’re injured.

Citing Worsley’s army file, Nelson factors out that Worsley went to Iraq and his job was to disable improvised explosive gadgets, or IEDs. Often, they blew up, leaving Sean and his fellow troops with the ugly activity of retrieving physique elements. “Sean’s job was to pick up body parts,” Nelson instructed MERRY JANE. “He has a traumatic brain injury from being blown up, and he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from picking up the body parts of other people who were blown up.”

Worsley got here again to the US after doing that for greater than a yr, however nonetheless remained in the Army. He ultimately was honorably discharged, Nelson explains. But, now, he’s denied the flexibility to make use of the treatment that helps him, and he has incurred a number of felonies for utilizing that treatment the proper manner.

The legal guidelines want to vary instantly. “Sean’s story shows why we need to reclassify marijuana so that it is no longer a crime to possess it, and to make sure it is legal to be used as a medicine. How unconscionable is it that we’re not even allowed to legally conduct research on cannabis at a federal level?”

On prime of the injustice, Worsley is slated to do time in significantly inhumane circumstances. “Due to Alabama’s harsh criminal policies and refusal to update them,” Nelson mentioned, “Sean Worsley is about to be put into a prison system that has been found by the Department of Criminal Justice to be out of compliance with the 8th Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.”

While hashish is authorized in some kind throughout most areas in the US, we should do not forget that prohibition and the War on Drugs have been designed to focus on folks — and Worsley is experiencing the worst of it, particularly contemplating we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Please take a second to donate to Worsley’s  GoFundMe. May justice be served.

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