Published on July 16th, 2015 | by News Feed
Three Term Iraqi War Vet Faces Life in Prison for Marijuana Cultivation
Oklahoma has one of the country’s harshest marijuana policies with zero tolerance for any possession or cultivation. In fact, there are currently 54 inmates serving life in prison for nonviolent drug charges. There might soon be 55 with the latest arrested cannabis user being Kris Lewandowski, a three-term Iraqi war veteran with an extreme case of PTSD.
Lewandowski was honorably discharged from the Marines and classified as 100 percent disabled. He tried to manage his PTSD with prescription drugs, but had adverse effects with his liver and his mental state seemed to only get worse. That’s when he decided to try cannabis, which has had positive results for many vets with PTSD. Unfortunately, Lewandowski had an episode that got so out of control that his wife had to call police to help her. When they arrived, Kris surrendered peacefully, but the police noticed a handful of marijuana plants in his garage. That’s when the real nightmare started for Kris and his family.
The cops arrested him and plastered the story all over local media as a “major pot bust”. With his reputation ruined and his family devastated, Kris was released on bond and hired a lawyer. He soon learned that he didn’t have enough money to pay the legal fees and the case was put on hold until he could find a new lawyer to represent him. In the mean time, Kris moved his family to California where medical marijuana is legal. While he was out of state, the court held a trial without notifying him and soon he was wanted on a fugitive warrant and he had no idea that a court date had even been determined.
The family was joining their son at preschool for a water day, when armed police arrived with guns pointed to arrest Kris and tote him back to Oklahoma where he remains in prison today. His wife, Whitney is fighting for his release but is financially unable to pay for a lawyer to represent him.
It’s a sad day when a United States Marine that has served three terms in war and is living with PTSD is publicly slandered and thrown in prison for growing his own natural cannabis in the privacy of his home. Kris deserves better than the way he has been treated by the justice system. He is still awaiting a trial but at this point, he could face life in prison unless something changes. What will it take for lawmakers to protect our veteran’s rights to use natural cannabis to treat PTSD?