Urge Governor Whitmer to Grant Clemency for Michigan's Cannabis Prisoners!

Governor Whitmer

At the same time that some are now profiting off of the legal cannabis industry others remain incarcerated in Michigan for the exact same activity.

To: Governor Whitmer
From: [Your Name]

Dear Governor Whitmer,

I am writing to you and requesting a meeting on behalf of the Michigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition and in solidarity with the thousands of individuals who remain overly and wrongfully incarcerated from cannabis charged crimes.

Together with a diverse group of organizations, advocates and businesses that have come together we aim to address the fundamental disparity in the now legal cannabis industry, that while some are able to profit, others continue to suffer the collateral consequences of Michigan’s unjust and inequitable approach to the criminalization of marijuana.

While your efforts in the commutation and release of Michael Thompson are greatly appreciated, our coalition is putting forth a clemency initiative to put an end to this continuing injustice and help free the wrongfully impacted citizens of Michigan that remain in prison today.

Through our partners at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), we hope to file hundreds, if not thousands, of clemency petitions for those suffering from the failed policies of the drug war and over incarceration in Michigan. To do so in a manner that does not overburden the state we respectfully request that you help to facilitate information sharing between NACDL and MDOC to allow for a seamless and secure sharing of all necessary institutional records such as the criminal and disciplinary histories of consenting prisoners. NACDL is well prepared and experienced in how to set up this sort of system having done so for the Obama Administration, and the States of Colorado and New York pursuant to confidentiality agreements. This will greatly expedite the review process, which is essential because the proposed project depends upon pro bono volunteers.

Included you will find a letter from the NACDL describing a State Clemency Program that we have previously submitted to both your office and Attorney General Nessel.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would consider meeting with the Executive Director of the NACDL, Norman Reimer and representatives from our coalition to further discuss how the Michigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition, the NACDL, and the State of Michigan can work together on this important initiative.

Michigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition


Michael Thompson, Member, Michigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition

The Last Prisoner Project
Sarah Gersten, Executive Director and General Counsel
Mary Bailey, Managing Director
Andrew DeAngelo, Board of Directors
Erik Murray, Board of Directors
Natalie Papillion, Board of Directors
Dean Raise, Board of Directors
Tahira Rehmatullah, Board of Directors
Jim Belushi, Advisory Board
Steve DeAngelo, Advisory Board
Damian Marley, Advisory Board
Stephen Marley, Advisory Board

Michigan Liberation
Rai LaNier, Wayne County Director
Tim Christensen, Training Director
Nicholas Buckingham, Campaign Director

The Cannabis Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
Mike McCurdy, Chair
Zahra Abbas, Vice Chair, DNC Delegate
Leaha Skylar Dotson, Secretary
Samantha Vaive, Sergeant At Arms
Jamie Lowell, Treasurer
Rick Thompson, Representative of Congressional District 5
Richard Clement Sr., Representative of Congressional District 14
Val C. Toops, Representative of Congressional District 7
Coleen S Parsons, Representative of Congressional District 9
Lena Thompson, Congressional District 1
Mike Whitty, Representative of Congressional District 11
Owen Handy, Representative At Large
Mikal Goodman, Representative At Large
Denise Kirchoff, Representative Congressional District 12
Colin MacDougall Representative at Large
Marshall Clabeaux, Campaigns Coordinator, Interim Chair MCFC Policy Committee

FORCE Detroit
Alia Harvey, Quinn Executive Director FORCE Detroit
Najanava Harvey-Quinn, Political Consultant, FORCE Detroit, Rep. at Large, Cannabis Caucus
Keith Bennett, LIVE FREE Detroit Coalition Manager
James “Screal” Eberheart, Community Visioneer FORCE Detroit

Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
Abel Delgado, Chair
Desirae Simmons, Vice Chair
Ahmed Wahby, Congressional District 11 Representative
LaShaya Darisaw, Congressional District 5 Representative
Annie Sommerville, Congressional District 12 Representative
Rebecca Terpening, Congressional District 4 Representative
Liano Sharon, Caucus Parliamentarian, DNC Delegate
Antonia Kidd, Congressional District 5 Representative, CD 5 Progressive Caucus Co-Chair
Kristen Watt, Congressional District 8 Representative
Amanda Robert, Congressional District 11 Representative
Emma Green Congressional District 9 Representative
Gabriel Gurule Congressional District 12 Representative
Susan Fabrick Congressional District 2 Representative

M.A.D.E. Institute
Leon El-Alamin

Americans For Safe Access, Michigan Chapter
Brandy Zink, Chair
Jamie Lowell, Vice Chair
Mike Whitty, Board Member
Miriam Halprin, Board Member
Gail Whitty, Board Member

SOZO Companies
Rosalie Flores, Interim Chair, MCFC Prisoner Outreach Committee

Decriminalize Nature
Jim Salame, Deputy Director
Julie Barron, Co-Director
Myc Williams, Co-Director
Colin MacDougall, Treasurer
Chuck Ream, Political Director
Anne Banister, Political Director

The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association
Robin Scheider, Executive Director

OrganizingTogether Consultancy Group
Charla M. Burnett, Ph.D. , Executive Director

Michigan NORML
Annette Crocker RN, Treasurer
Dr. David Crocker, Medical Director
Jessic Finch, Board Member
Rick Thompson, Board Member
Adam L Brook, Board Member
Joe White, Motor City Normal Board Member
Zahra Abbass, Motor City Normal Board Member
Lou Novak, Motor City Normal Board Member
Val Reid, Motor City Normal Board Member
Dominique Da’Cruz, Motor City Normal Board Member

Michigan Psychedelic Society
Julie Baron, Board Member
Micheal Williams, Board Member
Jim Salame, Board Member
Matthew Pacone, Board Member

The Redemption Foundation
Ryan Basore, Founder
Mark Passerini, President
Dennis Schornack, Vice President
Bob Baldori, Secretary
Honorable James Giddings, Board Member

Barton Morris, Attorney

Shelly Smith, Host, Reads and Weeds Podcast

Montel Williams

Financial Sponsors of MCFC Clemency efforts include:
Redemption Cannabis
C3 Industries
Bullit Budz
Driven Grow
Northern Specialty Health
Arbors Wellness
True Cannabis
Om of Medicine
Real Leaf Solutions
Martin Waymire
Cloud Cannabis
The Refinery
Redbud Roots
The Botanical Company
Truu Cannabis
Home Grown
Driven Grow
Michigan Cannabis Industry Association
Great Lakes Holistics
Fresh Coast Extracts
Sparrow Consulting
Green Cross Detroit
Act Labs
Cannrose Cannabis
Detroit Buds
3Fifteen Cannabis
Pharmhouse Wellness
Bahoura Law
The Law Office of Barton Morris
Michigan S & P
New Standard