Topic

Drug Policy

69 petitions

Update posted 21 hours ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump

Clemency for Tynice Hall

When I was 19 years old, I made the colossal mistake of being romantically involved with a man who was living a criminal lifestyle by distributing illegal drugs. This iniquitous choice I made not only affected my life, freedom and future, but my family and my community in the most detrimental way possible.  In my naivety, I thought that I could not be held responsible for my boyfriends behavior or actions. I turned a blind eye, although I was not directly in contact with his illegal activities or criminality, I reaped the financial benefits of the illegal drug trade. Those material things hold no real value and were not worth my freedom and my life.I knew that there could be consequences and repercussions for him if he was to ever get caught, but I had no idea that I could be equally punished for having knowledge about his actions. After three years of my on/off again relationship with this man, federal agents kicked in my door with a search warrant.  I was home alone. Two guns were found that belonged to my boyfriend and drugs. The house was in my name; therefore I was held liable for everything in the house and convicted for possessing the drugs and guns in the commission for a crime. I was taken into custody, never to be released again. I now accepted responsibility for my role and know that ignorance of the law and turning a blind eye to a crime being committed does not make me innocent or ignoring the criminal behavior of a drug dealing. I absolutely knew what he was doing was wrong; there is no excuse for my behavior. Twelve years later, I remain in prison for bad choices and getting involved with a felonious man. Although my involvement was minimal, conspiracy law held me accountable for all of the illegal conducts, making me equally culpable as my co-defendant, who actually peddled the illegal drugs. I was unable to provide substantial assistance to the United States Attorney due to the fact I had no knowledge of the inner working of his lawless undertakings. I wanted to immediately take a plea deal because I was scared I didn't understand or know what to do. Therefor I went to trail, in hopes that the jury would also agree that my roe was far more minimal than his, thus imposing a sentence that was fair an fit the description of the acts I committed. After going to trial, I received the enhancements a the top of the guidelines as if I was the leader/organizer of the operation. Originally, I was sentenced to 360 months plus an additional 60 months for a gun enhancement. Due to the retro-activity application of Amendment 750 and 782, I was blessed and grateful to have my sentence lowered by decades. Unless I am granted clemency, I will remain in prison for the majority of my young adult life for having knowledge and not reporting the criminal lifestyle of my boyfriend lived and that I occasionally benefited from. Prior to my arrest, I was attending classes to become a real estate agent. Life growing up was an average life for me. I had a very good upbringing. I graduated from high school and took some college classes. My decisions making my downfall. At the time of my sentence, I was a immature, 22 year-old that made some poor choices wanting to maintain the love and acceptance of my boyfriend and friends. After serving 12 years in prison and being away from my family during the holidays, births and even deaths of those dear to me, I realized I was seeking these things from someone that didn't have my best interest at heart. I do not  and will not let my past failures dictate my future, and I use my time now wisely to guide me into being a better person and the best woman that I can be. During my prison time I have graduated from the school of Culinary Arts at Danbury Federal Correction Institution. And acquired different apprenticeships: Housekeeping, Bakers and Cook. Moreover, I have instructed sever classes such as "Cage your Rage", which is an anger management class that teaches people how to manage their anger and redirects it into positive outcomes. I use to think that what you don't know can't hurt you, but now I realize it can kill you and take your freedom in the blink of an eye. This life altering mistake has taught me that my life is more valuable than the price I was willing to pay for a man's love. I understand the affect my actions had on society as a whole from the economy to the communities devastated by drugs and criminal behavior. If I am granted clemency, my plan is to successfully reintegrate into society by accomplishing the many goals I have set for myself. I plan to utilize the major of Sociology that I am working on through Adams State University by working with the underprivileged at risk youth. My overall plan is to work full time to help support my family and use everything that I have learned as a stepping stool. I believe that there are consequences for your actions whether knowing or unknowing and that the decisions you make today can affect you for the rest of your life, I've lived with an enormous amount of guilt but at the same time, that guilt has been motivation for me to reveal my true character and the woman I have become. I've shown that my mistakes may have knocked me off course, but it didn't deter me from the outcome of what my future holds upon my release. My prayer is that you will be merciful in deciding to give me a second chance. My family is my source of strength that helps me pull through daily. My hope is to relieve my mother of my responsibilities and to be the woman that I know that I can be. My wish is to granted clemency and become a model citizen. To learn from my mistakes and teach others to avoid theirs. Respectfully, Tynice Hall 34596-177

Arlinda Johns
70,394 supporters
Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Lawrence Kupers, William N Taylor II

GRANT CLEMENCY TO OUR SON EDWIN RUBIS - 40 YEARS FOR MARIJUANA IS NOT JUSTICE

Our son, Edwin Rubis, is serving a federal sentence of 40 years for a non-violent marijuana offense. [www.marijuanaliferproject.org/federal-prisoner-edwin-rubis-is-serving-life-for-marijuana/ At age 29, our son, while battling drug addiction, associated himself with drug couriers, and was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. After his arrest, his court-appointed attorney advised him, along with us, that he needed to provide information on others in the drug trade. Edwin could not provide such information. Therefore, he was quickly deemed "uncooperative", and the judge gave him a harsh sentence - 40 years.Edwin has been away from us for the last 19 years. During the course of time, we have adamantly petitioned, and at times cried, for his early release, at every level of the court system. Sadly to say, we continue to struggle, missing him, with no positive resolution to obtain his freedom. Edwin's children need him. We need him. Our son is not a terrorist, a rapist, a gang member, nor a violent individual to continually be kept in prison for decades for distributing marijuana. While imprisoned, Edwin has taken diligent steps to better himself. He has achieved numerous rehabilitation programs from the psychology and religious departments. He has graduated from college with a degree in Religious Education; and he is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Counseling and Therapist Certification. In addition, he serves as a mentor to others, under the supervision of the head chaplain. He is also working as a G.E.D. and E.S.L. tutor in the education department, at his present institution of confinement, helping others further their education. In addition, Edwin also finished a 2 year dental apprenticeship from The Department of Labor, and worked as a dental assistant for the last 7 years in the medical department.We love our son, [uncle, father, and brother]. We wish for him to receive another chance at life. But our dream for him to be reunited with us, can not be accomplished without your full support. Please help us obtain our son's freedom by signing this petition urging President Donald Trump to grant our son clemency or a pardon. Edwin is a changed man. He has been fully rehabilitated and deserves a second chance at life. Sincerely, Maria Roque - and - Family.

Jeremy Malone
14,654 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania State Senate

Decriminalize safety and prevent overdose deaths in Pennsylvania

If we ever want to see the end of the overdose crisis in Pennsylvania, we need to treat it as a public health issue, and take steps to protect those most affected.  The first step is removing syringes and drug testing materials from the definition of “drug paraphernalia” in the Section 2 definitions of PA’s Controlled Substances, Drugs, Device, and Cosmetic Act of 1992, therefore making them more readily available for public use.  If we want to solve the overdose crisis, we must amend and change the law which is perpetuating the problem. Pennsylvania is experiencing a public health crisis of epic proportions due to the rapidly rising rates of overdose deaths as well as HIV and Hepatitis C infections.  Everyday in Pennsylvania, more than 17 people contract Hepatitis C, and more than 10 people die of an overdose. Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest overdose death rate in the United States, shown through preliminary data which counts 5,260 fatal drug overdoses in 2017—a nearly 15-percent increase from the previous year. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared a disaster emergency for the opioid crisis, the Commonwealth’s first public health disaster emergency in history. "I don't take this action lightly. We know that this crisis has taken far too many lives. It has broken far too many families. It has decimated far too many communities and it has gone on for far too long," Wolf said.  While we are grateful the governor is recognizing the severity of the issue, it is time for our leaders to do more. A recent analysis of opioid-related overdose deaths found that extremely strong synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common drug involved in fatal overdoses in the United States. However, opioids are no longer the only substances in which fentanyl is showing up; it has also been found recently in cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, and other drugs, meaning all people who use drugs could be at risk. As the prevalence of fentanyl and its involvement in accidental overdoses continues to rise in Pennsylvania, it is paramount for people who use drugs to have the ability to know the contents of the substances they use, and exercise their own bodily autonomy through making informed decisions regarding the risks associated with such substances. If someone knew their substances were tainted with deadly synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, such information could save their life.  However, it is impossible to know if there is fentanyl in the substance they are about to use without access to fentanyl testing strips. Testing materials are a public health resource, which can curb preventable overdose deaths. Therefore, continuing to criminalize testing materials directly contributes to the growing  overdose crisis in Pennsylvania. Additionally, it is paramount to expand access to sterile syringes, which would significantly decrease substance users’ chances of contracting HIV, Hepatitis C, and blood-borne illnesses. Syringe Exchange Programs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have already made tremendous strides in mitigating the effects of the opioid crisis, including reducing HIV rates, connecting people to treatment, and preventing overdose deaths through naloxone programs.  With Hepatitis C on the brink of an outbreak, now is the time to decriminalize syringes by removing them from Pennsylvania’s legal definition of “drug paraphernalia”, and deregulate their sale to the public.While reforming state-wide laws is a complex process, we know that altering the definition of paraphernalia under PA law is the first step in the process. In doing so, we will form relationships with lawmakers and enforcement agencies who will work to bring these changes to fruition.  People who use drugs are not the only ones being affected by the criminalization of syringes and drug testing materials. Since syringes are illegal, people who use them often discard them in dangerous ways. This includes disposing of them in parks and other public areas around their communities. This type of disposal places law enforcement and the public at large in danger of needlestick exposure, and possibly exposure to needles carrying HIV or Hepatitis C.  However, drug use will continue to occur despite the ongoing criminalization of people who use drugs.  Given this reality, responses which are centered around the health of the public will best  minimize the harmful effects of drug use, and keep substance users alive and available for treatment. Have you lost a loved one to an overdose? To an HIV or Hepatitis C infection? Have you almost lost someone? Has it almost been you? Our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and colleagues do not have to live knowing the contents of the substances that they use could unexpectedly take their life one day, nor do they have to live in fear of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C. We cannot take back the countless lives already claimed by this crisis, but we can prevent more loved ones from dying.  There is a way to start solving the overdose crisis, and it starts with you.   Please, join us in telling Pennsylvania’s congress that we demand they must act now to decriminalize syringes and drug testing materials, and remove them from the legal definition of “drug paraphernalia” in Pennsylvania, before more lives are lost to the overdose crisis.  

Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Pitt
606 supporters