White men are getting rich from weed, but this man got 35 years

by Dr Boyce Watkins

Today, in the inbox on my Facebook page, I received a message from a woman by the name of Elle Robinson.  Elle wanted to tell me about her husband, Quawntay Adams.  I receive a lot of messages about the many injustices taking place in our criminal justice system, but this one stood out to me a little more than most.

Mr. Adams received a 35-year prison sentence for “attempting to possess marijuana.”  This threw me aback, since I just gave a speech for the Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter in Denver, Colorado, a state where weed is now legal and out in the open.  I rode in the car with a good friend and respected attorney by the name of Eddie Koen, who told me about all of the wealthy white men who are opening up weed distilleries and making money hand over fist.  Almost none of those making money from selling legal weed are black.

The most ironic part of all of this was two-fold.  First, I thought about all of the inmates around the country, many of them black, who are still serving prison time for possession of the very same drug that is now making white men rich.  The second thought I had was about the fact that many of these inmates, once they hit the streets, are disallowed from participating in legal marijuana production because they have a criminal record.

I want to send a text to my friend Michelle Alexander and say, “Yes, the New Jim Crow is not only real, but things appear to be getting worse.”  The commodification of prison inmates is occuring against the backdrop of unprecedented wealth inequality, thus threatening to destabilized the foundations of our democracy.  In other words, things might get real nasty, real soon if we don’t start demanding justice.

Below is the appeal that Quawntay and his family have released to the public to help this man get out of prison so he can come home to his family.  I am touched by the fact that his wife has been advocating for him for over 11 years, which shows the depth of her empowered womanhood.  We also can’t forget the fact that this man had a daughter that was born shortly after his incarceration, and we know that the world is not made better by having one more black child grow up without her daddy.

I want this man to come home.  The appeal is below.  Please read, sign, share and help this brother, and let’s see what we can do for the many thousands of other men and women who are unjustly incarcerated in this country.  Their children need them home.


The family and friends of Quawntay Adams, are urging the public to come forward and support them in their plea for the reduction of Quawntay’s 35 year sentence for attempting to possess marijuana.

On January 23, 2004 Quawntay along with 2 other men (whom have already been released) Ouawntay was helping to start a van, he later found out the van was loaded with marijuana and had been disabled by federal agents, during a reverse sting operation, although Quawntay did not have the ability to see, touch, access, nor start the van in July of 2008 a jury found him guilty of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana that had been locked in the back of the van. Due to a minor drug case when he was 20 and another regrettable conviction when he was a juvenile, he was sentenced to 35 years….Quawntay is now 39 and has served nearly 11 years of this outrageous sentence which is more then enough for something he never possessed. He has a 10 year old daughter whom was born during his incarceration whom desperately needs her father home. He is an absolutely altruistic and benevolent individual, who has always promoted peace, and lived by the principle of treating everyone with respect. Like so many other at a young age he fell prey to the corruption of the streets in the inter city. To err is human to forgive is divine….

Over 60 percent of Americans believe that marijuana is no more dangerous then alcohol, including the (President of the United States) he also believe that marijuana should be decriminalized, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes and 2 states and several municipalities have completely decriminalized marijuana, and 3 more states are expected to decriminalize it November, 2014. Experts predict that the U.S. will decriminalize it within the next few years. Marijuana companies are currently being traded on the stock exchange, an legitimate businesses are making billions of dollars selling marijuana, so why should Quawntay and others like him deserve to serve lengthy prison sentences, for a plant….You can help by simply signing your name to this petition support of Quawntay’s plea for freedom, your support is greatly appreciated…..THANKS

You can sign the petition here. 


102 Comment

  1. This is disgusting, & revolting, I want to cry at this deep injustice.ATTEMPTED is the word, and 35 yeaqrs in jail.Wake up rise up stop sitting in silence.

  2. 35 years for “attempting to possess marijuana….” when they are legalizing it.

  3. That's so evil

  4. Shows the utter corruption and evil of our current judicial system and those who support it. Of course when it is legalized only "Certain" people and we know who those people are will make millions off it, while they will lock up everyone they can who looks like or talks like all of us. Why I don't put my trust in men but much higher because only He will end forever this type of injustice, racism, and arrogance.

  5. This is disgusting. My question is why is majrijuana consider illegal when it was created since the world had been created. It is here for a reason and a purpose a reason we do not know. My question is why acohol is legal when man makes it but can get less time killing folks while driving drunk and why is it that meth and other drugs man makes that is deadly lesser time being serve or is it because they are black when we all know they get more time than those folks.
    Here in Louisiana a white man drives drunk and kills 5-7 family members and get less time. A white lady drives drunk and kills a young black lady and gets less time then marijuana. Police officers let a drunk driver got and he hurts the other person that cause brain damage and disabled for life he gets five months and all those white officers still has there job. When the family members file suit and it’s been 6 years and no court date yet.of course the injured person is black. Then you have meth, herion etc that man makes but we all know 90% of meth labs are whites and they are out doing the same thing again. All long as we continue this division among us we will be defeated. If we as blacks folks come together in this country we will stand. We are strong together and they know that. I will continue praying for the lady and I know he will be release in Jesus name.

  6. Yea its a fight that we are constantly loosing because our race present us as if we are not relevant, I accept and know that in all that I do am in it alone, NO brothers keeper around here, who cares isn't that how we live our life as a race? lets just see who is left standing when the dust settles.

  7. It is an injustice to impose such a long sentence in these circumstances. Surely the length of the sentence will be shortened significantly on appeal, even if it is his Strike Three? However, the headline writer here has it wrong in trying to make selling marijuana a Black vs. White issue. Prostitutes of all races get arrested and sentenced to jail all over America, except in a handful of Nevada counties where prostitution is legal. People of all races got arrested during the 13 years of Prohibition, but not before or after if what they did was then legal. If Black men (or men or women of any other race) want to be prostitutes or sell marijuana without getting arrested, they'll have to move to a state were it's legal. This is not a Black vs. White issue.

  8. I got busted for possession for weed when it wasn't legal. How can I be upset with the system, I messed up and paid the consequences. Laws have changed and maybe I can get my charges reversed. I can't get mad at the system because of my bad timing..

  9. Unfortunately there is more to this story…35 yrs is a long time but they might have given him that because not only did he try and escape twice from federal prison but he was moving big weight from California to st.louis and illinois… his case is on find law.org and it reads like a lot of other young black man I know trying to get rich off the drug game…I Googled his name trying to sign the petiton because the link was working for me…not saying he was right or wrong, just saying that they might have given him so much time for the escape attempts and him moving 245 lbs. Of weed…will pray for him though. But it is more to this story….

  10. instead of getting mad, copy what the white dudes are doing and make money too. they changed the law and making money off if it. just do what they do, they make the rules. If it works for them it can work for you – just don't get crazy with it..

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