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