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The Story of Armando Espinoza

  • Broadcast in Higher Education
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Adela Wisdom for Congress

Adela Wisdom for Congress

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I grew up in Delano California, one of the nation's top 10 worst small cities. One day while walking home with a couple of friends from a get together we were stopped by the police. While doing a search of the perimeter they found a can of beer and a bag with three separate bags of cannabis inside. The cannabis was over an ounce in weight but less than an ounce and a half. My friends who were both white were allowed to go with a stern warning, "Stay away from these Mexicans. They're dirty and they're nothing but trouble. Stick to your own kind." The officer Corporal Slape was notorious for his racism in our town. He was the definition of state sponsored terrorism. I was 18 years old and I was charged with possession for sales of cannabis along with a host of other charges. District Attorney Ed Jagels and the Judge threw the book at me. I was young and naiive and was coerced into taking the "deal" under the threat of significantly more time. They made me out to be a big time drug dealer and I was scared. So I did 7 years of my life incarcerated for a plant. Ed Jagels is notorious for prosecuting innocent people. Over 25 innocent people have been exonerated behind the Bakersfield Witch Hunt. Institutional racism runs deep in Kern County and the United States justice system. These convictions have affected every facet of my life from finding work to finding housing and absolutely anything and everything in between. Now I dedicate my life to helping patients through holistic healing with cannabis. After spending such a huge portion of my life shackled by the system either behind bars or on parole my life still revolves around this beautiful sacred plant Kaneh-bosm. No person should be incarcerated for growing a plant that is essential to the health and wellbeing of humanity and the planet. No one is free until all 420 POW's are free! No one is free until cannabis is free! POW 420!

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