Deedee Kirkwood can rightfully be termed a veteran marijuana smoker. She is 68 years old but has been smoking cannabis for 50 years. She said she was lucky she did not end up in jail because she started smoking pot when it was still illegal in California.
Prison inmates serving life sentence for marijuana charges are now called “potlifers”. Kirkwood said she was fortunate that during the prohibition period up till when it was legalized years ago, that she was never arrested for pot for once, LA Weekly wrote.
Kirkwood Says She Is Lucky She Is Not Put Away For Marijuana Use Like the Others
Since she considers herself lucky for being ignored by law enforcement, Kirkwood is now devoted to bringing succor to potlifers. She does this by writing letters of succor and encouragement to prisoners serving life sentence for cannabis charges.
In the process of correspondence with inmates, Kirkwood has become fast pen-pals with a couple of them. These are Michael Thompson and Michael Pelletier among others.
Thompson is serving 40-60 years for selling three pounds of marijuana bud. He is now 66 years old and incarcerated at Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan where he has already served 22 years.
“Having a Lifetime Sentence Is a Feeling of Dying Every Day,” Inmate Says
Pelletier on the other hand is aged 60+ and paralyzed from the waist down. He is serving a life sentence without parole for importing and distributing cannabis. He has been incarcerated for over 10 years at the Terre Haute in Indiana.
“Having a lifetime sentence is a feeling of dying every day,” Pelletier wrote to Kirkwood. “It’s worse than death that happens one time. It’s a living death.”
Apart from writing to inmates serving life for marijuana charges, she also organizes fundraisers for them. The funds are used to pay attorneys and to buy basic prison needs and even pay for phone calls to families back home.