by Loriel Alegrete
I am so frustrated and tired of not being heard.
I’ve been hogtied in the rain, intimidated by federal agents, and face to face with some of the scariest penalties our courts have to offer. And I know I’m not alone. Justice favors those with access to resources, celebrity, or capital to help influence our grease-palmed court system.
I discovered how my husband’s thriving and underground cannabis business had been funding our life just as I was learning he would be going away for years. That was the first time he went to prison on cannabis charges, and I was left behind to sort out the betrayal, fear, and trauma left in his wake.
Maybe I should have known, maybe I should have seen the signs, but at the end of the day, my ignorance kept me out of prison. Lots of women in my situation aren’t so fortunate and end up behind bars too. When we think about the victims of injustice in our court system, it’s typically the prisoners who take center stage. But we also have to think about the residual consequences for the families and communities left to pick up the pieces.
That’s what my family did; we picked up the pieces. We had to fight to survive my husband’s time behind bars. After his release, he turned his life around for our family. He had a good job, was making great connections, and had been out of the game for so long we were brushing up against the statute of limitations.
However, the great strides we’d made didn’t quell the next setbacks we were about to face.
Along with Corvain Cooper and countless other victims, my husband was caught up in The 40 Tons Conspiracy, a total miscarriage of justice that put Coravin behind bars for life- because of cannabis.
My husband’s involvement meant we would have to suit up for battle again, but this time would be different. Our freshman lap in the criminal justice system showed us that something was wrong, but I didn’t have the experience to see or understand it. The second time, my eyes were open to the egregious sentences cannabis prisoners are facing. Now, I can not turn away from the call.
I am compelled to give a voice to the voiceless; the men and women dying in prison. They aren’t claiming innocence and must still pay their debt to society, but we maintain that no one should spend a lifetime in prison for a plant that many consume and profit from legally. It will not stand.
40 Tons is here to give your brothers and sisters something to hope for. We are so grateful to have your support in making that happen!
Victims, offenders and community members work together to repair the harm done by crime.
All non-violent offenders must be released or retried for appropriate sentencing
We can no longer justify laws that make little economic, social, or moral sense.
Programs and policies that help former prisioners build full and happy lives as they rejoin society.