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America’s longest-serving hashish prisoner Richard DeLisi shall be launched in December

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“I just want to hug my father outside of prison,” Ashley DeLisi said in a statement after learning that 71-year-old Richard DeLisi, America’s longest serving cannabis prisoner, will be released in December at South Bay Correctional Facility, Florida.

The Last Prisoner Project (an organization that helps prisoners incarcerated for non-violent cannabis crimes) announced that the exact date of his release will be announced on November 16.

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Richard DeLisi, 71, suffers in a Florida prison while others make millions on marijuana

How DeLisi found freedom

Richard DeLisi Elder in Prison Marijuana CannabisRichard DeLisi, 71, uses a walker to get around the prison. He was convicted of a crime that is no longer a crime in 11 states. (Leafly Illustration)

The Last Prisoner Project and pro bono lawyers Chiara Juster, Elizabeth Buchanan and Michael Minardi supplemented Richard’s previously filed pardon earlier this year and resumed lobbying for his release.

After getting the news of his release, Richard said he was keen to create precious memories with everyone. He missed a lot of important moments with his family including his daughter Ashley and son Rick.

“It feels amazingly wonderful to know that I will be home with my family and loved ones very soon,” Richard said in a statement after learning of his release. “I’m so excited that this dark chapter of my life is finally over.”

Richard will live in Fort Lauderdale with his sister Laura.

“Everyone is excited, his son is from Amsterdam and his daughter and childhood friends are coming to visit him,” DeLisi’s niece Gina told Leafly.

According to his niece, Richard will have a two to three month probationary period after his release.

Cannabis prisonersOn any given day, more than 40,000 Americans are in jail or jail for cannabis. Some even remain in jail in states where marijuana is now legal. (AdobeStock)

“We’re planning a little party for him and a longtime friend gets him a job in Fort Lauderdale City,” said Richard’s brother Ted.

“Richard has never done anything violent in his life. He’s not that kind of person [all] while you see people on the news making millions in the marijuana business and not in jail. “

The DeLisi family has campaigned for Richard’s case for years, including sending letters to the state of Florida, the governor’s office, and the attorney general’s office.

“I believe advocacy efforts, including the work of the Last Prisoner’s Project, had a significant impact in pushing for his release as they argued for good behavior in prison based on time,” added DeLisi.

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Richard DeLisi was sentenced to 98 years in prison in 1989 at the age of 40 for trafficking marijuana for smuggling cannabis into Florida. He was convicted in a law enforcement operation and is expected to be released in 2022.

During his time in prison, both of his parents, his wife and son Stephen died. He now has five grandchildren whom he has never seen.

As of 2018, more than 70 people were serving life sentences for non-violent marijuana convictions. Detainees include elderly inmates like Richard who have illnesses that require medical attention.

Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in a statewide constitutional amendment in 2016. In 2020, government-licensed pharmacies are expected to sell more than $ 800 million worth of cannabis products to hundreds of thousands of patients. On the news, you see people who make millions in marijuana businesses and are not in jail. “The DeLisi family has been advocating Richard’s case for years. This included sending letters to the state of Florida, the governor’s office, and the attorney general’s office: “I believe the advocacy efforts, including the work of the Last Prisoner’s Project, had a significant impact on pushing for his release, like.” they argued on the basis of time for good behavior in prison, ”added DeLisi. Richard DeLisi was sentenced to 98 years in prison in 1989 at the age of 40 for trafficking marijuana for smuggling cannabis into Florida. He was convicted of a law enforcement operation in 1989 and was due to be released in 2022, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. During his time in jail, both his parents and his wife and wife were in jail son Stephen died. He now has five grandchildren whom he has never seen. As of 2018, more than 70 people were serving life sentences for non-violent marijuana convictions. Detainees include elderly inmates like Richard who have medical conditions that require medical attention. Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in a statewide constitutional amendment in 2016. In 2020, state-licensed pharmacies are projected to sell more than $ 800 million in cannabis products to hundreds of thousands of patients

Fatma Khaled

Fatma Khaled is a New York-based multimedia journalist whose work focuses on politics and injustice in North America and the Middle East. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School.

Show article by Fatma Khaled

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