In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to pass adult use legislation. Also, in 2012 Dave Holland along with the late Michael Kennedy, Esq., a notorious defender of the underdog, submitted this petition for clemency to President Barrack Obama on behalf of five elderly inmates all serving life without parole sentences for separate federal crimes of selling marijuana.
The most important question that the petition asked was, “Is there any interest of American Society, Law or Governance that is furthered by the continued incarceration of the five felons, serving life sentences without parole for their non-violent, marijuana only offenses?” The answer is no. Each inmate (most having wives and children, some with honorable military backgrounds and employment histories including teacher, pilot and construction worker) had been model prisoners and had participated in prison programs designed to improve not only themselves, but also their fellow inmates, that exhibited actual rehabilitation. All over 60 years of age, the inmates had a stable home environment, prospective employment opportunities and each had families, friends and loved ones but all would die in prison if the President did not exercise his power of mercy upon them.
Now, where adult cannabis use is legal in 33 states for medical use and legal in 11 states for adult use, for any inmate to be behind bars solely for non-violent cannabis related offenses is intolerable. Mr. Holland has successfully petitioned for federal clemency, state pardons and criminal record expungements of cannabis related offenses. Together with other members of both the NYCCIA and HVCIA, Mr. Holland is streamlining the necessary forms to expedite the process for others in need of such assistance.