Originally published July 29 2015
Oklahoma veteran could get life in prison for treating PTSD symptoms with marijuana instead of toxic drugs
by Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) Kristoffer Lewandowski, a US Marine Corps veteran, is one of the thousands of soldiers who have returned home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. More than 13 percent of Gulf War veterans have PTSD.
Lewandowski served three tours of duty; Afghanistan and Iraq were two of the countries he served in. He and his wife, Whitney, have three children and until recently, lived in Oklahoma.
Now Lewandowski faces possible life imprisonment for treating his condition with marijuana.
Before he began using marijuana to alleviate his PTSD symptoms, Lewandowski was taking pharmaceuticals which were affecting his health.
His wife, Whitney was quoted as saying:
"He was taking 13 pills a day, and it was just killing his liver. He was having all these issues with his body and he just wanted to try something more natural to just see if he could do without that many pills a day."
Lewandowski turned to cannabis as a natural alternative to the toxic drugs he had been prescribed.
Although VA doctors are now permitted to prescribe cannabis for PTSD, Oklahoma has some of the most draconian anti-marijuana laws in the country. And when Lewandowski was arrested for growing six marijuana plants in his home, things began to go downhill fast.
The police were answering a reported domestic disturbance when they found the plants. Lewandowski was charged with felony cultivation of marijuana, which could land him a life sentence.
He was also charged with a domestic violence offense and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lewandowski's wife, however, disputes the charge of domestic violence:
"They're trying to use me as a victim and to make it look worse on his case. My husband has absolutely never laid his hands on me ever. He is not an abusive man, ever ... quite the opposite."
Apparently, however, there was a domestic disturbance involving Kristoffer threatening his wife with a knife, but it was the marijuana plants that were considered to be biggest issue, as far as the police were concerned. They treated the case as a major drug bust.
Arrested in California After Lewandowski was freed on bail, he and his family moved to California, where medical marijuana is legal. He had no problem there obtaining a prescription for cannabis.
But recently, undercover agents conducted an arrest raid at Lewandowski's daughter's preschool, nabbing him with their guns drawn and locking him in a cell where he awaits extradition back to Oklahoma.
Kristoffer Lewandowski has been classified as 100 percent disabled by the VA. His wife says he was in the process of leaving the military and only grew marijuana because on his low military income he couldn't afford to buy any.
After he was arrested, the family held fundraisers to make his bail and come up with the money needed to relocate to California where Lewandowski could seek treatment.
It's ironic that he sits in a California jail cell - a state where medical marijuana is legal - waiting to be sent back to a place where it is not.
It's unlikely that Kristoffer Lewandowski will be given a life sentence, but similar cases have involved two year stretches per plant.
When a Veteran returns from three tours of duty in war zones, he should be able to get the treatment he needs without the fear of facing incarceration.
Lewandowski's wife said he "has never been offered domestic violence treatment or even drug rehabilitation by the state, but only jail time and a potential lifetime prison sentence."
Time for a change Several states have passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational use. With any luck the rest will eventually follow suit, especially since crime rates have dropped in states where legalization has been implemented. Tax revenues have also increased significantly.
Meanwhile, many states continue to dole out harsh punishment for those who, like Lewandowski, dare to oppose marijuana laws.
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