Under Oklahoma’s harsh marijuana prohibition laws, 100% disabled US Marine Corps veteran Kristoffer Lewandowski, who served three tours of duty overseas including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan, is reportedly facing up to life in prison for growing under an ounce of marijuana in his home in an effort to treat his PTSD and wean himself off of pharmaceutical drugs. His wife spoke exclusively to Truth in Media about their family’s ordeal. US Marine Corps combat veteran Kristoffer Lewandowski, who served in three tours of duty overseas including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, reportedly faces up to life in prison for pot charges connected to a June 2014 raid on his Geronimo, OK home that occurred after his wife and neighbors called police to get him help for a post-traumatic stress disorder flare-up. However, rather than providing mental health resources, police responding on the scene searched Lewandowski’s home for contraband and found six marijuana plants, weighing in at less than an ounce of plant matter in total, and charged him with, among other offenses, felony marijuana cultivation, which, under Oklahoma’s unusually-harsh marijuana laws, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Truth in Media obtained an exclusive interview with Kristoffer Lewandowski’s wife Whitney Lewandowski in an effort to get their family’s story on the record. Whitney Lewandowski said that her husband, a loving father to three children who was honorably medically discharged from the Marines and is 100% disabled due to severe post-traumatic stress disorder, was growing the marijuana for personal use, “He was just using it… He couldn’t get any, and, of course, we’re a military family, we’re very poor, we couldn’t afford to buy it anyway. So he was just growing it for himself. He was on his way out of the military and just wanted to see if it would help with [his mental health issues]. 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.” She called his medical marijuana treatments “absolutely effective.” On that day in June of 2014, Kristoffer Lewandowski had a PTSD episode and Whitney Lewandowski left and took their three children to their neighbors’ house to “diffuse the situation.” When their neighbors called police in an effort to get mental health help for the struggling war veteran, officers responded, searched the Lewandowski’s home, and began a drug investigation instead. Whitney Lewandowski said that she was initially handcuffed under investigation for the same charges, placed in a police car, and told that her children were going to be taken by Child Protective Services. However, authorities offered her the opportunity to remain free and keep their kids if she pressed charges against her husband for domestic violence. In an effort to keep the children, she agreed to do so and later discovered that she could not rescind those charges without re-activating the felony marijuana cultivation charges against herself. Police arrested Kristoffer Lewandowski and charged him with felony marijuana cultivation, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a domestic violence offense. Whitney Lewandowski noted that, though police were originally called to help Kristoffer, “the kind of help he got was being tossed in jail.” Whitney Lewandowski said that the domestic violence charge does not reflect the reality of her husband’s behavior, “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. He is extremely doting.” She noted that, at the time of the raid, police included tomato plants that were also growing in Kristoffer Lewandowski’s home while weighing his personal-use cannabis which she said “made it look like he had this huge grow [operation] going” in media reports on his arrest. After the arrest, Whitney Lewandowski pulled together funds to pay a bail bondsman to cover his $20,000 bail and their family moved and continued their life in California, where Whitney has family ties. While in California, Kristoffer Lewandowski was prescribed medical marijuana to deal with his crippling post-traumatic stress disorder and began treatment legally.
Two young sisters were forced to shut down the lemonade stand they were running to buy their dad a Father’s Day present, after they were informed by a police officer that in order to run the stand, they must undergo a health inspection and obtain a Peddler’s Permit.
Sisters Andria (8) and Zoey Green (7) attempted to run a lemonade stand on Monday, near their home in Overton, Texas, when they were reprimanded by a local police officer for operating their stand without a permit.
The girls told CBS 19 that they started the lemonade stand as a way to raise money to take their dad to Splash Kingdom for Father’s Day, and that they were “doing just fine until the cops came.”
While Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter told CBS 19 that the girls “cannot just get over there and make lemonade and have it for sale on the side of the road without permits,” he also said that he is not aware of the reason behind the rule.
The permit is required by Texas House Bill 970, which mandates that the “sale of food which requires time or temperature control to prevent spoilage” is prohibited without a “Peddler’s Permit.”
When the officer asked if the girls had a permit from the city to run the stand, Sandi Evans, the girls’ mother, said she didn’t know they needed one.
“For a lemonade stand? I had no clue,”Evans said. “I knew we had to for garage sales and stuff like that, but I didn’t know little kids had to for a lemonade stand.”
Overton Police told KLTV that following the exchange, a family friend went to Overton City Hall to obtain a Peddler’s Permit for the girls. While the city was willing to waive the $150 fee, staff members would not let the Green sisters obtain a permit until they contacted the health department and an inspection was conducted.
KLTV reported that the girls are planning on setting up another stand on Saturday, but instead of charging for lemonade, they will give it away for free, and will accept donations.
In their continuous efforts to create the impression that the government is doing something to keep Americans safe, politicians in Washington have misled and lied to the public. They have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution. They have created a false sense of security. And they have dispatched and re-dispatched 60,000 federal agents to intercept the telephone calls, text messages and emails of all Americans all the time.
In the process, while publicly claiming they only acquire identifying metadata — the time, date, location, duration, telephone numbers and email addresses of communications — they have in fact surreptitiously gained access to the content of these communications.
On June 1, one of the three claimed legal authorities for all this, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, expired, as Congress was unable to agree on either its reinstitution or the enactment of a substitute. At the time that Section 215 was about to expire, President Obama, Attorney General Lynch and FBI Director Comey warned that the NSA’s computers would go dark and the American public would be at the mercy of our enemies. Their warnings were nonsense.
The NSA is a military entity that utilizes the services of military computer experts and agents, employs civilians, and hires companies that provide thousands of outside contractors. After nearly 14 years of spying on us — all authorized by a secret court whose judges cannot keep records of what they have ordered or discuss openly what they know — the NSA now has computers and computer personnel physically located in the main switching offices of all telecom and Internet service providers in the United States. It has 24/7 access to the content of everyone’s telephone calls, emails and text messages.
The data amassed thereby is so vast that the government cannot sift through it quickly or effectively enough to stop such notorious events as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Ft. Hood massacre and the attempted massacre last month outside of Dallas. The Justice Department acknowledged this last month when it revealed that all this spying has not succeeded in stopping any terrorist plots and has not aided any federal prosecutions of terrorism.
Then why do it? Because the feds want to calm American nerves by giving the impression that they are doing something — even though we know that they know that what they are doing fails to keep us safe.
They are giving us a false impression. But they owe us the truth, not falsehoods designed to make themselves look like they are doing what they claim. Their spying has failed to enhance our safety.
It also has failed to protect our freedoms. The Constitution requires probable cause as a precondition for all search warrants. That is a level of evidence about the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized sufficient to induce a judge to conclude that a crime probably has been committed. Without this probable cause requirement, nothing would stop the government from searching and seizing whatever it wants. Yet that is where we are today. The NSA’s unconstitutional standard of “government need” reinstitutes the general warrants — search where you wish and seize what you find — which the Fourth Amendment was written to prohibit.
Both the Patriot Act and the Freedom Act, the substitute law enacted by Congress, do away with the probable cause requirement. Both of those laws permit the FISA court to issue general warrants based on the government’s needs, rather than probable cause. It is the government-need standard, which is no standard at all, that has resulted in spying on all persons all the time.
When Section 215 of the Patriot Act expired, the NSA’s legal (yet unconstitutional) authority to spy did not. The propaganda that its computers were shut down is false. Section 702 of the FISA law and President Bush’s October 2001 executive order were and are still valid, and both have been interpreted to unleash the NSA.
Section 702 permits warrantless surveillance of Americans who speak with foreigners, and the NSA has gotten FISA warrants to intercept the calls of the folks to whom those Americans speak, to the sixth degree. That alone encompasses all persons in the United States. Bush’s executive order was given to all military intelligence agencies — of which the NSA is but one. It instructed the military to intercept the calls and emails of whatever Americans it needs to listen in upon to enhance safety. That executive order still stands. This is why the hand wringing and false claims that the NSA computers went dark is untruthful. The computers violate our privacy and assault our liberty and fail to enhance our safety, but they are not dark.
Last week, one of the pro-spying politicians was clever, even cute, when he issued the one-liner: “You can’t enjoy civil liberties from a coffin.” His statement was a craven articulation of failure. The government’s job is to keep us free and safe. If it keeps us safe but not free, it has failed to do its job. Today it does neither. I suggest to him Patrick Henry on this: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Which one-liner better embodies American values, history and traditions?
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