Military Veteran Released from Prison after Cannabis Arrest

April 02, 2021

A Purple Heart decorated disabled veteran, Sean Worsley has just been released from an Alabama State prison last week on parole after serving eight months out of a five-year sentence.

The Iraq War veterans’ trouble with the law started in August 2016 when he stopped at an Alabama gas station while driving to North Carolina to help his grandmother relocate after a hurricane. At the station, police asked Worsley and his wife to turn down their car stereo, and although they complied, the cops searched their car. Inside, they found a prescription bottle filled with medical marijuana.

Worsley had been prescribed medical marijuana for the treatment of a traumatic brain injury he had sustained during the war, as well as symptoms of PTSD brought on by the conflict. But, while Worsley had legal rights to possess the substance in his home state of Arizona, medical cannabis is still very illegal in Alabama.

The cops arrested Worsley for weed possession and brought him before a judge. He was handed a 5 years probationary sentence and mandatory drug rehabilitation. Worsley never attended the rehabilitation and this was due to no fault of his. The Veterans' Affairs drug treatment program declined to accept Worsley, because he did not actually have a drug problem.

His non participation in the drug program caused the state of Alabama to revoke his probation and declared him a fugitive from justice.

Trouble came calling again when this time he was arrested for weed possession with an expired medical marijuana ID card in his home state of Arizona. The Arizona authorities, realizing that he had a pending warrant in Alabama, shipped him down to Alabama, where a judge ordered him to serve a five-year prison sentence.

Worsley's wife Eboni set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds and awareness to help get him out of jail, and while it rose over $100,000, the awareness paid off last Wednesday when the Alabama authorities through the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles ordered that he be released on parole.

Alabama State Rep Neil Rafferty, who helped campaign for Worsley's release had this to say when he spoke with the Alabama Political Reporter; “The case of Sean Worsley deals with a convergence of several issues. It deals with Alabama’s harmful marijuana laws, particularly concerning medical marijuana. It deals with our country’s misunderstanding and treatment of veterans returning home and transitioning to civilian life. And it deals with excessive policing – that put suspicion on a man doing nothing more than listening to the radio and playing air guitar to his wife.”

“While the news of Sean’s parole is welcomed and to be celebrated, it only serves to highlight the legislative chamber’s duty to make right these wrongs and allow our criminal justice system to focus on crimes that actually endanger community safety.”

 

 

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