2020 has been one of the most eventful years in most American’s entire lives. Because of the chaos occurring on a daily basis, it can be easy for some important stories to fly under the radar. One such story that was frighteningly under-reported is that of Sean Worsley. Worsley, a 33-year old disabled veteran medical marijuana patient who uses marijuana to help relieve some of his ailments was arrested in 2016 while traveling through Alabama with his wife. That however, was still only the beginning of what has turned into a multiple year nightmare.
Sean Worsley’s Nightmarish Ordeal
During a road trip to visit family, Sean Worsley and his wife Eboni were arrested while stopped at a gas station in Gordo, Alabama. An officer approached them to tell them they were playing music too loud. The arresting officer claimed he could smell marijuana, which in Alabama and a number of other states across the country constitutes grounds for searching a vehicle. Mr. Worsley told the officer that he was a registered medical marijuana patient and did in fact have marijuana purchased legally in his home state of Arizona. The officer found the marijuana exactly where Mr. Worsley indicated it was located as well as pain pills prescribed to Eboni Worsley and alcohol. After the search was completed, both Sean and Eboni Worsley were arrested.
Following their arrest, Sean Worsley claims he was told Eboni would be imprisoned if he did not agree to a proposed plea deal. Worsley felt the risk of his wife going to prison was too severe and agreed to a plea deal that included 60 months probation, mandatory participation in a drug treatment program, and hefty fines. His sentence was then transferred to Arizona. After a number of problems arose including financial trouble, loss of housing, and his inability to appear in an Alabama court, a warrant was issued for Sean Worsley’s arrest. Sean, a legal veteran medical marijuana patient in his home state was arrested and sentenced to 60 months in an Alabama prison on April 28th, 2020.
Thankfully, Worsley was released on November 10th, 2020 after serving over 10 months in prison. However, the time he spent in prison he can never get back. It is terrifying that a man who served his country and has the wounds to show for it was put in prison at all for the harmless act of consuming cannabis to relieve his pain.
Certain State Marijuana Policies Ruin Lives
Though the drug war is dwindling in the United States, it still derails thousands of lives every year. Sean Worlsey’s arrest and disproportionate sentence is just another blatant example of the injustices that are still far too prevalent in the American legal system when it comes to marijuana and other drug laws.
The United States of America is far from united as it pertains to marijuana laws. Sean Worsley is a legal veteran medical marijuana patient in Arizona. However, the same exact things he does in Arizona are arrest worthy offenses in Alabama. What provides him comfort and relief in one state is grounds to steal five years of his life in another. The time for federal marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use is here. We as a country cannot stand idly by as more children lose parents, wives lose husbands, and veterans are mistreated by the laws of a country they served. Progress must be the driving force behind evolving cannabis laws.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.