Originally written by By Kerry Cannon for cannabisactivismnow.com
My activism probably wouldn’t have gone the direction it did, if it were not for my eye opening, and empowering experience, volunteering at Adela Wisdom’s 420 POW booth at Seattle Hempfest in 2015. I had just relocated to Washington state from Southern California, the month prior. Up to that point, my biggest focus in activism was safe access for medical cannabis patients in Apple Valley, California, where dispensaries had been banned.
Before my volunteer experience with POW 420, I was completely clueless to the fact that prisons across the nation house an extremely large number of non-violent “criminals” serving time, many life, over a completely non-toxic healing plant. It is with great sadness that I am now writing about the injustice Adela, and her husband Aaron, are currently facing.
Adela has been a judicial reform advocate/activist for nearly 20 years. Her activism has reached worldwide, speaking in many different countries, and advocating for real judicial change at The United Nations. She has written to over 1000 POW 420’s, and has done 3 prison interviews. Not only does Adela believe that no one should be caged for Cannabis, she has walked the talk, helping and educating many.
Adela and Aaron Wisdom are both judicial reform advocates, and small farmers, residing in Callaway county Missouri. Both husband and wife, are running for political office. Aaron is a candidate for Lt. Govenor. Adela is a candidate for US Representative 3rd District of Missouri. Days after announcing their candidacy, The Wisdom’s were raided. On September 17, 2019, their home was searched by the Sheriff’s department looking for cannabis, and other items related to cultivation, drug trafficking, drug sales, and drug use. Law Enforcement did not find what they were looking for in what seems to have been a politically motivated raid.
A little after 8:00 am, early June 2020, a National Guard helicopter flew over the Wisdom’s farm. Using a telescopic lens, noxious Cannabis was seen on the Wisdom’s property. From the air, they also observed Aaron and Adela burning weeds. Missouri Dept of Agriculture lists Cannabis Sativa L as a noxious weed. The Oxford dictionary defines noxious weed as a weed which is considered to be harmful to the environment or animals, especially one which may be the subject of regulations governing attempts to control it.
The observation of the noxious weed, along with the legally required destruction of it, made Law Enforcement feel justified in conducting a warrantless search. Plain clothed officers showed up to the Wisdom’s property, wearing ski masks, and did not identify themselves. Adela had a gun pointed at her face, by a man who she did not know the intentions of, or why he was on their property. Both Aaron and Adela were arrested. They face a decade in prison each for the victimless crime of having 22 wild growing noxious weed plants growing on their property, and destroying them per Missouri law. The raid was carried out by both the Mustang Task Force and local Law Enforcement. At any time, these charges could become Federal charges.
Seems to me it is pretty clear that the current powers that be in Missouri, feel threatened by Adela and Aaron’s candidacy for political office. Missouri currently has over 7,000 rape kits sitting on shelves, collecting dust, untested. There is no funding to process those rape kits and get violent rapists off the streets, yet somehow funding is always available to investigate and prosecute people over a plant. I say: No Victim No Crime.
The consequences of unjust Cannabis laws are always about more than just a loss of freedom. For Aaron and Adela it has put a halt on the child adoption process they were in. Due to the ongoing investigation, they cannot pass an FBI background check. Adela has had her chances at motherhood taken from her. A baby in need of a loving, stable home with courageous, compassionate parents, who actively make this world a better place, had that opportunity lost.
Long time Wisdom family friend Victoria Hughes was asked about what kind of people the Wisdom’s are. “Adela has turned personal tragedies into a passion for helping others who are struggling. She has a way of bringing hope to people who have often been forgotten by society” Victoria shared. “Aaron is a very hard-working gentle soul. He goes out of his way to take care of others around him. I watched him prepare meals daily to take to their 80 year old Veteran neighbor, without asking for anything in return.”
Callaway County, the state of Missouri, nor the World will be any bit safer by having Adela and Aaron locked in prison for 10 years. In my opinion, it would actually be a disservice to all of humanity to have The Wisdom’s incarcerated. They need our help.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King Jr