Cannabis Convict Serving More Time Than Man Who Shot President
A first time offender who smuggled marijuana was imprisoned before recently released would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley – and is still in prison.
Don’t refresh the page or question your vision or reading comprehension. What you just read is absolutely real. As improbable as it may seem, in America you can get locked up longer for weed than for trying to kill the president.
Antonio Bascaró was one of the hundreds of colorful characters who enlivened Florida marijuana smuggling scene during the 1970s. He was daring and handsome, a former Cuban naval pilot who participated in Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.
He wasn’t a kingpin or violent or famous, just a valuable utility man in a group of Cubans who used fishing boats to ferry marijuana between Colombia and Florida when Jimmy Carter was president.
The leader of the enterprise was released in 1994. A legendary marijuana wholesaler who bought all the pot the Cubans could deliver was freed in 1996. Today, everyone involved in this forgotten marijuana smuggling enterprise has been out of prison for many years — except one man.
Meet Antonio E.Bascaró, an 80-year-old grandfather with an unblemished record of good behavior in prison.
He has been locked up since Feb. 21, 1980 — except for 45 days on bond during his 1982 trial — for nothing but marijuana.
No violence. No cocaine. No previous criminal record.
He is scheduled for release June 8, 2019.
On his release he will have served 39 years for his cannabis ‘crime’.
Thirteen months after Bascaro was first locked up, John Hinckley would fire at President Ronald Reagan in an attempt to end his life. A year later he was found incompetent to stand trial due to mental health issues. He was placed in a mental hospital where he has remained.
Last week a federal judge granted a request for his release from that institution. He will soon be relocated to live with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Talk about trickle-down justice!
There are several more cases in which cannabis convicts already imprisoned are scheduled to serve a longer sentence than Hinckley, lest you think this case is an exception to otherwise rational prohibition punishments.
How can this possibly be?
Prohibition has been, from its inception – and most certainly since Nixon heralded the drug war, nothing but a method of controlling the population while creating a profitable industry of enforcement, convictions and imprisonment. There was never anything rational about it, which is why the only arguments in its favor tend towards statements of irrational fears.
Freeing a man who tried to kill a president who is dead now poses no threat to the ruling elite. However freeing all of those who dealt with some plant matter would signal that their policies were a mistake. For the ruling elite, the oligarchs who control our legal system with money, power and influence, nothing could be more dangerous than admitting their mistakes.
Once that first domino falls, once the people see that their misguided support for the draconian prohibition paradigm was misplaced, then everything else will come into question. And the last thing that those who profit from blind obedience are willing to risk is a populace that begins to question their systems in their entirety.
Every non-violent drug offender is a political prisoner, plain and simple.free wordpress themes