Mission Green Campaign Seeks Release for Cannabis Prisoner Parker Coleman

The Mission Green initiative is spearheading a campaign to free Parker Coleman, who is currently serving a six-decade sentence for nonviolent marijuana distribution charges.

Mission Green, an initiative of justice reform advocacy group the Weldon Project, announced on Thursday that it has filed a clemency petition for Parker Coleman, who is serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison for marijuana distribution. The filing continues Mission Green’s campaign to secure the release of men and women serving time for marijuana offenses and follows President Joseph Biden’s recent announcement that he would pardon all federal convictions for simple marijuana possession.

The clemency filing is part of the efforts of Mission Green, an initiative of the Weldon Project working to free cannabis inmates from prison. The Weldon Project is headed by Weldon Angelos, who spent 13 years of a 55-year sentence in federal prison for a nonviolent marijuana conviction after a diverse group of lawmakers, legal scholars, athletes, and entertainers campaigned for his freedom.

“Since my release from prison, I have dedicated my life to securing the release of other individuals locked away for non-violent drug offenses,” Angelos said in a statement. “Parker Coleman’s case is a perfect example. He shouldn’t spend another day in prison for conduct that isn’t even criminalized anymore in much of the country. Enough is enough.”

Mission Green is working with the Academy for Justice to submit clemency petitions urging Biden to deliver on the pledge he made while campaigning for office to release those convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses. The submission for Coleman is part of a new campaign, the Cannabis Clemency Initiative, that seeks to help people in prison for marijuana convictions, starting with those incarcerated in federal prison. The new initiative fosters collaboration between criminal justice scholars and reform advocates to achieve its ambitious goals.

Parker Coleman hugging his mother.

Coleman’s clemency petition was drafted by Erik Luna, the Amelia D. Lewis Professor of Constitutional & Criminal Law and the Founder of the Academy for Justice, a criminal justice reform program within the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. In the petition, Luna wrote that commuting Coleman’s sentence would be a “powerful, tangible step in affirming the President’s commitment to ending federal incarceration for non-violent marijuana offenses.”

“Parker Coleman, a young African-American man, is currently serving a 60-year federal prison sentence for non-violent marijuana distribution—that is, de facto life imprisonment of a person of color for conduct now authorized under state laws across the nation and openly pursued as a business by the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry,” Luna wrote. “Mr. Coleman’s sentence is not only a troubling example of racial and class disparities in federal drug enforcement, it’s excessive compared to the terms imposed in related cases or that would be imposed in state court today.”

In 2014, Coleman was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on marijuana trafficking and money laundering charges plus an additional 30 consecutive years for a nonviolent firearms offense. The clemency petition argues that the sentence is excessive in an era of widespread cannabis policy reform, noting that Coleman has taken steps to rehabilitate himself and improve his life while behind bars.

“His effective life sentence is also inconsistent with recent reforms in law and policy, as well as a sea change in public opinion, all of which point away from incarcerating people like Mr. Coleman for non-violent drug offenses and toward a non-punitive approach to marijuana,” the petition reads. “Despite the injustice of his sentence, Mr. Coleman has worked hard on rehabilitation and self-improvement. His successful record while incarcerated, along with a strong support network of family and friends, make Mr. Coleman an ideal candidate for clemency relief from an excessive and unjust sentence.”

Luna applauded President Biden’s recent pardon of federal offenses for simple marijuana possession as “a historic event in criminal justice reform and an important first step toward correcting the lingering injustices of a national drug ban.” But he added that “additional work remains to be done, especially the release of those incarcerated for non-violent marijuana-related offenses at the federal level—including Parker Coleman.”

By granting clemency in this case, Luna said, “the President would further demonstrate his commitment to correcting injustices and his belief that America truly is the land of second chances.”

Parker Coleman is currently serving a six-decade sentence for a nonviolent marijuana conspiracy offense at the same time many thousands of investors are making millions of dollars while violating essentially the same federal marijuana laws. Now in his mid-30s and having already served a decade of his sentence, unless Parker is granted a presidential pardon, he will be in his 80s when he is released, a de facto life sentence.

Clemency Petition Backed By Glass House Brands

The clemency petition is backed by California vertically integrated cannabis company Glass House Brands and the company’s chairman and CEO, Kyle Kazan, who has been working to secure Coleman’s release for more than a year. Kazan, who is also a former police officer and a Mission Green board member, is personally supporting Coleman’s clemency bid by guaranteeing mentorship, meaningful employment, and housing upon his release.

In a public statement, Kazan said that “while Glass House has had revenues well in excess of $100 million for cultivation, transportation and sales of marijuana while nobody in the company has served a day in jail for it, the juxtaposition between the legal business and prisoners like Parker Coleman is jarring.”

“It is a moral imperative for me to dedicate my time and resources to redress the absurd incongruities existing today at the twilight of marijuana prohibition,” he added.

Glass House President Graham Farrar says that “Parker is a cannabis POW.”

“It is crazy that he is locked in a cage for a 60-year sentence for a non-violent cannabis charge,” Farrar wrote in an email to High Times.

“The work that Weldon Angelos and Erik Luna are doing is amazing. I’m proud that Glass House and Kyle are a part of it,” he added. “As a former police officer, Kyle’s voice is a vital one in the fight for cannabis clemency for Parker as well as the 2,700 other federal non-violent Cannabis POWs currently in prison over a plant. It is time to end the war on cannabis and let our fellow Americans go free.”

  1. Milton earl Adams snitched in my son Parker Antron Coleman Milton is the reason my son is doing 60 years! Milton is free and my son isn’t !

  2. Your son is the reason we all went to jail. Nobody put your son in jail dumb ass. Your son was about to testify against me. If you keep it up I’m going to go on pacer and send your son statements on his girl which was his PO, or I will put it online.

  3. Parker Coleman is the reason everybody went to jail. Parker was being watched by the FEDS before anybody in California was indicted by the U.S. Attorney. This case was base on Parker Coleman no one else. Parker Aka KP decided to keep selling drugs after he was warned numerous of times by a friend that the FEDS was sitting outside of his Condo. Parker Coleman walked up to the Black car with tinted windows and said that it’s nobody in this car and that you La dudes be tripping. What dumb KP didn’t know was the FEDS looking at him In the back seat of the car. Read the indictment.

  4. Lol…. Lady stop being so bitter. First off your son went to jail before I did dumb ass hoe. Secondly me and your son was going to trial and next thing I know the prosecutor calls my lawyer saying that your son agreed to take the stand on me at my trial..SMFH. On top of that his lawyer wouldn’t even take my lawyer phone calls anymore. You just a bitter bitch because your son didn’t get chance to testify against because I went on the run because 18 people including your son was going to testify against me. That deal failed because I never showed up to court hoes. I never was asked to get on the stand on your son and I never agreed to take the stand on your son bitch. How can I put your son in jail when the case was about him not me hoe. Cuz know who took the stand on him bitch and it wasn’t me. All 4 of your son girlfriends told on me and my wife bitch. So what are you talking about.? They lied so such on my wife to get her indicated. Your son girlfriend was his PO. She set me up on a wiretap. Also on your son appeal he is pointing the finger at his PO. Say that he got the money from her to start the drug business. So I’m confused why you saying that I put him in jail. Cuz got indicted before anybody in LA did. So how could I put your son in jail hoe? The indictment was about him and only him🤷🏿‍♂️.

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