For 70-year-old John Knock, serving two life sentences plus 20 years for a non-violent cannabis offense, legalization has not meant freedom. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press file)

‘America is full of hypocrites’: Man serving life for marijuana speaks out

At 70, John Knock had high hopes he would be included in former US president Barack Obama’s commutations

Days after John Knock learned that his application for clemency had been denied – meaning he would have to continue serving out two life sentences plus 20 years for a non-violent cannabis offense – he found himself transfixed by a story on NPR.

“There was [someone on the radio] talking about how they’re going to handle the marijuana distribution stores in Pennsylvania, and here I am doing a life sentence for marijuana,” Knock told Civilized from the federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania where he currently resides.

Knock, a first-time offender with no history of violence or drug abuse, was indicted in 1994 in the Northern District of Florida on charges of conspiracy to money launder and to import and distribute marijuana.

Now a senior citizen at 70, Knock had high hopes he would be included in former US president Barack Obama’s final round of commutations for nonviolent drug offenders, a move that brought the total number of clemencies during his presidency to 1,715.

Read more of this story at Civilized.Life

This story was first published on Civilized.Life