Detroit dispensary owner Rudi Gammo freed after serving 5 years for cannabis

click to enlarge Rudi Gammo was arrested and sentenced to five and a half years in prison in 2018. - Shutterstock

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Rudi Gammo was arrested and sentenced to five and a half years in prison in 2018.

A man who served years in prison for his operation of a city-sanctioned cannabis dispensary in Detroit has now been released on parole, according to activists who fought for his release.

The Last Prisoner Project, a group dedicated to freeing people incarcerated for cannabis offenses, had fought for Rudi Gammo and lent financial support to his family.

They say that, in 2018, Gammo was arrested and sentenced to five and a half years in prison for helping Detroit patients access medical cannabis.

At the time, recreational cannabis had not yet been approved, and Gammo was charged with running a criminal enterprise for how he operated his city-sanctioned medical dispensary. The Last Prisoner Project says Gammo’s “crime” was simply permitting caregivers to grow medical marijuana on property he owned, which they say was allowed under state law. Oakland County, however, saw things differently.

Gammo’s imprisonment led to an immense amount of struggle for himself and his family, as he suffered stomach ulcers and contracted COVID-19 while serving time. In October 2020, Gammo learned that one of his three children, his six-year-old son Santino, had been diagnosed with leukemia during his time in prison.

Despite the hardships, Gammo kept a clean record and developed a post-release plan for his transition back into society.

The project says Gammo now plans to fight for other people in similar situations. “What I hope to see one day is that every governor in legal recreational states sign executive orders releasing people in prison for nonviolent cannabis offenses,” he says.

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