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Join Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform in celebrating 93 years of making HERstory by becoming a member today! Join Now


The newly formed WONPR nonprofit is a modern-day rebirth of a nonpartisan group founded nearly a century ago to overturn the 18th Amendment, which outlawed alcohol. With 1.5 million members in its infancy, WONPR was so successful that founders were able to disband after passage of the 21st Amendment, just five years after the work began. Today, the organization is dedicated to the advancement, education and empowerment of women who are actively working to reverse the collateral consequences and continuing harms of prohibition-based policies.


Movement to Repeal Alcohol Prohibition Begins


The original American colonial landowners of Jamestown were required to grow 100 hemp plants, by decree of King James 1, in order to do their fair share towards supporting England.


George Washington grew hemp at Mount Vernon as one of his three primary crops. The use of hemp for rope and fabric later became widespread throughout the 18th and 19th centuries in the United States.


Medicinal preparations of cannabis became available in American pharmacies following an introduction to its use in Western medicine by William O’Shaughnessy in 1839.


Efforts to regulate the sale of pharmaceuticals begins around 1860, and laws are introduced on a state-to-state basis to create penalties for mislabeling drugs, adulterating with undisclosed narcotics, and improper sale of “poisons.” POISON LAWS prohibited sales outside of licensed pharmacies and without a doctor’s prescription, as well as requiring packaging labels indicating the harmful effects of the drugs. Prominent pharmaceutical societies at the time supported listing cannabis as a poison.


Increased restrictions and labeling of cannabis as a poison begins in many states, with outright prohibition starting in the 1920s.


A study concludes that at least two-thirds of opiate addicts in the U.S. are women. Since the late 1800’s, Doctors had been prescribing opiates for menstrual pain and morphine to cure alcoholism.


Congress approves the Harrison Narcotics Act, regulating opium, coca, and their derivatives. The Harrison Act provides for the registration and imposition of taxes on all persons who produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal in, dispense, sell, distribute, or give away opium or coca leaves, their salts, derivatives, or preparations, and for other purposes. It was suddenly illegal to purchase certain over the counter cure-alls for everything from coughs to toothaches that contained those drugs. The courts also interpreted the law as prohibiting doctors from prescribing opiates.



The 18th Amendment establishes the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. with approval by 36 of the 48 U.S. states.


Pauline Morton Sabin is very active in politics, becoming the first member of the Suffolk County Republican Committee. She later helps found the Women’s National Republican Club and becomes the president. From 1921-1926. Paline Morton Sabin gained enormous recognition for raising funds and recruiting thousands of members.


Pauline Morton Sabin is selected to be New York’s first woman representative on the Republican National Committee.


United States supports regulation of cannabis as a drug in the International Opium Convention. By the mid-1930’s, all member states have some form of regulation of cannabis.


Pauline Morton Sabin grows increasingly disenchanted with prohibition, but works on behalf of Herbert Hoover in the election of 1928 despite his uncertain stance on the issue. In his inauguration speech, Hoover vowed to enforce anti-liquor legislation.

May 1929

After enactment of the Jones-Stalker Act drastically increased penalties for violating prohibition, Pauline Morton Sabin resigns from the Republican National Committee and takes up the cause of repealing prohibition.

May 1929

Pauline Morton Sabin founded the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR). She was known for her social status and charismatic personality. Sabin’s efforts were a significant factor in the repeal of Prohibition. The Women of WONPR were considered smart and sophisticated women of the era.Their high social status attracted press coverage and made the movement fashionable. For housewives throughout middle America, joining WONPR was an opportunity to mingle with high society. In less than two years, membership grew to almost 1.5 million, this was triple the membership of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Sabin became a symbol for independent women; she showed women that they weren’t bound to support the Prohibition movement. Her picture appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

Pauline Morton Sabin – Ken Burns Prohibition Series
Full Ken Burns Prohibition Series
Pauline Morton Sabin talking on October 9, 1929 in New York


The Federal Bureau of Narcotics is created. For the next 32 years, it’s headed by Harry J. Anslinger, who came from the Bureau of Prohibition, as did many of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics initial members.


Uniform State Narcotics Act of 1932 creates an independent Federal agency, under jurisdiction of the Justice Department, to enforce the Harrison Act domestically and internationally and it mandates States to adopt Federal narcotics laws and promotes collaboration between Feds and States in achieving narcotics control.
Courtesy: Schaffer Policy of Drug Library


Democrat Franklin Roosevelt runs for President of the United States promising repeal of federal laws of Prohibition of alcohol.

December 5, 1933

The twenty-first amendment repealed the 18th amendment, the prohibition of alcohol. After the repeal amendment, WONPR dissolved immediately.



Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act. Presented as a $1 nuisance tax on the distribution of marijuana, this act required anyone distributing the drug to maintain and submit a detailed account of his or her transactions, including inspections, affidavits, and private information regarding the parties involved. This law, however, was something of a “Catch-22”, as obtaining a tax stamp required individuals to first present their goods, which was an action tantamount to confession. This act was passed by Congress on the basis of testimony and public perception that marijuana caused insanity, criminality, and death.


After the Philippines fell to Japanese forces in 1942, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army urged farmers to grow hemp fiber and tax stamps for cultivation were issued to farmers. During World War ll, the Marihuana Tax Act was lifted briefly to allow for hemp fiber production to create ropes for the U.S. Navy with over 400,000 acres of hemp being cultivated between 1942 and 1945. The last commercial hemp fields were planted in Wisconsin in 1957. After the war hemp reverted to its de facto illegal status.


Hemp for Victory is a black and white U.S. government film made during World War 2 and released in 1942, explaining the uses of hemp, encouraging farmers to grow as much as possible.


New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who was a strong opponent of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, started the LaGuardia Commission that in 1944 contradicted the earlier reports of addiction, madness, and overt sexuality.


United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs occurred. Narcotic drugs are classified and placed under international control. The Single Convention limits exclusively to medical and scientific purposes the production, manufacture, export, import, distribution of, trade in, use and possession of drugs.


The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted into law by Congress. The CSA is the federal U.S. drug policy under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances is regulated. This legislation is the foundation on which the modern drug war exists. Responsibility for enforcement of this new law was given to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

June 18, 1971

President Richard Nixon declares a war on drugs, calling drug abuse “public enemy number one” and launches a global campaign, led by the U.S. federal government, of drug prohibition, military aid, and military intervention, with the aim of reducing the illegal drug trade in the United States.The initiative includes a set of drug policies that are intended to discourage the production, distribution, and consumption of psychoactive drugs that the participating governments and the United Nations have made illegal. Nixon dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants.


Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.


Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer reported that the Shafer commission unanimously recommends decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.


Canada’s Le Dain commission, was tasked in 1969 to investigate non-medical cannabis use in Canada. The commission’s 1972 report recommended removing criminal penalties for cannabis possession, though not legalization, per se. While the subsequent two federal governments discussed the recommendation, no steps were actually taken to change legislation.


Responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act is moved to the newly formed Drug Enforcement Administration.
Nancy Reagan hosts the First Ladies Conference on Drug Abuse at the White House (1985)


Just Say No Campaign was aimed at discouraging children from engaging in illegal drug use by offering various ways to say no.


The chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Daryl Gates, and the Los Angeles Unified School District started the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. The program, which still exists today, pairs students with local police officers in an effort to reduce drug use, gang membership and violence. Students learn about the dangers of substance abuse and are required to take a pledge to stay away from drugs and gangs. D.A.R.E. has been implemented in about 75 percent of U.S. school districts. Despite the program’s popularity, several studies have shown participating in D.A.R.E has little impact on future drug use. A study funded by the Department of Justice, which was released in 1994, revealed that partaking in D.A.R.E led to only short-term reductions in the use of tobacco but had no impact on alcohol or marijuana use.


The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was enacted into law by Congress. It changed the system of federal supervised release from a rehabilitative system into a punitive system. The bill enacted new mandatory minimum sentences for drugs, including marijuana. During the Reagan years, prison penalties for drug crimes skyrocketed, and this trend continued for many years. In fact, the number of people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to more than 400,000 by 1997.


Near the end of the Reagan administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy ONDCP was created for central coordination of drug-related legislative, security, diplomatic, research and health policy throughout the government. In recognition of his central role, the director of ONDCP is commonly known as the Drug Czar. The position was raised to cabinet-level status by Bill Clinton in 1993.


The U.S. government commissioned the first-ever full study of drug policy, to be carried out by the National Research Council (NRC); the Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs is headed by Econometrician Charles Manski.


The National Research Council Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs study was published. It revealed that the government had not sufficiently studied its own drug policy, which it called “unconscionable”.


Goose Creek Raid that begins WONPR 2.0


Movement to Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Begins
Photo by Eve Lentz Jack Herer at the Pax Party House in Amsterdam at 1996 High Times Cannabis Cup


Jack Herer first published his book titled The Emperor Wears No Clothes. This inspired many people to become activists, including Allison Bigelow. Often when giving a speech, Allison promotes Jack’s book by saying “If you have not read The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer, then you do not know the true history of the world.” Read this ground breaking and illuminating book here for free, as Jack wanted it to be.


JoAnna McKee cofounded Green Cross Patient CO-OP with her partner Stich Miller. After a raid in Kitsap county, Washington state by the West Sound Narcotics Task Force, JoAnna and Stich moved to Seattle and resumed helping patients.
Photo by Jimmy Wheeler. Pictured left to right are W.H.E.N. board members Darrell Goode, Bob Owen, Robert Lunday, Jeanne “Magic” Black Ferguson, Eve Lentz and Dr. David Edwards

July 1994

Washington Hemp Education Network (W.H.E.N) formed to empower the people of Washington State, through educational activities about the history, status, and uses (both current and potential) of the Hemp plant (cannabis sativa, also known as marijuana), to make informed choices about the issues surrounding re-legalization of Hemp in Washington State. Both Allison Bigelow and her sister Eve Lentz became board members in 1997. Legalize Marijuana? Just say WHEN!
Photo by Eve Lentz. Washington Hemp Mercantile 1995

November 1995

Allison Bigelow and her sister Eve Lentz open Washington Hemp Mercantile in Mount Vernon, Washington. The store was an activist center geared towards educating people about industrial hemp as well as the benefits of medical and recreational uses of cannabis. Flyers and legalization initiatives could be picked up there.


Media Awareness Project forms MAP is a worldwide network dedicated to drug policy reform that informs public opinion and promotes balanced media coverage. MAP offers facts, links and great letter-writing techniques to getting your voice heard. Allison Bigelow began writing Letters to the Editor with their help and had her first LTE printed on December 21, 1996. The following August, Allison shared her booth with DrugSense, the sponsoring organization of Media Awareness Project.
Pictured left to right: Tom Hawkins, Eve Lentz, Allison Bigelow and Mark Greer, executive director of MAP.

October 6, 1995

Ralph Seeley filed a lawsuit in Superior Court of Washington State that asked the court to order the State Board of Pharmacy to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule 2 drug, which would allow medical providers to prescribe it for patients. His opening statement of his declaration was “…In the course of my chemotherapy, despite being under the care of full-time nurses at one of the finest cancer-treatment facilities in the country, I found myself violently nauseated, retching uncontrollably, losing control of my bowels, lying on the floor, covered with my own vomit and excrement.” To the surprise of most court observers, Judge Buckner granted Seeley’s request for a declaratory judgment, ruling that the state must reclassify marijuana and make it legal for doctors to prescribe to patients whom they believed would benefit. In her decision, Buckner balanced the interests of patients like Seeley, who claimed marijuana provided relief that no legal drug did, against the interests of the state in keeping it on Schedule 1. She found that the patients’ rights should prevail, and ordered the State Board of Pharmacy to reclassify marijuana.


November 5, 1996

Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law permitting the use of medical cannabis. It was enacted by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.
Photo by Eve Lentz. Allison Bigelow, writing her speech for Seattle Hempfest in 1997, sitting next to her booth where she sold industrial hemp, distributed flyers of information printed from The Emperor Wears No Clothes and collected signatures for HIP-WS.

March 12, 1997

HIP-WS Hemp Initiative Project WA state filed an initiative that would regulate and permit the possession of hemp (cannabis or marijuana) for industrial purposes, medicinal use requiring physician prescription, and personal use by adults over twenty-one. Growing, selling, and using intoxicating hemp would be restricted to places not accessible to minors. Advertising would be restricted. Taxes would be levied on production and sale. The liquor control board would be authorized to license and regulate production, sale, and use. Criminal penalties would be revised. The entire initiative is here.

July 1997

The attorney-general’s office appealed Judge Buckner’s ruling in Ralph Seeley’s lawsuit to the state Supreme Court and won a reversal of her decision. Justice Barbara Madsen authored the opinion and was joined by seven of the court’s other eight justices. Brushing aside all arguments to the contrary, the court ruled that Seeley and others like him had no “fundamental right” to obtain medical marijuana by prescription, and that the state’s Schedule 1 classification was within its sound discretion and supported by a “rational basis” (Seeley v. State). Justice Sanders writes this harsh dissenting opinion “…I wonder how many minutes of Seeley’s agony the Legislature and/or the majority of this court would endure before seeing the light. Words are insufficient to convey the needless suffering which the merciless State has imposed….” (Seeley v. State of Washington, dissent of Justice Sanders)….”
Photo by Eve Lentz. Ralph Seeley and Allison Bigelow at Seattle Hempfest August 1997

November 4, 1997

The Washington Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, also known as Initiative 685, was on the ballot in Washington as an initiative to the People, where it was defeated. The measure would have decriminalized medical marijuana and proscribed treatment, education and community service, rather than imprisonment, for non-violent drug users.
Left to right: Farm owner Kollie Davies, Allison Bigelow, Jeanne “Magic” Black Ferguson, and Eve Lentz in Delta, B.C., Canada

March 12, 1998

The commercial production (including cultivation) of industrial hemp was legalized in Canada, under licenses and authorization, issued by Health Canada. Allison Bigelow and her sister Evelyn Lentz visit a Hemp farm in Delta, B.C., Canada that fall at harvest time.

November 3, 1998

The Washington Medical Marijuana Initiative, also known as Initiative 692, was on the ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People, where it was approved. The measure allowed physicians to prescribe marijuana for certain terminal and debilitating conditions.


Dale Rogers and Dr. Francis Podnabarac open a clinic on Seattle’s Capitol Hill called Compassion In Action (CIA) providing medical cannabis to over 3300 patients with a Dr’s authorization. Over the years this collective was able to reduce the cost of medicine to the patients by having their patients grow the medicine everyone shared, rather than being a buyers club having to purchase medicine from outside sources at higher prices. CIA even passed an inspection by the Seattle fire department in one of the locations where their plants were being grown. Allison Bigelow became a member of the collective in 2003 and has helped to make a big difference in patient’s lives.
Photo by Eve Lentz from left: Roger Goodman, Jeanne “Magic” Black Ferguson, Allison Bigelow, Jim Doherty


The King County Bar Association begins its Drug Policy Project, naming Roger Goodman (now State Representative Goodman) as the director of the project. After the release of its 2001 report, a measure passed the legislature in 2002, putting in place a completely new drug sentencing system that gives sentencing courts vastly increased discretion to reduce incarceration and focuses much more on treatment alternatives for drug law violators. The bill has been hailed as a significant shift in state-level drug policy and has led to similar reforms in other states.

May 14, 2001

United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative- the United States Supreme Court rejects the common-law medical necessity defense to crimes enacted under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, regardless of their legal status under the laws of states such as California that recognize a medical use for marijuana. In January 1998, the U.S. Government sued the OCBC to stop the cultivation and distribution of marijuana in violation of federal law.

April 20, 2003

Jeanne “Magic” Black Ferguson births an organization called Grammas for Ganja, an organization that feels that prohibition of cannabis is wrong and advocates for there to be change to our laws for the health and well being of people and our planet.

November 5, 2003

December 2003

Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow/Push Coalition put on a protest in Charleston, SC. Jean Marlowe and Cher Ford-McCullough attended and met with Florida-based prison activist Kay Lee and decided to resurrect the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) . It was the atrocity at Goose Creek that got them going. Formed in 1929, the original Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) played a crucial role in bringing about the end of alcohol Prohibition. Now, three-quarters of a century later, a new generation of women activists have resurrected the organization and its mission to undo the damage wrought on children, families, and communities by the failed war on drugs.
Photo by Chanterelle Jones. WONPR booth August of 2004 at Umoja Fest Africatown Heritage Festival, the northwest’s most historic and iconic African American celebration.

January 2004

Allison Bigelow became the Seattle Coordinator for WONPR (Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform).

June 6, 2005

Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich) is a U.S. Supreme Court decision that has upheld cannabis prohibition at the highest level. Justices ruled that under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress may criminalize the production and use of homegrown cannabis, even if state law allows its use for medicinal purposes. Defendant Angel Raich used medical marijuana, which was legal under California law but illegal under federal law. On August 15, 2002, Butte County Sheriffs and DEA agents raided a garden and destroyed six marijuana plants that Raich and Diane Monson used to alleviate pain

August 13, 2005

Journey for Justice – Washington D.C.
Cher Ford McCullough Participates on Behalf of WONPR
More on J4J


Tonya Davis Tribute to Cher Ford McCullough (2:11 mark – Tonya reads writing of Cher)

October 2009

OGDEN MEMO a government communique from then U.S. Attorney David Ogden that essentially cleared the way for the medical pot industry. In the Ogden memo, the government said it would put a low priority on prosecuting people who buy and sell medical marijuana in states that have legalized the practice.

January 2010

Washington State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson becomes the first legislator in the nation to introduce a bill to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. This bill was the precursor to Initiative 502, which made Washington one of the first two states, along with Colorado, to successfully legalize adult use marijuana in 2012.


Cher Ford McCullough Review on Book “Hemp: What the World Needs Now”


Skunk Magazine Edition on “Lady Legalizers”
Jean Marlowe Recognized in top 100 women of weed feature
Photo by Eve Lentz. Sensible Washington booth at Seattle Hempfest Womanned by Allison Bigelow


Sensible Washington sponsored Initiative 1068 which would have removed state civil and criminal penalties for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana. Restrictions and penalties for persons under eighteen would be retained. Allison Bigelow was a member of the Steering committee. Not enough signatures were collected to get this initiative on the ballot.
Photo by Eve Lentz. Allison Bigelow, her two daughters, and friends at Seattle Hempfest promoting the healing value of medical cannabis

Spring 2010

An amendment to I-692 increased the types of healthcare professionals allowed to authorize marijuana for medical use from just medical doctors and osteopathic physicians to also include physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners and naturopathic physicians.
Photo by Doug McVay. August 2014 Seattle Hempfest Panel CBD It’s Time for a Conversation From left: Dr. Dominic Corva (CASP), Martin Lee (Project CBD founder), Allison Bigelow (CIA), Dr. Michelle Sexton, Christopher Larson


Project CBD comes into existence. Project CBD is a California-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) and other components of the cannabis plant.

November 2010

California Proposition 19 (also known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act) was defeated, with 53.5% of California voters voting “No” and 46.5% voting “Yes.”



Movement to Repeal Drug Prohibition Begins

March 14, 2011

Simultaneous RAIDS on dozens of cannabis businesses throughout Montana in a single day. This is where the case of Richard Flor and Chris WIlliams begins. Raids happened at the very same time that the Montana Legislature was voting on bill to pass regulations for medical marijuana, as documented in this film:

March 17, 2011

Cannabis Work Session in the WA State Legislature on Mary Lou Dickerson’s bill to tax and regulate marijuana. As Legislative Assistant, Kari Boiter arranges to bring Jodie Emery, “Princess of Pot,” to testify in favor of the legalization bill alongside John McKay, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted and sent Jodie’s husband, Marc Emery, “Prince of Pot,” to federal prison for five years for selling cannabis seeds to Americans and shipping them from Canada. Photo: Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (foreground) L to R: Row 2 – Jodie Emery, George Rohrabacher, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess


Washington State Senate Bill 5073 sponsored by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, to amend and clarify the law on the medical use of cannabis (marijuana) so that qualifying patients and designated providers who comply with the law will not be subject to arrest or prosecution, other criminal sanctions, or civil consequences based solely on their medical use of cannabis, and provides that patients will have access to an adequate, safe, consistent, and secure source of medical quality marijuana. The bill defines, and clarifies the provisions related to prescribing, selling, and using medical marijuana.. This bill passed the legislature in April of 2011 and on Apr 29 was partially vetoed by Governor Gregoire after she read a letter from US Attorneys Jenny Durkan and Michael Ormsby deleting the sections in Part VI, Part VII, and Part VIII of the bill that would direct employees of the state departments of Health and Agriculture to authorize and license commercial businesses that produce, process or dispense cannabis. These sections would open public employees to federal prosecution, and the United States Attorneys have made it clear that state law would not provide these individuals safe harbor from federal prosecution. No state employee should be required to violate federal criminal law in order to fulfill duties under state law.

Bill summary
Durkan influence on Gregoire Veto – and City Hall Opposition to Gutting of 5073

July 2011 – Cole Memo 1.0 – Reverses DOJ’s Ogden Memo of 2009.

Fall 2011 – “No on I-502” campaign

Early Organizers Protest Outside Democratic Party HQ – Seattle, WA

December 2011 – “No on I502” counter protest

Hempfest 2012 – Great 502 Debate – August 2012

Kari with Richard’s Ashes at Hempfest 2013

August 30, 2012

Richard Flor Dies of Medical Neglect While Federally Imprisoned for State Legal Medical Cannabis. This is the catalyst that launched Kari in activism.

Sept. 6 2012

Rally Outside Federal Courthouse Where Richard Flor Was Sentenced
Kari tracks down Richard’s daughter and granddaughter who live not far from Kari in a Seattle auburn and drives all three from Washington to Montana for this rally. This is where Kari meets Chris Williams for the first time.

Rally footage


September 8. 2012

Kari, Kristin & Chris go to Missoula Hempfest

September 24, 2012

Chris Williams Trail Begins – Out of 33 defendants, he is the ONLY caregiver in the Montana raids to refuse a plea bargain and take his case to trial.

September 25, 2012

Chris’ former business partners testify against him.

Sept 27, 2012

Chris Williams found guilty on all counts – faces 85 Year Mandatory Minimum

November 6, 2012

Colorado and Washington State become the first states in the nation to pass laws to legalize the consumption, possession, and sale of marijuana for recreational use. Initiative 502 in Washington was initially submitted as a bill in the State Legislature, but when it did not move forward during the 2011 session, I-502 was placed on the statewide ballot. The initiative summary reads: “This measure would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.”

White house petition for Chris; fax blast campaign to judge; international media blitz Post-trial settlement offers; settlement conference with Malloy; Post-conviction agreement; 5 years instead of 85 year mandatory


Media Blitz Coverage on Chris Williams Case Between Trial (Sept ‘12) and Sentencing (Feb ‘13)

Spinoff petitions at MoveOn.Org, Change.Org and also ciruclate, bringing in a total of 40,000+ signatures between all platforms

December 18, 2012

Historic Post Conviction Settlement Agreement Signed

Most of Williams’ Convictions to Be Dropped, Post Trial, After Unanimous Guilty Verdict by Jury – This Has NEVER Before Happened In History That We Know Of

National coverage of post conviction plea deal

February 1, 2013

Chris Williams is Sentenced

Kari arranged the J4J to ensure a packed courtroom at Williams sentencing hearing. Knowing Montanans were too scared to turn out in support, from prior experience with rallies related to this case, Kari decided to bus in activists from CA, OR, WA who cared about the case enough to travel to Montana.

Coverage of the J4J and Williams sentencing hearing:


Summer 2012

Flyover of the Harvey Property 10 miles outside Kettle Falls, WA

August 2012

KF5 Raids – FIrst by Stevens County Sheriff Deputies with assistance of DEA, some plants cut down, but many left; raided a second time within weeks by DEA with assistance of Sheriff this time around.

February 2013

U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby and Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks File Indictment Against Larry Harvey and his wife, Rhonda Firestack Harvey, her son Rolland Gregg and his wife, Michelle Gregg, and family friend, Jason Zucker.

February 2013

One week after being indicted, having seen Kari’s work on Chris Williams behalf, Jason Zucker reached out for help.

February 2013

Kari’s first ever trip to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress and receive the inaugural National Medical Patient Advocate of the Year Award from Americans for Safe Access.

Spring 2013

Kari Boiter and Kris Hermes, then Media Coordinator for Americans for Safe Access, coin the name the “Kettle Falls Five” for the Harvey case

Spring 2013 to Spring 2015

Kari and Kris prepare media strategy and train Larry Harvey to be a spokesperson for the case; Kari works with legal team to establish a joint defense agreement so all defendants and their lawyers can work together and stand trial together; Kari works with Mike Liszewski and Americans for Safe Access in Washington D.C. to advance political strategy ahead of Larry’s eventual visit to Capitol Hill; Kari travels to D.C. multiple times with new handouts, a white paper on the financial and human cost of the state-federal conflict on medical marijuana, even organizing a group of women with imprisoned loved ones to attend a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sentencing reform.

Spring 2013

Kari’s First Trip to Congress – ASA Patient Advocate of the Year Award

August 2013

Kari’s Seattle Hempfest main stage speech talking about Chris Williams being sentenced to life in prison after being raided and Federally prosecuted for growing state legal medical cannabis. Also she talks about Richard Flor, who needed special medical care while in prison but didn’t receive it, and died in prison after this raid.

August 29, 2013

Cole Memo 2.0 outlines regulatory expectations for cannabis.

Following the passage in 2012 of initiatives in Washington and Colorado, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole provided a memo for all U.S. attorneys.The memo is titled Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement (PDF).The guidance “rests on the expectation that states and local governments that have enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems.”

May 2013

Women of Weed (WoW) Founded – Kari and Allison are both among the original founding members

Lynn Johnson Testimonial

Photographing the Face of Marijuana – Excellent Video within this article where some of the images are used from the WOW NatGeo Article – Can we use this and credit NatGeo and/or Lynn the same way we would for the photos

Northwest Leaf feature about WOW

Hempfest 2013

Prison Reform, Chris Williams, State-Federal Conflict Banner Year – Prisoners in Sheridan
Kettle Falls Five Defendant Larry Harvey with U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) and U.S. Rep Paul Broun (R -GA) with Steph Sherer from Americans for Safe Access looking on

May 7, 2014

Kari takes Larry Harvey to Washington to meet with lawmakers in the U.S. House; Press Conference held on Capitol Hill with Larry flanked by bipartisan group of lawmakers
Kari, Larry and Mike Liszewski hand deliver a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder to U.S. Department of Justice HQ requesting an immediate halt to the Kettle Falls Five prosecution.

May 7, 2014

KF5 Goes Global

May 19, 2014

Larry Harvey on Front Page of USA Today (Top Story in USA Today)

May 30, 2014 – Rohrabaher Farr passes the House

Initially introduced by Rep. Hinchey in 2001, the amendment was withdrawn before it could be brought to a vote. In 2003, Hinchey joined with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to introduce the amendment, leading to a 152–273 defeat the first time the amendment was voted on. The Hinchey–Rohrabacher amendment failed five more times over the next decade, until it passed the House (as the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment) by a 219–189 vote on May 30, 2014, as an attachment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2015.

June 26, 2014

NYT Coverage on Larry Harvey & Kettle Falls 5

Summer 2014

Kari and Larry return to Washington D.C. for U.S. Senate Visits

The Rohrabacher Farr amendment is introduced in the Senate by Sens. Rand Paul and Cory Booker on June 18, but was not allowed a vote

Hempfest 2014 – Rohrabacher – Farr and Congress

Seattle Hempfest Kari’s McWilliams Stage speech, Kari talks about Kettle Falls Five, Rohrabacher- Farr Amendment, Congress taking action, ASA bill 689, encourages people to call Congress about bills

December 2014

RFA passes the Senate. The amendment was inserted into the $1.1 trillion “cromnibus” spending bill during final negotiations, and the bill was signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2014.

December 16, 2014

President Obama Signs Rohrabacher-Farr Act Into Law

December 2014

The Justice Department announces a policy to allow recognized tribes to legalize the use and sale of cannabis on American Indian reservations. Tribal law on reservations is allowed to differ from state and federal law. In 2015, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Others such as Yakama Nation and the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council have rejected legalization on their lands.

January 16, 2015

Tommy Chong is the keynote speaker at the Cannabis Summit this video has 281,611 views since it was posted. Counter-culture icon, comedian Tommy Chong, talks about his lifelong relationship with marijuana as “Medicine for the Brain”.Recorded January 16, 2015 at the Washington Cannabis Commission’s “Cannabis Summit”. Seatac, Washington. Tommy Chong “Medicine for the Brain” by ThcTv

February 2015

Charges Dropped Against Larry Harvey After Terminal Cancer Diagnosis

March 2015

Jason Zucker Accepts Plea Bargain That Allows Him To Appeal with Defendants Who Went To Trial and Remain Free Pending Appeal

March 2015

Remaining Kettle Falls Five Defendants Stand Trial and are subsequently acquitted on all original charges, with the jury convicting on a single reduced charge that eliminated the possibility of mandatory minimum sentences

April 8, 2015

Congressmembers send letter to DOJ asking US Attorneys to uphold Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment to halt prosecutions in states where medical marijuana laws are being followed.

August 2015

Hempfest 2015 – HBHH Merger of Medical

Kari’s Seattle Hempfest 2015 Hemposium Panel, Kari speaks about how we have forgotten about moving forward with achieving the civil rights of patients, caregivers and consumers, now cannabis is legal. She points out there are industries able to capitalize on the efforts of so many patients and consumers, and that it is their responsibility to help carry the ball forward for the civil rights of consumers rather than industry. The State of the State Legalization and medical marijuana in WA state
Photo of Kari and Lynette Together on HF Panel with NJ Weedman & Jodie Emery in 2013

October 2015

Rohrabacher Farr Act Upheld in Federal Court – United States of America vs. Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) and Lynette Shaw


Dan Baum, the author of 1996’s “Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure,” wrote in Harper’s Magazine in 2016 that while researching his book, John Ehrlichman, one of President Richard Nixon’s top advisors, gave a reason for the war of drugs that had little to do with protecting Americans from reefer madness. Baum wrote that Ehrlichman, following his very public scrutiny and conviction, had “little left to protect” and came clean about a shocking truth. “You want to know what this was really all about?” Ehrlichman asked, referring to the war on drugs. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.” “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did,” he concluded, according to Baum.

Hempfest 2016 – Rural Prohibition – States Still Not Legal – Running for Office

Kari’s Seattle Hempfest 2016 Seeley stage speech. Kari mentions being a candidate for the Montana legislature. What is legalization and what work do we have ahead to achieve it? Need home grow, people losing jobs, children, and housing over cannabis as well as their freedom by being incarcerated. Organ transplants are denied to cannabis patients, who are being kept alive by cannabis. Encourages people to educate yourself, talk to your family and friends, talk to your legislators, run for office, or support a candidate who believes in making change for the civil rights of cannabis patients and consumers.

Sep 15, 2016

The Drug Policy Alliance has teamed up with artists Jay-Z and Molly Crabapple to tell the brief history of how the Drug War went from prohibition to the gold rush of the legalized cannabis industry.

June 19, 2017

Chris Williams Released from Federal Prison After Serving a 5-Year Mandatory Minimum Sentence

Hempfest 2017 – Overview of federal changes

Seattle Hempfest August 2017, Main Stage speech, Kari is the third to speak, including update on the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, Macintosh decision, Kettle Falls 5 on this video:

Seattle Hempfest – August 2018 – Press Conference moderated by Kari Boiter

At minute 34 Kari describes the CHABA bill (Cannabis Health and Beauty Aids) and then she mentions the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, she then has an emotional part talking about the impending birth of her child and living in rural Montana and the need to keep plugging away at our civil rights.


The United States federal farm bill contained provisions legalizing hemp production with low levels of delta-9-THC. It may have inadvertently allowed cultivation of hemp plants with high levels of delta-8-THC, which is also psychoactive and has since become more popular recreationally across the U.S.

June 2019

Article on the “lawyer, lobbyist & farmer” encapsulating Montana Cannabis case 8 years later, now that Chris Williams was no longer in prison

Hempfest 2019 – Right to use cannabis while breastfeeding

August 2019 – Seattle Hempfest Press conference with Kari mentioning the right to use cannabis while breastfeeding

August 2019 Seattle Hempfest

Kari’s Main Stage speech mentioning Jerry Duval and other prisoners, and being a new mother and breastfeeding as a medical cannabis patient

May 29, 2021 The History of Marijuana in the US According to Tommy Chong

189,596 views May 29, 2021 Of all the drugs in the United States, weed seems pretty harmless… right? As lawmakers continue discussions on cannabis decriminalization and legalization, activists and experts weigh in on moments in our history where marijuana was seen as a danger to society and how that led to the War on Drugs, skyrocketing incarceration rates and decimated communities. Oh, and Tommy Chong, of stoner comedy duo “Cheech and Chong,” was there every step of the way. Inside Edition Digital’s Johanna Li has more. #InsideEdition