Marine Veteran Kristoffer Lewandowski is facing ten years to life in prison for growing six cannabis plants
Lewandowski did three tours with the United States Marine Corps
The Veteran tried cannabis for to help with his PTSD and replace his prescriptions
Lewandowski’s grow was very small and the plants were on the verge of dying
While the majority of the country is moving forward with the idea of cannabis, Comanche County, Oklahoma is looking to give three tour Marine Veteran Kristoffer John Lewandowski ten years to life over six cannabis plants.
Lewandowski served three tours as part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. In 2007, he served in Iraq, in 2009 he was chasing pirates, and in 2011 he was deployed to Afghanistan.
Originally from California, Lewandowski was stationed in Oklahoma and days away from retirement when local law enforcement discovered his minuscule personal grow.
The Fight Against PTSD And Prescription Pills
Lewandowski had an incredibly hard fight with PTSD after serving our country. At one point he was on 18 different prescription pills. He was prescribed 180 Percocet a month for ten consecutive months until his liver sustained too much damage. At that point, he was prescribed Oxy.
Like many of our Veterans, Lewandowski found himself in the middle of a losing battle against PTSD and prescription medication. That is when he decided to try cannabis.
Police Find Lewandowski’s Personal Grow
One night Lewandowski had a full mental breakdown, which is when his wife decided to call the police for assistance. Like many before her, little did she know the disastrous results that would come from reaching out for help fro law enforcement.
When officers arrived on the scene, they called Lewandowski out of his house and handcuffed him. After he had been handcuffed, police brought Lewandowski back inside his house. Police then searched the house, at which time they did not find Lewandowski’s personal grow.
Police asked Lewandowski if he had any firearms in his house. The concern was that the distraught Veteran might attempt suicide. Lewandowski told police that he had a firearm in the master bedroom.
When police learned of the presence of a firearm, they decided to search the house a second time. During the second search, police discovered the small grow.
TDH spoke with Lewandowski about his grow, which he said contained “six of the worst plants I have ever seen.” The plants were two days into the flowering cycle, but due to a few mishaps, Lewandowski was sure that they were going to die. Lewandowski said that “it would have been a miracle actually to obtain usable Cannabis from them.”
A Very Small Personal Garden
Not only was his plant count low, but Lewandowski’s equipment was nowhere near what is needed to produce a garden that can be sold for profit. He was running 10 CFL lights, none of which were above 70 Watt.
Heavy producing gardens usually use 1000 Watt High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide. To put this is in a comprehensible comparison, a 1000 Watt High-Pressure Sodium bulb puts out 130,000 lumens, while a 70 Watt CFL bulb only puts out 5,200. Due to ten different low wattage bulbs being used, Lewandowski’s garden was putting out less lumens than a 250 Watt High-Pressure Sodium. A 250 Watt High-Pressure Sodium is recommended for first time growers looking to do a personal garden.
Cannabis plants need intense light to grow to their fullest potential. That is why high watt High-Pressure Sodiums are used to obtain large, healthy colas. While fluorescent lighting will be just enough to get a plant through the life cycle, the yield will be low, and the colas will be very light and whispy. In other words, you are not going to be able to grow a cash crop with Lewandowski’s setup.
The anti-cannabis State of Oklahoma has not been Lewandowski’s only battle. Media has helped add confusion to the situation. In 2015, MintPress News published an article claiming that the charges against Lewandowski had been dropped. Lewandowski told TDH that was never true, and his original charges are still pending. This has been a three year legal fight at this point, forcing Lewandowski to take multiple trips from his home in California to Oklahoma.
The mishap with MintPress News occurred after Oklahoma sent marshals to pick up Lewandowski while he was on a 5150 hold in a Long Beach, California VA and missed a court date. Oklahoma tried to add new charges against Lewandowski, but those were dropped. It was misinterpreted that all of his charges were dropped at that time.
Oklahoma also forced Lewandowski’s wife to file a statement against her husband. She was told if she did not cooperate she would be charged as well and their children would go into state custody. Lewandowski’s wife still continues to receive harassment from the District Attorney who is trying to get her assistance in putting her husband in prison.
Honorably Retired And Still At War
The United States Marine Corps decided to retire Lewandowski honorably. Despite the USMC decision to not take any legal action against Lewandowski, Oklahoma has decided to charge him and threaten an irrational punishment.
On May 30, 2017, Lewandowski begins his jury trial. Lewandowski’s lawyers, Tom Hurley and Michael Minardi, believe it will be a four-day trial. If Lewandowski is found guilty, there is a chance he could go to prison for the rest of his life.
“I am absolutely heartbroken that a medicine that helps me has me fighting for my legal freedom,” Lewandowski said. He and his wife are still happily married as she continues to lend support during his legal battle. Lewandowski is just one of the countless Veterans that are facing legal repercussions for wanting to trade their pills for cannabis. A You Caring campaign has been created to help Lewandowski with his legal battle that you can contribute too by clicking here!