Back in 2017, cannabis industry leader Rudi Gammo was going strong running his city-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensary and helping out folks in the community.
Everything came to crashing halt in 2018 though when he was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison for operating the dispensary in a fashion that was widely permitted before laws changed that year.
And despite the “Clean Slate” bill signed in Michigan in October of last year to release non-violent offenders, Rudi Gammo is still imprisoned. Yet his dispensary remains open to this day.
What’s Going On?
There’s no reason that Rudi Gammo should still be stuck behind bars.
During the earlier years in the Michigan cannabis industry, there was an unlicensed and unregulated gray market where products were grown by caregivers then sold by hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries. Prior to 2018, this was permitted by most municipalities – as it was the only way to operate at that time.
Rudi’s municipally licensed dispensary in Detroit did nothing different and sold their product exclusively to medical marijuana patients. Even so, he was accused of running a “criminal enterprise” because he allowed caregivers to grow cannabis out of homes he owned in Oakland County for his dispensary.
In other words, he was convicted of something that became legal a few short months later when the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) became law in November 2018.
As he sits in prison for this victimless offense, others continue to make millions of dollars doing almost the exact same thing under new cannabis laws.
Adding Insult To Injury
Gammo was imprisoned during the height of the pandemic and prisons being what they are, he tested positive for COVID-19. What’s far worse though is Gammo’s six-year-old son Santino was recently diagnosed with leukemia. While struggling through cancer treatments, Santino talks about how much he wants to be with his “baba” to help him feel better.
In addition, his wife and other two children anxiously await his release. They have no idea when and if this will happen any time soon.
That Rudi Gammo Is Still Imprisoned Is Beyond Reproach
As of now, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald is in favor of Gammo’s release. However, Oakland County Judge Jeffery Matis continues to deny Gammo his freedom.
Thus, the Michigan Cannabis Freedom Coalition is hosting a demonstration for Rudi’s freedom at the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac on Wednesday, September 1st from 10-11 am.
The intention of this peaceful protest is to demonstrate to state authorities that the public is opposed to the unjust decision to deny Rudi his freedom.
“(Rudi) has been a close friend for many years and is one of the most prominent examples of the need for restorative criminal justice in Michigan,” says Barton W. Morris, Jr. principal attorney and founder of the Cannabis Legal Group, who represented Rudi Gammo in that criminal court case. “I’m personally dedicated to doing everything in my power to obtain his immediate release, and am urging those who support cannabis reform to show up on Wednesday.”
We’ll see you there.
Join Us In The Protest
As cannabis marketing and public relations experts, we strive to put this industry in a positive light at all times. But it’s not always easy when the industry continues to be scrutinized by the law.
The fact that Rudi Gammo is still imprisoned is disheartening. We hope you’ll stand with us to fight for justice at this peaceful protest.
And in the meantime, keep checking back with us for more stories about what’s happening in the industry in Southeastern Michigan and beyond.