Saturday, June 09, 2007

Quadriplegic sentenced to death in DC jail for first-time marijuana charge

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Pamela's Protest
Date: Jun 8, 2007 8:45 PM

Quadriplegic dies in DC jail for first-time marijuana charge

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Dankoni
Date: Jun 8, 2007 5:18 PM

Washington, DC: A 27-year-old quadriplegic man sentenced to serve ten days in a Washington, DC jail on charges that he possessed a minor amount of marijuana died while in custody last week due to inadequate health care, including prison officials' failure to provide him with a ventilator.

The victim, Jonathan Magbie, had been paralyzed from the neck down since the age of four, was unable to breath on his own, and required nursing care 20 hours a day.

Magbie was sentenced to spend ten days in jail on September 20, 2004 after pleading guilty to one charge of marijuana possession. Though prosecutors had recommended probation, the judge in the case ordered Magbie to serve jail time - noting that the defendant had told pre-sentence investigators that he would continue using marijuana because it made him feel better.

NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup called Magbie's death "one of the most tragic results of marijuana prohibition I have witnessed in the 35-year history of the organization."

He concluded: "Although Jonathan Magbie died from causes currently under investigation, it is clear that his death was the result of the overly punitive laws criminalizing the use and possession of marijuana. There is little doubt that were it not for marijuana prohibition, Jonathan Magbie would still be alive today. He did not deserve to die for smoking marijuana."

For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. To read The Washington Post's coverage of this incident, please visit:

To read NORML's response, please visit:

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