Iraq War veteran Sean Worsley was recently given a five-year prison sentence after being arrested for possession of cannabis in the small town of Gordo, Alabama.
Worsley picked up the medical marijuana in Arizona after receiving a prescription for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
On August 15, 2016, shortly after 11 pm, after stopping for gas, Worsley and his wife Eboni were approached by a police officer for playing music too loudly.
Officer Carl Abramo had allegedly smelled marijuana in Worsley’s car.
According to the arrest report, Officer Abramo “observed a Black male get out of the passenger side vehicle. They were pulled up at a pump and the Black male began playing air guitar, dancing, and shaking his head. He was laughing around and looking at the driver while doing all this.”
Sean reportedly tried to give Officer Abramo his medical marijuana card from Arizona, however, the report reads, “[Officer Abramo] explained to him that Alabama did not have medical marijuana…[and] then placed the suspect in hand cuffs.”
Despite the valid Arizona medical registration, Worsley was arrested, along with his wife Eboni.
Under Alabama state law, medical marijuana prescriptions from other states are not recognized. In addition, Alabama does not yet have a medical cannabis program.
Now, nearly four years later, Worsley has been charged with possession for other than personal use, considered a Class C felony.
In an emotional letter to the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Worsley wrote, “I feel like I’m being thrown away by a country I went and served for. I feel like I lost parts of me in Iraq, parts of my spirit and soul that I can’t ever get back.”
Eboni told the Alabama Appleseed that she repeatedly expressed to the police that her husband needed a legal guardian to help make decisions for him, however, “They said no, and they literally locked me in a room separate from him. They told him that if he didn’t sign the plea agreement that we would have to stay incarcerated until December and that they would charge me with the same charges as they charged him.”
Since then, the Worsley family has faced homelessness and serious financial troubles. Unable to afford to pay his court fines, Sean missed a court date and had his probation revoked back in February 2019. Soon after, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
A GoFundMe has now been set up to raise money to cover the legal expenses and fees being incurred by Sean and his family. You can donate here.
Advocates have also created a petition to drop the charges against Worsley. Sign the petition to get justice for Sean and Eboni Worsley here and show your support. Over 10,000 people have already signed.
Worsley currently remains incarcerated in an Alabama jail awaiting his opportunity to appeal the court’s decision.
You can read a summary of the case published by the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice here.