This letter arrived from Rich Paul today, and as much as it breaks my heart to read it and type it for him, it breaks him free to have a voice from the cage. Rich has been incarcerated since April 18th, 2013 waiting for sentencing on Friday June 7th, 2013.
“After my late girlfriend, Julie, died of cancer in 2002, I slipped into a deep depression. It worsened when the startup company I had spent 5 years building failed. By 2008, it had ended my career. I was no longer able to focus on my work; for a computer programmer like me, being unable to focus meant being unable to work. I also lost my ability to socialize. I had not dated since Julie’s death, and having moved, failed to make new friends. I wanted to die, but could not commit suicide, knowing how it would hurt my family.
In 2009, things changed. After moving to New Hampshire, I found an anti-depressant which works for me. The pain and loneliness which had been my constant companions since Julie’s death began to abate. I slowly, and with much effort, became a social being again.
In 2011, after a couple of abortive attempts at relationships, I fell in love with my current girlfriend, Wendy. We love each other deeply. I believe that Julie would be happy for us. I have also made new friends, who love me. Thanks to my miracle drug, life is good . . . or at least it was good.
Unfortunately for me, however, my miracle medicine was marijuana. In order to provide myself with my medication, I helped others to obtain it. I am now in jail, awaiting sentencing on four counts of sale of marijuana. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 3 to 7 years in prison.
As I sit in jail, deprived of the medicine I need, I can feel my desire to live slipping away, displaced by the old rage and despair. I have some hope that I will be released to seek refuge in a state, like Michigan or Colorado, which tolerates people like me, but with my depression untreated I expect the worst. All I want is to fulfill our state motto: ‘live free or die.’
What I ask from you is to take up the fight for tolerance of people like me. My use of marijuana neither picks your pocket nor breaks you leg, and neither does selling it to adults who seek it out. I should not be looking at hard time without ever having violated the golden rule.”
Please consider taking a moment to reach in to Rich by visiting his fundraising site at www.gofundme.com/FreeRichPaul to help him reach his goal for his appeal. If you cannot contribute funds, perhaps you can contribute mail to his spirit, at the not-so-spiritual retreat. Mail is best sent directly to him at this Department of Corrections address:
c/o Cheshire County D.O.C.
825 Marlboro Rd.
Keene, NH 03431