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Editor’s note: Last Prisoner Project has been collecting letters from prisoners who are incarcerated for marijuana “crimes.” Each letter answers the question: What does 4/20 mean to me? We’ll be publishing these letters in full as we approach the holiday. We published Edwin Rubis’s answer earlier this week. Today we hear from Juanita Kinsey. 

by Juanita Kinsey

4/20 and 4:20 are my favorite time of year and day, especially when I’m not incarcerated. The first time I heard about 420 was at a tiny, tucked away head shop in Tallahassee, Florida back in 1998. I learned that day that 420 was an international cannabis smoke-out day. The shop had these holographic 420 stickers that I immediately became obsessed with. I proceeded to buy all 6 different stickers and put them all over the outside of my car. This may or may not have been some of the reasons my criminal history started with my first charge of possession of less than 20 grams ( 1 joint) in 1999.

420 has been my favorite holiday ever since. Every one of my friends and I would start planning the greatest smoke out for that day! Flavored papers, blunts, bongs, gravity bong made out of a mop bucket and a 2-liter coke bottle with the bottom cut off and the cap with a bowl rigged in it! OMG! Some of my best memories were from these gatherings!

I am so thankful for this day that brings so many people together to celebrate cannabis all over the world. 

Cannabis brings healing to the body, the nations, love, compassion, friendship, unity, and much, much more.

People coming together for 420 has had a huge impact on legalization to get us to the point we are at today. Upon my release, I will be celebrating legally with some high-quality California’s finest medical cannabis with the love of my life, Colby Standley! Until then, put a fatty in the air for all the incarcerated cannabis lovers on 420 and whenever you think about us!  Peace, Love, and Smoke

Juanita Kinsey is serving a six-year sentence for a cannabis charge in Florida.  She is a loving mother and wife. She currently works in the dog therapy program in her prison. Upon her release, she hopes to continue her work training therapy dogs. Her husband and co-defendant, Colby Standley, is also an LPP constituent incarcerated in Florida for cannabis. 

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