Spencer Tweedy is a kid & musician.About
On October 15th, I started an online fundraiser to help my friend Michelle whom was arrested by the DEA in September for her legally used, illegally obtained and transported medical marijuana. After her arrest, she was subject to one night in jail. A night in a cold, metallic cage is traumatic in its own right, but it’s especially terrible for a person who suffers from Rheumatoid arthritis, cervical spine disease, rotator cuff disease, torn biceps, and fibromyalgia. She was released on bail the next day into a circumstance of financial instability and fear.
I started the fundraiser because Michelle is not a criminal, no matter how reasonable it was for the DEA to believe otherwise. (And, by the way, what was not reasonable was the officers’ ignoble disregard for Michelle’s painful condition. Read the letter she wrote a week after the experience here.) I felt that she deserved more—and knew that she needed more—than what her means allowed and her mistake imposed. I don’t think any person really deserves bad things to happen to them, but that Michelle has dedicated her life to helping the children of Chicago makes the misfortune of her situation glaringly wrong. With her organization, Direct Effect Charities, she has helped thousands of kids to have what they need to learn, to be happy, and to be safe. That’s inspiring in its own right, but it is even more so in light of her many illnesses. It was the welfare of herself, her daughter, and Chicago’s underprivileged youth that inspired her to find a medicine that allows her to be productive and happy. Not drug dealing.
Hopefully, as Michelle’s legal struggle continues, the courts will agree with me and those of you who support her, holding the common sense that locking up a middle-aged single mother who smokes weed to overcome her pain and do great things is not in our society’s best interest. But I can’t do much but hope that her sentence is merely community service, so I chose to ask people on the internet for their money, so that in a time when Michelle is still sick, her daughter is still a kid, her husband is still passed, and her work for underprivileged Chicagoan youth is still unfinished, she has a little less to worry about.
Together, through the online fundraiser and The Blisters’ sold-out show at the Beat Kitchen on November 18th, we were able to raise a little more than $4,600 for Michelle and her daughter. We didn’t meet our goal of $7,500, and that’s because in the mess of other things, I dropped the promotional ball. While raising more would have been nice, I can’t let myself feel sorry; we did an awesome thing for Michelle and the almost-5k we were able to give her has been a gigantic relief even with her mounting legal fees. She and her daughter are so thankful.
Thank you guys for helping Michelle. I think that most people have a family member or a friend who could use help like the help we were able to give her, but most of the time, it’s not as simple or easy as clicking a PayPal button. I’m happy we were able to do something.
Here’s to you guys, and health. Let’s hope Michelle is able to continue doing what she loves to do, and that others like her—people that need a weird drug to help them to be healthy—don’t have to face what she did.
Michelle has gone through another twist of fate. This time, it’s one that almost certainly saved her life. Please click “Read More” to read a thank-you letter about her current situation. For more about her experience, see the fundraising page here. If you would still like to donate, go here.