Journey for Justice calls attention to failed drug war policies
Jodi James
March 2000

Three years ago, Grandma Kay Lee, Director of the Journey For Justice, came to Florida at the request of Joan Bello, the person who made the Federal Class Action Lawsuit [about medical marijuana] a reality for over 500 people. Kay traveled around Florida until she made her home with Joe Hart, a warrior whose singleness of purpose continues to inspire Miss Kay even after his passing. When her best friend drew his last breath, Miss Kay was sitting on the lawn of Raiford Correctional Institute in Starke. Moved to action by the beating death of a stranger, Frank Valde--a man sentenced to die--Kay had begun a campaign to end guard violence and make the prison walls transparent.

Kay came into our lives as a comrade, a fellow foot soldier in the war on drugs. Speaking out about medical marijuana, she shared the stories of many of the hundreds of prisoners that she writes to--victims of a system out of control--and a vision was given to us. Miss Kay, in her own way, has been inspiring thousands to journey for justice. Her work, providing crisis support for patients and being a friend to the over 250 prisoners that write her monthly, has created the foundation for the third Journey for Justice.

When this vision was birthed, it was budgeted for 16 patients, 8 caregivers, four organizers, a camera operator to record the journey, and a variety of vehicles decorated with signs to make the 6-day pilgrimage. The issues were the rights of patients to choose their medicine and the rights of prisoners to be treated with human dignity. It has become so much more. Combining resources and ideas, we now see a caravan of vehicles, a prison built on a flat bed, carrying a patient in a wheelchair, signs and banners of every organization that cares to send one or join us, and micro radio carrying the message for miles around us. A parade of people of all colors, gathered to celebrate hope and put faces on the victims of this war. We will march on 13 correctional institutes, spreading hope to prisoners. We will talk to citizens and neighbors as we walk the quiet roads towards Jeb Bush and the Florida State Capitol Building. Together we will see the end of the drug war.

Sixteen patients and a variety of supporters are starting at the prison in Starke at 9:00 am on March 24, 2000 and will travel by wheelchair 160 miles to the Capitol of Florida. More than thirty people are committed to take this journey. Sixteen patients will say, "I think pot is good for me." Cathy Jordan, confined to her wheelchair, and Greg Scott, a man living with AIDS, will be met by camera crews provided by to make this historic pilgrimage. For six days, moving across North Florida, we will proclaim the truth about the drug war to the thousands of people we meet along the route. Traveling through Florida cities, large and small, we are going to make waves.

When we arrive in Tallahassee, we will parade to the Capitol, proclaiming amnesty for patients and prisoners caught in the drug war. For every mother and every son, we will march. For everyone afraid to speak, we will make our voices heard. Not with a war cry, but a whisper and the sound of four hundred drums echoing like a heart beat.

It may be time for you to get on this wave. Only you can decide. This journey is the biggest thing that many of us have ever dreamed. For every bit of time or energy we put into this, the rewards are tremendous. Please join us in this adventure--for an hour, for a mile, for a day or the week. Meet us in Tallahassee on March 30, 2000.

For more information on the Journey for Justice check out the web site:

Contact the journey by e-mail at: or
Ph: 321-253-3673 or 321-255-9790

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