|Photo: Jessica Vogel-Laberdee|
|Jessica Vogel-Laberdee: “We need the voice of a great man like yourself to speak out about the unjustice that my dad is facing”|
The daughter of a Spokane, Washington medical marijuana dispensary operator recently indicted in federal court is calling on legendary country singer and cannabis advocate Willie Nelson for help.
In an email to the Spokane Spokesman Review, Jessica Vogel-Laberdee asks Nelson, who plays locally at Northern Quest Casino on Sunday, “to speak out about the unjustice that my dad is facing.”
“I am aware that you owe us nothing, and doing this would be a gesture that would fulfill only my wildest dreams,” Vogel-Laberdee wrote, “but I am sending you this because there is a chance that you will step into my dad’s shoes (if only for a moment) and decide to take action.”
Nelson is on vacation and is unavailable for comment, according to his publicist. Willie’s had a few pot-related legal hassles of his own, with a judge recently rejecting a proposed plea bargain that would have resolved a misdemeanor marijuana possession case with a fine.
|Federally indicted dispensary operator Jerry Wayne Laberdee|
Vogel-Laberdee hopes Nelson will help her father, whom she described as “completely unconventional,” saying he “has the audacity to stand up for his belief that all people deserve to be happy, even in the face of illness.”
“He does not make any money for what he does, but he dedicates all of his time to his cause,” Vogel-Laberdee said. “He is a man filled with wonderful visions and has taught me to be an individual in a world of drones.”
Jerry Wayne Laberdee is one of five people federally charged with marijuana crimes for their work at Spokane dispensaries. The shops were raided by federal agents three weeks after being told to shut down.
Laberdee and Medical Herb Providers co-owner Dennis Whited — who began using medicinal cannabis after he lost his leg in a 2009 car crash — are charged with distribution of marijuana, which carries up to five years in federal prison; “manufacture of marijuana,” which carries five to 40 years; and “maintaining a drug-involved premise,” which carries up to 20 years.
All five defendants also face a forfeiture charge calling for them to give up any property or proceeds from their alleged “illegal operations.”
Here is the text of Vogel-Laberdee’s letter in its entirety.