The Christ of Marijuana by Ed Sanders


East Village Other

It makes one weep that a man like John Sinclair is imprisoned when criminals like Kenneth Conboy, the board of directors of Minneapolis Honeywell (the fragmentation bomb company) and Melvin Laird are allowed to roam about destroying the noble Spirit of humanity.
John Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years in the Southern Michigan Prison for passing out, free, two joints to a bearded undercover agent who with a policewoman posing as his wife, was running a psychedelic candle shop in the Detroit poetry-rock-publishing community. 10 years for 2 cigarettes of marijuana, the benevolent herb of Ra. 10 years! One ought to be given awards for turning on a cop. Instead he may be forced to tithe one-seventh of his allotted earthly time for dispensing 2 items of pleasure!
On Friday, August l, a Michigan court of appeals refused to grant an appeal bond so that Sinclair might be free to join his expectant wife and baby while the case is considered in the various appeal courts. Perhaps Sinclair will find some justice in the U.S. Supreme Court but that might not occur until I971″. John Sinclair must be freed on Monday August 4, John’s lawyers, Charles Ravitz and Sheldon Otis, will have carried the hearing to the Michigan Supreme Court in a further attempt to get a bond set. Should bond not be granted on the state level, then the lawyers will carry the hassle into the federal courts. In the meantime, one of the most benevolent leaders of our era will be locked up away from his beloved music and poetry, surrounded by beastish guards and godless walls of metal.
Is John Sinclair a Sauceroid? Who is this ravening beast of porn-smut that the police and courts are so anxious to remove from the civilization for I0 years? John Sinclair is a successful leader and that is what it’s really all about. Since I964 he has labored with brilliance and legendary energy to create an integrated community of artists, first in Detroit with the Artist-Writers Workshop and then in Ann Arbor where he set up the famous Trans-love Energies community. His success has been amazing. John has that rarest quality among leaders, the ability to inspire love energy and self-confidence in fellow creators so that as the Trans-love community grew, the energy was directed toward art and stability.
His printing presses have produced over the years books and magazines of brilliant quality in the fields of poetry and music criticism. Wherever he has lived, he has done much to establish communal housing for artists and musicians. Countless are the myriads of leaflets and broadsides spewed out by Sinclair in order to instruct, foment thrill and win the favor of the young who were just learning the true nature of western civilization. So, Sinclair’s open loving community of houses and storefronts became a magnetic mecca attracting hundreds of strong dedicated radical creators. This pissed off the authorities. Here was a long-haired maniac telling the truth to the young with well reasoned fervor and total devotion. This man had to be stomped off the set. John Sinclair’ was the Jesus Christ of Marijuana. Only this time there are many of us ready to die defending our self-created culture within the rotting fabric of America. Our religion is pure. Our hearts are fierce. The message is this: sharing porn-mammals will conquer the Aeon.
East Village Other John Sinclair

Vol 4, No, 36, East Village Other, Aug. 6, 1969

During the past months John has been most active in managing the MCS, a rock group that has rocketed forward with John into national prominence under the aegis of social change, rock-lust and Ra music. Also during this period he was co-founder of the White Panther Party and has been serving as Minister of Information. Now, let us blend in the fact that for three years he has been active in LEMAR, the organization to legalize marijuana.
People like “Judge” Robert Colombo, who sentenced Sinclair to the 10 year term would probably like to murder him, because they are angered at what they consider to be John’s real crime: standing up tall in the hail of paralyzed rat vomit and napalm that is the psyche of America and declaring himself to be a man freed from the repressive fascistic marijuana legislations.
What can we do? A difficult question. First, there are four letters you can write immediately. l) to Judge Robert Colombo, Detroit Recorders Court, Detroit, Michigan; 2) to a Mr. Callahan who is Wayne County prosecutor (Detroit) and has requested that John’s sentence be upped to 20- 40 years; 3) to Governor William Millikin, State Capitol Building, Lansing, Michigan, 48904; 4) to the Warden, Southern Michigan Prison, Jackson, Michigan. Remember to make your letters calm enough to be read and forceful but not threatening. We must exhaust certain legal avenues before we may have to Jesse James him out of the slams.
Money, as always is crucial at this point. The telephone company, in a suspiciously conspiratorial manner, cut off all the Trans-Love phones just as John was being sentenced so that coordination with the media at this important moment was halted. Money is needed immediately. People can help by organizing concerts, film showings, poetry readings, dinners, pot sales, etc. in their own areas to raise the incredible sums needed to spew something into the Supreme Court venue. Send your Iivesaving contributions
John Sinclair Defense Fund
Trans-love Energies
I510 Hill
Ann Arbor, Michigan
We may allow several months to pass attempting to free John Sinclair on bail and attempting to reason with the media, Senators, liberals, legislators, etc. to secure some trace of justice. If we fail, we shall he forced to mount a campaign to alter, if necessary, the nature of the government of the tState of Michigan to free one of the most important men of our time. We will mount a campaign of 10’s of 1000’s of the pot smokers of America to spill thru creep vales of the heartland to tear down the walls of Jackson prison. We shall not be stopped!! Every set of lungs filled with the benevolent smoke of God is locked up with John Sinclair this very moment as he sits reft of his godly lion mane of hair, his books of poetry and the sweet comfort of feminine conjoinment alone an forlorn in a castle of satan. In the name of Jesus, Buddha, Thoth, Jehovah, Aphrodite, Poesy, Justice, Peace and Communality, we shall bring our brother forth into the light of freedom!!! Freedom!! Freedom Colombo!
Freedom, Michigan! We have the God-Breath.

–Ed Sanders, published in the East Village Other, Aug, 6, 1969

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