“I am an unrepentant ganja man. I refuse to accept any criminality regarding marijuana.”
~ James Tranmer, serving de-facto life for marijuana
By Cheri Sicard
A true hero of the movement, James Tranmer has never wavered from his convictions, despite having the full weight of the United States federal government thrown at him. Unlike most defendants who are hauled into court and try to disavow their involvement with the thing that brought them there, James Tranmer proudly and defiantly admitted to his marijuana use.
A priest in the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, a sect of Rastafarianism, Tranmer considers cannabis a sacrament, and considers his prosecution religious persecution. While he remains outspoken on the topic to this day, he was equally so during his sentencing hearing, a fact that some have speculated might have influenced US District Judge Lacy Collier into giving him a longer sentence.
“I’m an herb man, I’ve always been an herb man for more than 30 years,” Tranmer told the judge at sentencing. “The herb is a sacrament. Ganja is my sacrament. America is a sick nation spiritually … you cannot win this fight against marijuana. If you fight against the herb, you fight against creation. I will take anything you give me for ganja. You can’t take ganja away from the people. Ganja is what is given by God for the people and you can’t take that away from them.”
She in return gave him 35 years (which is 420 months! – Editor) for the “crime” of helping to finance his son Brian’s marijuana smuggling venture. Brian served 13 years and is now released.
James was first introduced to marijuana in 1966 while attending a friend’s bachelor party. He liked it then and says his esteem and admiration for this mystical plant continues.
Tranmer says, “I have smoked it, eaten it, brewed it in tea, and have always enjoyed the effect it has on me. It is impossible to duplicate the feelings of euphoria I experience when I fire up the ganja.”
He continues, “I’ve grown it, packaged it, transported it, imported it, distributed it, sold it, given it away, and done with all the things which society has found objectionable, and I have never felt as though I had in any way transgressed the divine moral laws that govern mankind…and womankind. I’ve done many things I have later regretted and considered shameful, but none of these acts included my activities with the precious weed. I have always and probably will always as long as I still breathe, champion the unfathomable and countless properties of this fine, misunderstood herb.”
Sadly, unless he receives Presidential clemency, James Tranmer will have to champion the cause of his religious sacrament from behind bars. He will be over 80 years old by the time of his scheduled release.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can bring some sunshine into a prisoner’s day by sending a card or letter. Write to James Tranmer here:
James Tranmer # 17547-050
PO Box 1000
Milan, MI 48160
Want to help more?
Here’s how to put money directly onto a prisoner’s books — no middle man, ALL of the money goes DIRECTLY to the prisoner – to be used for phone calls, email, legal expenses, food, personal hygiene items, etc.:
Send a postal money order (yes it must be a POSTAL money order or the Bureau of Prisons will not accept it) to:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Inmate Name, Inmate Register Number
(in this case James Tranmer # 17547-050)
Post Office Box 474701
Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001
Cheri Sicard is a dedicated cannabis activist, the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women (2015 Seal Press) and The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook (2012 Z-Dog Media). Her blog is www.CannabisCheri.com.