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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Editor’s note: It’s been one year since the death of medical marijuana provider/activist Richard Flor in federal custody. We must never forget the monstrous injustice of what was done to Richard Flor, for it serves as a stark example of the cruel inhumanity of the federal prohibition on marijuana. These remembrances of Flor were compiled by tireless Seattle-based activist Kari Boiter.  

 

RichardandSherryFlor
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Richard and Sherry Flor in happier times

My Husband

by Sherry Flor

With the bluest blue eyes and
a smile that brightens his whole face up,
he won my heart and will have it for the rest of my life!

Richard died by the hands of the U.S. Government one year ago
and with tears in my eyes every day,
I still have not been able to say goodbye to him.

but I will always have him with me, no matter what.
When I look up in the clouds and see that cloud shaped like a bear or butterfly,
I think of him because that’s one of the things that we loved to do,
just sitting around together, showing each other the next thing we saw in the clouds…

He is so missed, Richard Flor ~ my husband.

 

An Open Letter from Richard Flor’s Imprisoned Business Partner

By Chris Williams

Richard,

To say you are missed is not enough. To mention your kindness and sense of humor is not enough. I think of the time we spent working together. I think back to the dinners and laughs we shared in Miles City. The hardships you helped me through. The kindness you showed my son and me. I keep these memories alive.

My mourning of the loss of a loved one has never dwelled on past and loss. Living with daily resentment is not for me. That does not mean the injustice done to you and others is forgotten. I keep your energy alive in my memories. I strive to facilitate change, to end injustice like the one that fell upon you. I hope that we can prevent unnecessary imprisonment and death.

Thank you for you service to our country in the military. Thank you for the compassion shown to me and to my family. Thank you for the help you gave so many sick people.

I have magical moments every day, thoughts of you and others that have passed from this world. Your energy will live on through the lives you have touched. My time in prison and my suffering are nothing when compared to the price you and your family have paid. You are a true martyr for the medical marijuana movement.

I will do my best to change this unjust system. No one should have to die with chains on their ankles. No one should spend time in prison for growing a plant.

Peace be with you, Richard. Your kindness live on in the lives of us all.

From the Dhammapada

“Relatives and companions REJOICE when a long-absent person returns from afar. Just so, in passing from this world to the next, the merit we have made receives us, as a family does the return of a beloved relative.”

~ Chris Williams

 

I Miss My Dad

By Kristin Flor

It’s been a year since I last saw my dad alive. He was shackled to a hospital bed after months of neglect. His life came to a tragic end because our plant is federally illegal. As he desperately fought to survive long enough for me to say goodbye, I arrived at the hospital in time to hear his silent, lonely, tormented soul shouting to me. I heard my dad’s final message loud and clear.

Kristin Floor, the "Marijuana Is Safer" chimp, and Jared Allaway
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Kristin Flor, the “Marijuana Is Safer” Monkey, and Jared Allaway

To most people, we lost the first registered caregiver in Montana. To me, I lost my King and my best friend. His death has made me feel more spoiled than ever, bringing me the most amazing friends from the marijuana community! They’ve been keeping me strong, helping me heal, and they wait with me for my mom to come home from prison. When I stumble, they bring laughter into my life, they wipe my tears and make it easy to get back up.

I wish I could thank my dad for all the amazing people his death has brought me, and all his selfless sacrifices. If I could, I would especially thank him for all the pain and suffering that has lead the best of the best warriors to me. They are all special angels that hold me together, help carry his ashes and help me fight injustice.

I would thank him for standing in the food bank lines when I was a teenager and he was broke and we were hungry. I would tell him how much I appreciate him for spoiling us with food when he had money and I would thank him for remembering to give back to the food banks! I’d hug him for going broke to buy me a washer and dryer when I was a young mom, so my kids and I didn’t have to go to a dangerous laundromat to wash clothes. I am also thankful to all the prisoners who hand washed my dad’s clothes so he could focus on staying alive.

I would bow to him for encouraging me to stay in Girl Scouts until I was in the tenth grade, despite what friends said about me.  That taught me not to care what people think!

I feel like someday I will be able to talk his ear off again and tell him stories about the market. I would tell him about Monkey’s kind heart and how he isn’t scared to put on a monkey costume and wear Jared’s “Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol” t-shirt. I would tell him how their passion for our plant motivates me to keep wearing the apron I made for our prisoners!

I can’t wait to see my dad at the crossroads. I’m going to tease him about being Santa because the coroner told me that he reminded her of Santa Claus (my kids and I have always said the same thing) and said that my dad gave everyone in the room a warm feeling when they unzipped the bag with his fragile body inside.

My dad didn’t have much to leave behind because the Feds stole everything, but his death has made me feel rich because his heart was filled with gold. My memories are priceless. R.I.P. Dad. XOXOXOXO

~ Kristin Flor

 

Richard Flor, You Taught Me A Lot

By Danielle Muggli

Friday, August 30, 2013.

Today marks one year since you, my friend, have walked on this Earth. Memories and thoughts always cross my mind; how it would have been if you hadn’t left.

You taught me a lot about integrity. Watching you in court, standing tall as they sentenced you, changed me inside forever. I now know what true injustice is. No longer am I afraid to live my life and stand up for what I believe in. They can’t keep me quiet.

I know you died unfairly, but not for one minute do I feel sorry for you. I celebrate you because you gave many people, including myself, the tools needed to be able to stand up for this cause. Look at the strength you gave Kristin 🙂

I tell your story proudly to so many people. You were always so warm and welcoming from the very first moment I met you and your family. I remember many times in Miles City when you and Sherry would randomly drive by and see me walking, immediately pull over and yell “Dani Girl!” It always made me feel special.

I also have to thank you for the many patients who are mutual friends in Miles City and for those who are unable to. Your presence is sorely missed. You helped so many, I wish I could list them all! You made their quality of life a hundred times better!

Richard, I am honored to have known you and hope that someday no one else will be prosecuted so unjustly as you were. I am glad I got hug you one last time. I was there and I saw it; they can’t deny what happened the day you where sentenced. You stood proud with your family, in your pastel pink button up shirt, proving what they say is true about only real men being able to pull off pink. Rest in peace, my friend. You will not be a forgotten casualty in this Drug War. Trust me.

~ Danielle Muggli

 

Richard Flor Lives On

By Kari Boiter

Dear Richard,

I didn’t have the pleasure of getting to know you, but your presence in my life is undeniable. The strange coincidences began on day one. At first, I couldn’t help wondering if you were watching over all of us. Today, I’m sure of it.

Kari Boiter
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Kari Boiter holds Richard Flor’s ashes

Of all the suburbs in all the cities in the world, what are the odds that your daughter Kristin and I would both relocate to the same neighborhood? We came from opposite directions and unwittingly chose houses within a mile of each other, almost like we were meeting halfway. Did you have something to do with that, Richard?

Next came the courthouse vigil to protest your death. There is no doubt that all of us experienced divine intervention that day. Did you purposely put Chris Williams on a collision course with Kristin and me, so we could stop him from being sent down the railroad tracks, never to be heard from again? Here it was – one week to the day after your death – and resting in peace clearly wasn’t on the agenda.

Chris’s federal trial was another important milestone in a long chain of serendipitous events. Talk about a dose of reality. The education I got in that federal courthouse could sink ships. It is strange to think that this life-changing experience never would have happened without Kristin and I attending the vigil in your honor.

Chris was convicted exactly three weeks after you passed from this world. As I fight for him and other prisoners with every fiber of my being, there are times when I can almost feel your tenacious spirit coursing through my veins.

Kristin gave me some of your ashes, knowing the enormous strength that I would draw from them. Have you enjoyed traveling around the country with me as I tell the masses about the ultimate sacrifice that you made? Were you impressed by the surroundings as I carried you through the halls of the White House? I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty (pun intended) of leaving some of your ashes behind on the luscious lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Feel free to visit President Obama in his sleep and bring him the clarity needed to do the right thing.

Even though you are gone, Richard, I have the good fortune of seeing glimmers of you in Kristin. Your determination and fun-loving nature shine through every time I talk to her! You must be so proud to see how far Kristin has come this past year – as a daughter, as a woman, as a parent and as an advocate for the voiceless. Do you break out in applause every time you see her do something wonderful to honor your memory?

Thank you for your dedication to freedom, Richard. I know it’s no consolation for the suffering that you endured at the hands of our government, but I will keep fighting until every last one of our POWs is free and the War on Drugs is a distant memory.

Yours truly,
Kari Boiter

 

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