Kristoffer Lewandowski is a husband, father, and a war veteran and former Marine. He was honorably discharged, and is a 100% service-related disabled Marine. Now he could be facing life in prison for growing six marijuana plants in Oklahoma. The plants weigh less than an ounce.
In June 2014, while still in the Marine Corp and stationed in Oklahoma, Lewandowski was reacting badly to the medication he took to treat his PTSD. He called for medical help, but the police showed up and found several marijuana plants in an insulated box in the garage. He was arrested and charged with felony marijuana cultivation, which, under Oklahoma’s marijuana laws, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
His wife told Truth in Media that Kristoffer was growing the plants for personal use, after pharmaceutical drugs did not work for his conditions. “He was just growing it for himself. He was on his way out of the military and just wanted to see if it would help with his mental health issues. He was taking 13 pills a day, and it was just killing his liver. He was having all these issues with his body and he just wanted to try something more natural to just see if he could do without that many pills a day. His medical marijuana treatments were absolutely effective.”
At a preliminary hearing in Oct 2014, “Judge Tayloe shook my husband’s hand; thanked him for his service and said go home and enjoy your family,” Whitney Lewandowski said. She stated that the Judge told Kristoffer he could return to California.
The Lewandowskis say their whereabouts were never unknown to the authorities or their bail bondsman. Court dates were continued several times and then Lewandowski’s lawyer quit over a monetary dispute.
Whitney Lewandowski said, “We tried to work with the DA’s office to see if he could do, like, a drug court or a mental health court, but he was denied both of those.”
Lewandowski mistakenly missed a court date while he was being treated by the VA in California. A fugitive warrant, issued by Judge Tayloe, was put out for his arrest in Oklahoma.
As he and his wife tried to pick their children up from pre-school one day, Federal Marshalls with guns surrounded the car and arrested Lewandowski. He was taken to Orange County jail in Santa Ana, California. Bail was set at $100,000 and he is currently awaiting extradition to Oklahoma.
Whitney Lewandowski is looking for a new attorney for her husband and trying to raise funds for his legal defense. The medical marijuana groups Weed 4 Warriors Project and Patients Out of Time are trying to help by generating publicity for Lewandowski. His supporters have also launched a Facebook page.
A petition through Change.org is urging leniency for him has and has generated over 112,000 signatures from people showing their support.