How to Help Women Behind Bars for Marijuana will be helping with a letter writing campaign for women currently serving time on marijuana-related charges. Guidelines here.

Tomorrow marks the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s ill-fated “War on Drugs” campaign. Millions of dollars have been spent and countless lives have been wasted or irrevocably altered. As an ongoing series, we will spotlight various women behind bars due to egregious marijuana-related sentencing and how you can help.

This is your chance to move beyond outrage and reach out to women who need your support more than ever. Prison is a profoundly alienating and traumatizing experience. A letter to inmate is a very powerful tool. You can send words of support and inspiration or simply treat them like a pen pal. Remember, these women undoubtedly need some normalcy in their lives. A “day in your life” letter may seem dull to you, but very rewarding to them. Reach out! Show your support, share your story. Studies show that contact from the outside world bolsters self-esteem and helps alleviate depression and anxiety disorders caused by prison life.

Simply put your letter in the body of an email and send to [email protected] Keep it under 1000 words. No attachments please. In the subject heading, put Patricia Spottedcrow’s name.

Guidelines here.

Here’s some additional tips on writing to a prisoner.

This month, send a letter to: Patricia Spottedcrow

Patricia Marilyn Spottedcrow, 25, currently resides in Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Oklahoma where she’ll be spending the next nine years. For the sale of $31 of marijuana, she will live without her four young children and husband and no longer work in nursing homes. She had no prior convictions. Spottedcrow began her sentence on Dec. 29, 2010.

Letter Gidelines here.

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished actor and director with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can often be seen surfing or singing karaoke at the local dive bar. Contact: maryjane {at }

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