I was an MDMA manufacturer in the ’80s. Then fled the country as a fugitive for 20 years.

Finally in 2010, at the age of 65 and facing 15 years, I presented myself at the U.S. Embassy and turned myself in…I’m very proud of my life. I believe that manufacturing MDMA and Heaven was the right thing to do. Even though I have not taken any psychedelics since 1991, I feel that the insights I gained from my experiences with those substances have empowered me to live a righteous and courageous life. It’s criminal that my government has made them a crime. My goal now is to participate in the conversation about the idiocy of the War on Drugs, which is, of course, actually a war on us. We need to stop prohibition and legalize.

I was taken to the U.S. in chains and eventually transported to New Mexico where the same federal prosecutor who’d pounded his shoe into the carpet was at the same desk waiting for me. Luckily, I had a fantastic legal team. We decided to delay proceedings for about two years, so I would have served some time. Then we made a plea agreement with the prosecutor in which I pleaded guilty to nine years. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines leave little room for modifying sentences, but judges are able to make changes in special circumstances and if they are willing to do the extensive paperwork. My sentencing judge had shown a willingness to adjust sentences in the past, so we focused on her. We wrote a long legal document that covered much of the paperwork that she had to fill out to ease her burden. We made a presentation that I was a good person—I’d never been in trouble before, and I hadn’t been in trouble since. A letter-writing campaign by my sister and an old friend produced 46 letters of recommendation to the judge, the most she’d ever received. Many were from college buddies who were now doctors, lawyers, and professors. And folks in Belize put together a video of people that I’d worked with—mayors, executive directors, and teachers—speaking directly to the judge, telling her that I was a good guy and please send me back to Belize as soon as possible. In other words, we argued that I didn’t need more jail time, that I’d been punished for two years, that I was already rehabilitated, and that I needed to return to Belize and continue raising my son. The judge agreed and let me go.

Original Article (Psympmosia):
I was an MDMA manufacturer in the ’80s. Then fled the country as a fugitive for 20 years.
Artwork Fair Use: Wingchi Poon

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