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Feb-12-2020 14:30printcomments

Serving Time With Your Child: One Mom's Prison Journey

73,818 people are currently serving Federal time for drug offenses.

Lance Gloor, Sheridan FCI
Mother of inmate Lance Gloor, Tracie Gloor-Pike visits Sheridan FCI in Oregon as often as she can.
Lance is one of many "Cannabis POW"s.
Photo: Gloor family

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - As the cannabis industry presses on throughout the country, people such as 41-year old Lance Gloor #44270-086 continue to endure lengthy sentences behind bars for engaging in what many are making millions from, cultivation of marijuana.

The lines of legality regarding cannabis can be blurry. In a time when state law and Federal law does not match, many people like Lance continue to fall through the cracks.

His “crime” occurred in Washington State where regulations for the cannabis industry are ever changing. Currently, Lance is four years into a 10 year Federal sentence and is housed in Oregon, also a state rolling in cannabis currency.

In the meantime, Lance Gloor is not the only one serving time for his so-called crime. His mother, Tracie, is serving that time right along with him. Lamenting to followers on social media, her pleads for her son's safety and freedom are unmatched.

She is going through her own personal hell and in her heart is every bit as trapped by the legal system as her son. Standing alongside her is her husband and her grandchild, Lance’s daughter. They too mourn the passing time without their loved one.

Be that as it may, the grief of a mother under any circumstance is incomparable. Tracie speaks up on behalf of her family in hopes that their story may help others find peace within their own trials of life.

While reading the following words, please keep in mind that currently 73,818 people are serving Federal time for drug offenses, that is 45.4% of all prisoners, according to the BOP (bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp).

A significant number of these people are nonviolent and/or have a mental illness. Some are cannabis related, although it is unclear the exact numbers. What we do know is that approximately 73,818 American mothers are crying into their pillows at night because the system has unfairly deemed their child un-salvageable.

In Her Own Words:

MH: Tell us what it felt like to be sitting in the courtroom waiting for someone else to decide his fate.

Tracie Gloor-Pike: I actually did not think my son would be taken away from us any longer. I actually thought he would be coming home with us. To this day, I still can’t believe it!

MH: What went through your mind the moment you realize your son will be taken from you?

Tracie Gloor-Pike: I was trying my hardest to WAKE UP! Wake up from a terrible nightmare! I could not wake up! I had to stand in this cold, heartless Federal Court room crumbling inside with my heart racing out of control as I watched my son being taken out of the room. I could hear the painful shackles and heavy chains being put back on him!
I wanted to scream! I wanted to scream! But I couldn’t!!
I had to make sure my son was not in hearing distance of my breakdown. Once I was sure... I let it out! It took all I had to keep standing. I broke down crying & crying & crying out of control. I was trying to stop because my husband & parents were there suffering also. I was trying to be strong for them and everyone else there. I am still to this day trying to be strong for Lance and everyone else! The burden is so heavy.

MH: Can you describe the experience of visiting a loved one who is in federal prison?

Cannabis POW Lance Gloor's mother works for his freedom.

Tracie Gloor-Pike: My broken heart was so blessed to be able to visit my son in prison so I CAN SEE FOR MYSELF HE IS OK, at least OK on the outside. I know he is hurting and wasting away on the inside just like I am.
The quick greeting hug is not enough. The monitored conversations are so impersonal, but cherished because I miss my son so much! I don’t want the visit to end because I miss my son & I can’t stand the quick see you later hug! It tears me up so bad inside when I feel Lance’s heart breaking again!
I feel him doing all he can not to break down and cry. He goes and sits against the cold concrete wall and watches us walk away. He watches us line up at the exit door waiting for the guard to escort us out. I keep looking back as I am walking away to the exit door, holding back my heart breaking cry and tears the best I can.
Sometimes he positions himself behind a beam so we can’t see each other. I know why. You know why too. He is hurting more than my words can express. I am always polite to the guards and try not to let them see my pain. When I walk out of the prison I am doing all I can to contain my emotions. When I get in the car I can feel myself letting my guard down.
When I am off prison property and out of sight I let go of my emotions. I find myself going over and over our precious visit. Things I wanted to say to Lance but didn’t either because we ran out of time or I forgot...
There was one visit when I watched him leave through the exit door. He went through there with a group of other inmates. When he looked back at me I could see the plea for HELP in his expression. Then the door shut. I could hear the painful shackles and heavy chains again.
There was another visit when Lance was in solitary confinement and I made myself go visit him against his wishes. I needed to SEE FOR MYSELF THAT HE WAS OK. The visit was not personal at all. Our visit was via a monitor. Lance was in a small room somewhere and I was in a small room just off the visiting area.
I sat there doing my best to stay composed and visit with my son over the phone and a monitor. I could tell he was doing the same, trying his best to stay composed too. No greeting hug, no see you later hug. Just a dark screen when our visit was over.

MH: How do you feel knowing your son is serving Federal time in a state with a billion dollar cannabis industry?

Tracie Gloor-Pike: I am extremely angry & hurt. I feel completely let down by Washington State. SHAME ON YOU WASHINGTON STATE, SHAME ON YOU!! Around every corner there is someone making a profit on marijuana. Several people, from start to finish, who had a hand in putting my son behind Federal Prison bars are making a profit one way or another in this industry while my son is locked up. SHAME ON YOU WASHINGTON STATE!

MH: Your fierce dedication does not end with your son. What compels you to fight for strangers while you are living through your own version of hell?

Tracie Gloor-Pike: I was born with the spiritual gift of compassion/mercy. I was shocked to find out (that) there are so many people in prison for cannabis, some serving LIFE. The more fiercely we fight for Lance’s freedom the more I find out.
The horrible pain I constantly feel, I do not want others to feel. I do not like to see others being mistreated. I do not like to see families being literally torn apart and destroyed. I do not like to see precious valuable lives being wasted, precious valuable time being lost forever.
I cannot turn a blind eye when others need help. Lance always says, "HELPING OTHERS IS VERY IMPORTANT."
Lance was fiercely fighting for other’s freedom before he was snatched away from us. Thomas Landreth was one of the cannabis prisoners I met through Lance’s fierce fight for freedom. I am desperately trying to fill Lance’s huge shoes in his absence. Another thing Lance always says, “ONE TEAM ONE DREAM.”

MH: How do you cope?

Tracie Gloor-Pike: It is only by the grace of God that I cope! He provides me with his strength... He provides me with HOPE! I trust the Lord with my son. Hard to believe he loves Lance more than I do, but he does!

MH: In light of all that you and your family have been through, what does the word ‘Justice’ mean to you?

Tracie Gloor-Pike: Nothing! I am still living a HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE!

***************

As do numerous families in America, Lance’s family maintains hope he will be freed by President Trump. An online petition on behalf of Lance is circulating requesting a favorable decision in his quest for clemency. To sign this petition, visit: www.change.org/p/dear-president-trump-free-lance-gloor.

Support in these matters is greatly appreciated. Public outcry and advocacy is a crucial component to the process as to stand out among the crowd of applicants. According to the Department of Justice (www.justice.gov/pardon/clemency-statistics), President Trump is facing a stack of 11,510 petitions.

To this date, he has granted six clemencies and denied 98 petitions.

The clemency process is daunting and open ended. One never knows if or when their petition will be reviewed. Seemingly, there is no rhyme or reason for how some are accepted and others denied, leaving prisoners and families waiting on the edge of hope indefinitely.

If you would like to learn more about nonviolent drug offenders, becoming an advocate, or more information about Lance’s cannabis case visit: www.candoclemency.com/lance-gloor.

Here you will find details about what Lance has gone through along with many others who hang onto the hope of someday reuniting with their loved ones and proving they can make a positive difference in their communities.

_________________________________________

Mindi Hall, Writer is Co-founder at Voices Of The Cannabis War, Volunteer at Freedom Grow and Volunteer at CAN-DO Foundation - Justice Through Clemency. She has been a KBOO Community Radio Volunteer and Cchi2016 RADIO, Voices Of The Cannabis War Show. You can reach Mindi Hall at thetigerfairytrap@gmail.com.

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