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Album takes aim at marijuana laws

Jul. 6, 2013


Karey Lee Woolsey’s childhood friend and manager, Sarah Castellano, set up a Facebook page on behalf of Woolsey. The page has grown to more than 650 friends, most of whom will likely buy his CD when it is released Tuesday.

He will also rely on marijuana activists to buy it and spread the word, possibly pushing his album onto the Billboard charts.

“If every person who thinks marijuana should be legalized would buy my CD, I’d have the most popular album in history,” he said.

Castellano said any profit from album sales is going to the “Free Karey Lee” organization, which uses Woolsey’s story to “bring awareness to the unjust marijuana laws, as well as promoting Karey Lee’s music while incarcerated, through advertising and campaigning.”

Castellano got involved “to find a way to make some noise for changing the marijuana laws,” and using Woolsey’s music was a good way to do it, she said.

“The more he and I talked and sorted out the what-ifs, the bigger and more real it all came to be.”

Woolsey said one of his strongest arguments in the fight to legalize marijuana is why the drug is on the same schedule — Schedule One — as heroin, meth and crack-cocaine. Drug schedules list the different drugs that are considered illegal in Florida, and Schedule One drugs are considered highly addictive, according to the schedules.

“How did this get so screwed up?” he said. It has been proven that marijuana has a medicinal value, he added. “Why not use it to our advantage? Pump up the economy, help sick people and stop locking up individuals for decades for such a victimless crime.”

He said he sold marijuana because it was marijuana — and for the money — but said he could have made a lot more money selling other drugs. He said he is against other drugs and never viewed marijuana as harmful.

“How many people do you see that smoke a joint and get violent? Or want to rob someone? It just doesn’t happen.”

Despite that, he was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for trafficking in marijuana, conspiracy to sell the drug and witness tampering. He sits in a correctional institution in Yazoo City, Miss. His projected release is July 17, 2019.

It’s only a matter of time before Florida legalizes marijuana, he said, but it will likely be after his prison sentence is finished. Latest polling information shows that support for legalization in Florida has grown to 70 percent, and activists in the state seem to believe 2014 could be their year.

Woolsey likes to think he may have some influence if it ever happens, serving as much time as he is and feeding the cause through the “Free Karey Lee” movement online.

Woolsey said he’s releasing an album while incarcerated because “the marijuana movement has reached an all-time fever pitch.”

“I’m not screaming for legalization here. I’m wanting to make the federal laws make a little more sense,” he said. “I’m a perfect example of why the federal government needs to change the laws. I want to be the example. I want to bring awareness to the harsh laws they have in place, and the only way I know how to do it is through music. The time is now.”

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