American poet, writer and radio maker, John Sinclair has made incalculable contributions to cannabis legalization and is celebrated as a heroic icon of American counterculture and of cannabis activism in particular. After he was arrested for giving two joints to an undercover narcotics officer in 1969 he was sentenced to the unusual punishment of 10 years for mere possession.
"It ain't fair, John Sinclair In the stir for breathing air" - John Lennon.
John's arrest and cruel sentence sparked the landmark 'Free John Now Rally' held in Ann Arbour, December 1971. Due to the continued pressure to release John, by his friends on the outside and his own campaigning, a huge event was planned to include John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, David Peel, Pete Seeger, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffmann, Jerry Rubin, and others. John Lennon recorded and dedicated the song "John Sinclair" to the cause, and included it on his album 'Some Time in New York City' (1972).
Thanks to this high profile contribution to the concert and the massive protests against Sinclair's imprisonment, the "Free John Now Rally" was an unimaginable success. After the gathering, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state's marijuana laws were unconstitutional. John was released from his cell three days after the freedom rally, after having served two of his ten year sentence. The arrest and release of John Sinclair remains an iconic success story for the counterculture movement and for worldwide cannabis liberation.