Legalization without amnesty
Robert “Rosie” Rowbotham spent 20 years behind bars on charges of conspiracy to import possess and sell cannabis. He was released from prison in 1997. With cannabis legalization around the corner, he is arguing that amnesty should be part of the new government rules that will come into effect on Oct. 17. The 67-year-old is an alumnus of Rochdale College, an alternative school of sorts that sprung up near Yorkville in the city’s hippie heyday. Rowbotham was imprisoned for decades despite having prominent folks like Neil Young and prize-winning author Norman Mailer speak in his defence. At 47, he was released and now leads a quiet life in a bungalow in North York but strongly advocates for amnesty for individuals persecuted for laws that will no longer exist. “They put people in prison, even kids who were nailed for possession in high school and now can’t go to work in the [United] States,” Rowbotham told Post City. There is a growing call for cannabis amnesty after Oct. 17; although, the federal government has not yet announced any amnesty plans.
IMPRISONED FOR POT Rochdale College alum Robert Rowbotham spent 20 years behind bars.