Le­gal­iza­tion with­out amnesty

Midtown Post - - News -

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.

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