Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Freddie Gray Was a Victim of the Drug War

Freddie Grey in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, where he lived.

Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man whose death in police custody on Apr. 19 sparked yesterday's riot in Baltimore, was arrested 18 times dating back to 2007 - 14 times for drug possession.

Here's his rap sheet: 

3/20/15: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance

• 3/13/15: Malicious destruction of property, second-degree assault

• 1/20/15: Fourth-degree burglary, trespassing

• 1/14/15: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute

• 12/31/14: Possession of narcotics with intent to distribute

• 12/14/14: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance

• 8/31/14: Illegal gambling, trespassing

• 1/25/14: Possession of marijuana

• 9/28/13: Distribution of narcotics, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, second-degree assault, second-degree escape

• 4/13/12: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, violation of probation

• 7/16/08: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute

• 3/28/08: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance

• 3/14/08: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to manufacture and distribute

• 2/11/08: Unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance

• 8/29/07: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, violation of probation

• 8/28/07: Possession of marijuana

• 8/23/07: False statement to a peace officer, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance

•  7/16/07: Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (2 counts)

Gray lived in the poverty-stricken Sandtown-Winchester section of Baltimore, described by the Baltimore Sun as such: "The unemployment rate there is about double the citywide average, and so is the poverty rate. Similarly, there are about twice as many liquor stores and tobacco outlets per capita in Sandtown Winchester as in the city as a whole. Fully a quarter of juveniles in that neighborhood had been arrested between 2005 and 2009. It had the worst domestic violence rate of any of the neighborhoods the health department analyzed and among the worst rates for non-fatal shootings and homicides. A quarter of the buildings are vacant, and the lead paint violation rate is triple the city average. (Gray and his sisters suffered from lead paint poisoning as children)decades of social and economic devastation have left the drug trade as the only viable option for many." 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.