Larry Duke is Free After Serving 26 Years on a Life Sentence for Pot!

Larry Duke is FREE AT LAST!

Larry Duke is FREE AT LAST!

We just got word via email from life for pot prisoner Larry Duke that he has gotten an immediate released. he received a compassionate release.  He served 26 years on a Life Sentence for Pot!

Many people have been asking exactly what Larry filed to get his Sentence Reduction.  Below is Larry’s email to CAN-DO’s Amy Povah, explaining in detail:

Good Morning Amy,

The RIS package is an internal attempt and measure to relieve overcrowding, and is completely separate and different than the Clemency Petition. It was started as an amendment to the Compassionate Release Policy Policy Statement 5050.49. The old policy statement was 5050.46.

Anyway, this has been an on going process for almost two years now. The amendment came in 2013. The new language for RIS (Reduction In Sentence) allowed submissions to be filed to the Director by Bureau Staff. Much in the same fashion as a 3582 (c) motion, only they installed an entirely new tracking system to ensure that the paperwork didn’t become misplaced or lost in the Red Tape.

What began here, and was initially filed by the Staff for me as Superior Achievement for having been the only federal prisoner to have attained a US Patent while incarcerated, they felt my rehabilitation efforts and attitude met the demands for new policy requirements contained in the new RIS policy language, which includes as reasons to request: “extraordinary and compelling reasons that the judge could not have known at the time of sentencing.”

The “qualifying process” set forth in the policy is rigid and begins with the Unit Team, then goes to the CMC Committee(Case Manager Coordinator Committee), then on to the Warden, then on to the Regional Office for their review, then to the Central Office in Washington, then to the General Counsel, then to the Director, then to the Attorney General.

Out of the 25 or so that were originally filed from this Institution, only me and one other man, and he is out at the Satellite Low, have made it through the entire required approval chain of command. All the rest have received formal letters of denial at whichever level they were denied at stating the exact reason for having been turned down. Each level seems to take several months to either clear or be rejected. The lady here that does the tracking on the computer can tell me if and when it moves by the entry dates appearing on her computer, and to which level it has gone. Three days before Christmas she told me my package had left the Director’s desk and had been moved to the Attorney General’s Office, and yesterday she told me it had been moved back to the Director, so we will see.

CAN-DO first heard about Larry Duke through Beth Curtis who created the Life For Pot website. Beth is the Godmother of all Pot Lifers and works tirelessly to garner support for them.  She was awakened to this issue when her own brother, John Knock received a life sentence for pot.

CAN-DO VP Cheri Sicard wrote an article about Larry Duke that was published in Toke Signals last month.

And, almost a year ago today, Ladybud Magazine published an article written by Larry Duke entitled Watching the Colorado Pot Rush from Prison which sums up his feelings of being locked up for life while watching a televised special on CNBC about people who were selling pot, legally.

For more details about Larry’s case, click here.

See image of Larry’s email below:


Best email ever!!!


This email was sent to Amy Povah on 2/4/2015 about Larry’s RIS (compassionate release) package.

LARRY RONALD DUKE (40734019)  2/4/2015 9:10:24 PM

Hey Amy Ray,

Maybe your instincts are right? They told me today that my RIS package had been moved from the Attorney General’s Office back to the Director Of The Bureau Of Prison’s Office, but they didn’t say whether or not it had been approved or disapproved, but I am excited! I think I’ll go back tomorrow and ask her again exactly what she said. I think I went blank and went into an anxiety attack! When I got back to my cell I sat down and started back to work on some drawings I have been doing to the suspension system on the train, and I noticed my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t draw circles inside my template. I haven’t experienced anything that emotional since Viet Nam. I use to shake like that after a firefight was over, sometimes so bad I couldn’t light a cigarette, so maybe the shaking was an omen for me? Whatever, I’m fine now. Just wanted to share the news! Unfortunately, no one still has any idea what all this means, especially me? Guess we will soon see, huh? Have a great evening……Ciao, Larry

Larry recently named CAN-DO Founder Amy Povah, “Miss Sassy” because she chastised him for being pessimistic about whether things would ever change – She assured him things were changing…here is some of that exchange:

LARRY RONALD DUKE on 3/1/2015 6:34:47 PM wrote

Go get ’em Miss Sassy!

No doubt you are on a roll! The changes in attitudes and the changes in latitude we are witnessing are cresting in several different segments of our society right now! None of which are merely cause by something falling from the sky! All of what we see shimmering beneath the surface are results generated by former and current actions. Largely actions created by people like you who get off their asses and actually do something to institute change! Your direct actions with this Bill Maher thing is already huge, and the ripple affect from it is growing like a snowball rolling down hill! Thanks for the update and the e-alert!……Ciao, Larry
—–Provah, Amy on 3/1/2015 12:51 PM wrote:

A few years ago, I would have completely agreed with you – but the truth of the matter is that you can’t feel what’s happening out here. The wind is changing rapidly!!! There is a shift that is taking place and it’s transforming things.

This is why I am SO BUSY because the momentum is growing but it will NOT happen if people do NOTHING. I sent that package to Bill Maher – he slammed it out of the park on his show this past week; it went VIRAL with all the groups tweeting it, sending it out in e-alerts, putting on their website – but it doesn’t happen by magic.  Then, the following Sunday, John Legend and Common gave a great Oscar speech about there being “more black men in prison today than we had slaves – a quote my good friend, Jack Cole has been using for over 10 years and is in my film 420-The Documentary.  It’s finally gone mainstream… (thanks to The New Jim Crow and many organizations laying the ground work…)

Amy got even sassier so we’ll just leave off here.

Here is a copy of the COURT ORDER granting Duke’s motion for COMPASSIONATE RELEASE:



Larry Duke - FREE AT LAST!!!

Larry Duke – FREE AT LAST!!!

3 comments on “Larry Duke is Free After Serving 26 Years on a Life Sentence for Pot!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top