After almost a decade supporting MAPS, and watching the remarkable progress being made because MAPS’ work is actually starting to have a noticeable influence on mainstream society and our governmental agencies, I have never been more proud to be a member. I also want to make note that my relationship with you guys started with your support of me, and not vice-versa.
My first year of Bulletins were sent to me sans donation, starting in 1997, as I was a “psychedelic prisoner.” The request to have the Bulletins sent to me was made by my friend Eric Ondler, who had worked on MAPS’ first Website around that time. Getting your Bulletin while incarcerated was the most rewarding feeling imaginable.
I’d felt I was doing an important service for my city’s population before I was incarcerated, and having that recognition by MAPS – that I wasn’t alone and that somebody out there had sympathy for my situation – was priceless. I wasn’t upset about my being locked up so much as I was upset about *why* I was locked up. That somebody else saw this was most vindicating.
In the court system, you can’t explain to the judges, prosecutors, cops, or anybody for that matter, “It’s OK, you can let me slide this time, I was doing mankind a *service* you see! You guys have it all wrong about *what was on that paper*! Let me explain…”
So, you sit quietly, play the game, and fake being sorry for what you did, but after a while it really starts to drag on your conscience. You start to question whether or not things you *thought* you’d learned or experienced on psychedelics actually happened. Where was this universal consciousness, now that The Man had got to me?
The MAPS Bulletin provided me a firm anchor that everything was indeed how I thought it was with life and the true nature of things. Furthermore, considering the crash course I was still undergoing at the time on how backward our society’s laws really are, and the mindsets of the people charged with administering “punishment for my crimes,” it isn’t a stretch at all to say that MAPS restored much of my faith in humanity in general.
In a nutshell, what I’m saying is that the free Bulletin mailings that you provide to psychedelic prisoners are truly one of the least visible, likely often underappreciated, yet most important and rewarding services MAPS undertakes. I encourage you to continue it with the knowledge that you are doing more for these people than you know, and rest well knowing that though your weapon is merely ink and paper, your impact on individuals who are the recipient of your gift is truly enormous. It’s really an honor to serve and support MAPS’ work now, after what MAPS did for me 10 years ago. •
If you or someone you know is a Drug War POW who would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the Bulletin, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org