In many states, $31 in marijuana sales may land an individual in drug court, mandatory counseling or with a misdemeanor fine. However, this was not the case for Patricia Spottedcrow, 26, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Instead, Spottedcrow, a mother of four, was sentenced to 10 years at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, Oklahoma for what amounted to in the court records as a “dime bag.” Her conviction date was October 21, 2010.
Spottedcrow, of Kingfisher, Oklahoma had no prior convictions. Because her children were in close proximity, Spottedcrow was convicted on possession of a controlled substance in the presence of a minor as well as distribution of a controlled substance, for which she is still serving until March 30, 2016 according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections website. Spottedcrow’s mother, Delita Starr, was also convicted but whose sentence was suspended in order to care for Spottedcrow’s children.
According to an article from the Tulsa World, Spottedcrow has made use of her time, waiting for the day when she will be released. This includes finishing her GED, taking parenting classes, and participating in Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous and faith-based programs.
Since Spottedcrow’s conviction, she has had a groundswell of support through the Internet and social media sites such as Causes through Facebook. One particular page, “Parole for Spottedcrow!” features the names and addresses of Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board members in order for supporters to write letters.
Indian Country Today Media Network contacted the Eddie Warrior Correctional Center for an interview request, but one could not be arranged by press time.
An early parole hearing for Spottedcrow has been granted by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for when it convenes on April 17-20. Spottedcrow’s hearing will not be scheduled until April 6.