Karey Lee

Karey Lee's Story

Karey Lee Woolsey made a big mistake. Struggling as a touring musician and facing a mountain of bills, he took some friends up on their offer of an easy job for a big payday. The catch? He'd be selling large amounts of marijuana. "I knew it was illegal but at the same time I didn't realize how severe the penalties were for marijuana offenses."


When he got caught and charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, Karey Lee expected to be punished. Despite his strong standing in his community, no prior history, and the non-violent nature of his offense, the judge was forced to fallow minimum mandatory guidelines and sentenced Karey Lee to 13 years in a Federal Prison. Federal Prison can result in punishments that take more time than some murders.

"I did the crime and I know I deserved to be punished, but 13 years?" he says. "Looking at spending a quarter of my life in jail I thought about all the other pot offenders who were loosing years of their lives for something that is proven to be less dangerous than alcohol. That's when I knew the laws had to be changed and I created Free Karey Lee". (FKL) A non-profit organization that brings attention to the unfair marijuana laws and harsh prison sentences.

A big part of the problem and what most people don't know is that marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 narcotic, a classification that says marijuana is more dangerous than cocaine,crack and Oxycottin, to name a few. And the equivalent to LSD and heroin. Federal statues recommend harsh sentences for marijuana even though some states have decriminalized or even completely legalized it.

Whether your in favor for legalization or not, to classify marijuana as one of the most dangerous drugs out there just doesn't make any sense; and that's what FKL is about, changing the marijuana laws so they make more sense. If we can start with changing the classification of the scheduling of the drug we would be helping thousands of people get their lives back on track; and that's a huge step. "I may be behind bars at the moment, but I still have my voice and I still have my music... I can tell my story and hopefully help make a change for the country."

Karey Lee is not alone. Millions of people across the country, including musicians, athletes, doctors, lawyers, salesman and farmers smoke marijuana. Some do it for medical reasons and others 
for recreational use. Karey Lee doesn't think those people deserve to have their lives at risk, and anyone who smokes marijuana in the United Sates is at risk of loosing their freedom in the eyes of the Federal Government. No matter what "state laws" may say about marijuana, it will never be completely legal in the United States for anyone unless the Federal Government RE-schedules the drug.

If through his music and advocacy he can help keep people from going through what he has had to go through, maybe his mistake will finally mean something. As Karey Lee says today "I just want to make a difference" and thats what Free Karey Lee is all about.