Doug Keenan

3 Years -- Medical Marijuana Patient & Prisoner

Doug Keenan, prisoner of the drug war
By Don E Wirtshafter

January 2005

What is scary is that Doug did nothing wrong. This is a second bust of his crawl space under his house. The first one happened years ago when Doug volunteered to a posting by someone on DRCtalk that Frontline was looking to interview an Indiana grower for their 1994 broadcast of a wonderful episode entitled "Busted: The War on Marijuana." Doug would not wear the mask Frontline offered him. He wanted to get a message out and thought going anonymous would hinder his message.

In the end he got little input into the program but the police were there the day after his broadcast to arrest him. That was his first time through the system. It got him fired from his prestigious engineering job and just about broke up his family in 1994.

Understand, Doug Keenan is a genius. He has several inventions to his name including the invention of the universal remote control for your TV set.

Doug is also a dedicated activist. He has been fairly quite on this channel in recent years. Other to take a dig at Robert Goodman once in a while, Doug has been lurking. But he reads every word and knows every issue down.

But as an analytical engineer, Doug knew every study, knew every argument about medical Cannabis.

Doug is a cancer survivor and he credits Cannabis for getting him through intensive chemotherapy. He tried to use the medical use in the first trial without success. This time around as well the judge would not let him say a word about this.

Doug's reaction to being busted was to dedicate himself to fighting the system. He dropped his high paying job being an engineer for RCA developing the next generation of television sets. Instead he opened up Indianapolis's first grow store. He was in their faces.

What went wrong here is that in 2001 Frontline reran the Busted show. The cops see the rebroadcast and don't realize the interview with Doug is years old. They go and search his trash (w/o a warrant) and found minimal evidence of pot consumption. Based on the garbage and broad case they get a warrant and bust the place again.

They find the basement in exactly the same condition as the cops left it when they stripped out the grow room years before. A few dead plants the cops had not bothered to remove. This is the second bust. Mostly just stalks, stalks that were then 10 years old, the stuff the cops were too lazy to haul away the first bust. But the cops and prosecutor decided this was a target worth of persecution. And Doug got the full treatment.

There were numerous motions to dismiss based on the stupid circumstances and the unwarranted search of Doug and Tee's garbage (that the court ruled was perfectly legal). There were changes of judges, etc. that delayed the trial. Finally, a two day trial was held in front of 6 jurors. The nurse on the jury showed no compassion but the forewoman, a dog groomer, was in tears when she announced the verdict.

Sentencing was held last week. The Community Corrections representative came in and had no trouble recommending Doug for their program which would have been strict probation. The prosecutor nevertheless asked for a 2 year sentence, which could have been with probation. Instead, the judge exceeded even the prosecutor's wishes and gave Doug 3 1/2 years.

The persecution continues though. The cops have continued to harass this family. A third bust of their home was staged last week. The excuse being accusations that their 16 year old son harbored a runaway. Tee saw this one coming and so she took all appropriate precautions. Tee and a friend has sanitized the house the day before combing through every corner, every pocket to make sure there was nothing in the house.

Still after hours of tearing up the Keenan home, worse than they did on either of the previous busts, the cops were frustrated. Finally they come out of the son's bedroom with a straw they say had cocaine residue on it. They also said they found one orange colored pill in the son's wallet. The son is certain this was planted as he has had nothing to do with pills.

A half a pack of cigarette papers they found mounted in Doug and Tee's wedding album resulted in a third felony that the prosecutor quickly dropped leaving the son up for two. So the son has been held for a week now in a juvenile facility.

The cops who performed this bust were acting in their normal selves.

Valuable stuff was stolen from the house. The cops sat in the kitchen and helped themselves to the son's birthday cake and ate the cake while the son had to sit in front of them in handcuffs watching. They stole food from Christmas food baskets the family was assembling. Their arrogance was incredible.

I get into these details so you can see who Doug is and that he and his family need help right now. Doug is still being shuffled between jails, so there is no way to write him. I will post an address when they put him in a place he will stay for a few days.

Tee says all we can do for Doug is pray, pray pray. Anybody else got any ideas here?

Doug's attorney is Tim Miller whom from all reports is a good guy who really tried and is sick about this outcome. He is looking for ideas if anybody has any. Tee can't say enough good about this attorney, it was the cops, prosecutor and especially the judge who are the bad elements here. The judge, Bernard Pylitt, is a lame duck judge who got trounced by the Republicans in the November election. They say the judge was looking for one last case to prove his conservative, hard time ways, before losing his bench at the end of the month.

Doug's quote on this is that "surviving this bust is far worse than the cancer." The cancer was black and white, two decisions to be made and then ride with it. This bust thing goes on and on forever.

The appeal is expected to take 8-12 months. There is a possibility that Doug can get bailed out after the first of the year awaiting his appeal.

Lets pray, pray, pray.