The son of Gary Shepherd continues the fight

One of the sad stories on my Drug War Victims page is about Gary Shepherd, a Vietnam veteran who had grown marijuana plants, and during a standoff with police, was shot to death in front of his infant son.

That son, Jacob, is now grown up — he’s a student at the University of Kentucky, and has been an activist in the fight against prohibition.

A fight for marijuana legalization, growing for 20 years

Shepherd is starting a student organization, Cats for Cannabis, having enlisted about 25 potential members and started applying for official status. A strong anti-prohibition group on a campus of nearly 30,000 students could make a big difference, he said.

At the least, he said, it’s a step toward legalizing a drug with a negative stigma — a stigma that has ravished individuals and families across the country.

“We can’t be afraid of it and let our fears justify me having to see my dad die,” he said.

It’s an incredibly powerful and well-written article by Becca Clemons at the Kentucky Kernel, that goes back to details of the original standoff, and brings their impact home today…

Shepherd and his mother still live in the trailer in Rockcastle County, and Shepherd makes the hourlong commute to UK. Bullet holes from the shooting still pepper the side of the trailer. One made it through the side of the home and into the kitchen counter.

Inside, the neatly kept living room hosts a subtle shrine to pot activism. The homages to cannabis culture include a nondescript bookshelf with literature on marijuana, hemp sacks with pro-marijuana slogans decorating the walls, and other pot-related knickknacks tucked into nooks and crannies. […]

Years after the shooting and ensuing lawsuits, Jones’ outreach remained stagnant. But in the past few years Shepherd took up activism himself, a personal fight to assure that “no kid has to go through the shit I did.” […]

“I was 4 at that time and I was really just trying to understand it,” Shepherd said. “Like, this is a war zone.”

So much blood covered his small body that he thought he was shot.

“I remember looking at my arms, looking for the wound,” he said.

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37 Responses to The son of Gary Shepherd continues the fight

  1. allan says:

    “A Vietnam veteran was shot with his hands in the air,” Jones said, “over some plants growing in the garden.”

    every day is veteran’s day

    • War Vet says:

      OT and you probably already know this, but the Republican Senate just voted no on expanding Vet Healthcare and no on allowing instate tuition for out of state students on the GI Bill.

      I think an expansion of vet healthcare could help fund medical marijuana for vets during a de or re-scheduling of cannabis.

  2. Howard says:

    “Worried that a hostage situation might develop — the deadly siege in Waco, Texas, occurred just four months earlier — officers told Shepherd to think about his young son.”


    Then the officers promptly forgot about the 4 year old and shot Shepard, whose blood covered the young boy.

    I see.

  3. Common Science says:

    Despite the callous, myopic insinuations that the WoD is not a real war, this has been such a long, calculated one-sided raging turf battle that started as a few agencies enjoying always being portrayed as ‘the good guys against the scum of the earth.’

    Pete’s Drug War Victims list sits here on the shelf – available to take bystanders back to the middle of this goliath-like militarized… not-a-real-war. There are so few like Becca Clemons to expose the at-any-cost brutality policies promoted. Some of you guys here have always had your slingshots loaded but the rest of us have to tactfully aim these unwarranted human casualty accounts, like Gary Shepherd’s, at that mainstream wall every chance we get.

    • allan says:

      the stories of the drug war victims are the ugly underbelly of the drug war. And that aspect, too long avoided by the Prohibs, needs… MUST be exposed. In order that those deaths are not in vain their stories deserve and warrant a major place in drug policy discussion.

  4. Welfare Cuts IN YOUR FACE says:

    This stuff brings tears to the eyes. Here in Hun-Run Canada so many are living something that can only be described as 16th Century too.
    So often these Thuggish raids are triggered by an anonymous Stasi Tipster, been a victim of it myself.
    We are moving away from submission to Tyranny. And the Puffed Stuff Fascists are hyper aware of it. Its been comical to see BigBro increasingly wall himself in. None of this needed to happen. Defy, Resist, Evade, Smuggle. Hug your kids if you have any.

  5. DdC says:

    OT+- The mythology of marijuana
    Let’s get past the propaganda and allow doctors to prescribe marijuana, argues forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht March 1, 2014

    Mommy Lobby Emerges as Advocate for MMJ

  6. Servetus says:

    What’s being called the first marijuana commercial will appear on a major network:

  7. DdC says:

    His Martyrdom Was not in Vein. Not Completely.
    Seems other youngin’s have taken up the mantle of freeing this weed because of this tragedy. Not only his son, his neice too. Think I’ll get me a cannabus when I retire and tour the left coast.

    Stacey Theis and Her Magic Cannabus
    Patrick Hall September 14, 2013
    When she was just 17, Theis’ uncle, Gary Shepherd – a Vietnam Vet who received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during his service – was a pot farmer in Kentucky. “Uncle Gary came home broken and wounded from the war,” she explains. “After years of fighting himself, alcohol and VA prescribed pills, he began growing cannabis in his garden alongside other herbs and veggies. He got off alcohol and the pills, and started living again. He and his wife Mary Jane, who had my baby cousin Jacob, had a home on my family’s farm.”

    The Gary Shepherd case by Ronald Thomas Coslick
    Attorneys are investigating the killing of Gary Shepherd, a disabled veteran who used marijuana for medical relief. Gary was ambushed and killed in his front yard by police sharpshooters after protesting the warrantless landing of a helicopter near his home in rural Kentucky. Federal civil rights actions have been brought against officers of the Rockcastle County Sheriff and the Kentucky State Police by Shepherd’s infant son Jacob and his widow, Mary Jane Jones.

    Campaign to legalize marijuana starts early – Frankfort & Franklin
    Supporters name bill for Gatewood Galbraith
    By Kevin Wheatley Published: July 6, 2012 10:48AM
    Jacob Jones was only 4 when police gunned down his father after a seven-hour standoff at their rural Rockcastle County home over personal marijuana plants in 1993.

    In Memory of Civilian Casualties of the Drug War
    Gary Earl Shepherd
    Gary was a Viet Nam veteran who had a crippled left arm from the war. Shepherd had deep conviction about medical marijuana, which he used to relieve his pain. He sat in a lawn chair guarding his plants for about six or seven hours, during which time no serious attempt was made to negotiate. Finally, Shepherd and his long-term companion, Mary Jane Jones, were ordered to put their hands in the air. As he raised his rifle to comply, police snipers hidden in a corn field shot Gary several times in the head and chest. Shepherd’s four-year-old son, Jake, was sprayed with his father’s blood. Mary Jane, the mother of his child, was grazed by a bullet of a Kentucky law enforcement officer.

    Man Guarding Marijuana Patch Shot To Death
    Google Newspaper records 8.9.1993

  8. Jean Valjean says:

    Article on how government bureaucracy is used as a drug war weapon to delay research into cannabis treatment for PTSD:

    This comment was something of an AHA! Moment for me:
    “The most telling line in this article is ” Burge notes that prior animal studies, among them a study using lab rats published in the scientific journal Nature, have shown that cannabis helps calm an overactive fear system. ” For many in politics and religion fear is the tie that binds.”

  9. petebulkner says:

    Should have wasted his ass when they had the chance. Weed killed his dad,and clouded that dumb punks mind

  10. Duncan20903 says:


    The Denver County Fair has released one of their authorized logos. It’s for the “Pot” Pavillion. But just to keep the surreal “reality” of this issue there will be no cannabis permitted in the “Pot Pavillion”. Also no one under 21 will be permitted to enter.

    It appears the organizers have a thing for pie. They’re also promoting pie on a stick.

  11. claygooding says:

    If I ever come up missing please put my picture on a blunt wrap instead of a milk carton so my friends will realize I am missing.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      clay, you mean kind of like those “have you seen this gerbil?” notices on the labels of jars of vaseline?

  12. petebulkner says:

    Damn right shits getting old. I’m tired of fucking stoners trying to make themselves seem as if it’s okay to smoke fucking dope. Get the fuck out of my country. war veteran or not, bitch i served in nom! I had leave my platoon behind to die because they got high. They thought it was cool. If you smoke pot and were ever in the military you betrayed your country. Congratulations on your treason. Jesus is GOD. I hate pot head HIPPIES. You and your drum circles. Just sitting there enjoying yourselves. While I have to keep convincing my grandkids that weed will kill them & they dont believe me. Wish the days,when we just take it all back to the 1920’s. The way good things used to be.

    • DdC says:

      Oh Buttwash, yawn…
      Is there anything more boring than a drunk? A religious drunk? Is there anything more drunk than a religionist? A religionist on a mission of hate. Not even his own. Hate he licks up as ordered. Tinkled down upon him. No mind of his own. No spark of life. Just a mindless wonderer blaming who he is ordered to blame. Killing or causing suffering has no room in his emptiness. Such a lonely freak of nature. Protesting the protesters, blaming the oppressed. Stealing from the elderly and sick while making sick little girls and boys prolong their seizures and tumor treatments. Keeping poisons sprayed on bible belt cotton aborting more babies than RvW. Killing Americans for Wall St.

      ☛Richard Nixon’s campaign was collaborating behind the scenes with the Saigon government to derail President Lyndon Johnson’s peace talks.

      ☛Special Report: Definitive proof of a historical mystery is often elusive, even with archival documents and memoirs. Skeptics can always say some witness or some evidence isn’t perfect. But the case that Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnam peace talks in 1968 to win that pivotal election is clear.

      ☛At the end of Campaign 1968, as Richard Nixon feared his narrow lead could disappear if progress were made on Vietnam peace, a U.S. correspondent in Saigon got wind of a cabal between Nixon and South Vietnamese leaders to block peace talks and secure his victory.

      ☛In the dusty files of Lyndon Johnson’s presidential library in Austin, Texas, once secret documents and audiotapes tell a dark and tragic story of how Richard Nixon’s team secured the White House in 1968 by sabotaging peace talks that might have ended the Vietnam War four years earlier.
      Nixon’s Treason

      As the delusional Ganja paranoid sheep followed without question. Nixon murdered Americans with lies and scum like Peedee still spread their gossip droppings. Nixon committed Treason, but he wouldn’t lie? Drug worrier Bubba, Your Fake American status as a coward and criminal of war crimes is no doubt based on your ignorance from an inbred religionist heritage. Same boring West Boogar Blabtist profanity. I’m just a tad confused why you would invoke the long haired stoner gay hippie Jesus?

      Archeology: Ancient Temple Hashish Incense! Did Jesus Inhale?

      “You’re enough of a pro,” Nixon tells Shafer, “to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”
      – Richard Milhouse Nixon

      “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that,”

      “I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance [a category of dangerous drugs] because of sound scientific proof.”

      “They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true,”
      ~ Sanjay Gupta

    • War Vet says:

      There is just no way this Bulkner guy can exist. If he does, then he’s a really drunk prohib who Whisky whines about our movement. But Pete B cannot exist as someone who really does disapprove of what we are doing . . . he’s just a conjured up set of phrases pinpointing the essence of all the War on Drugs lingo and mindset. He’s just a reminder of the oozing scum we had to clean off of our boots (and still cleaning) from the prohibitionists.

  13. Mr. Wiggles says:

    I can’t even masturbate to this guy… It’s just to ignorant ,even for me.. Can I have some newer issues of FOXXX? My WiFi keeps cutting out. Oh yeah Bulkner, I fucked your grandkids assholes.

  14. allan says:

    OT… but lordy I love seeing rumblings in Texas:

    Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP)
    will host their inaugural meeting in Houston on March 15, 2014 at King Street Patriots. This forum will highlight the fundamentals of marijuana policy. RAMP will explore the four major initiatives gaining traction nationwide: medical marijuana, decriminalization, industrial hemp, and the legalization model to tax & regulate marijuana like alcohol. Meant to be an open discourse, RAMP encourages attendance by those on all sides of the debate.

    • Howard says:

      There are some interesting rumblings in Texas — some good, some not so good (as usual). And some are surprising. I have a question about what’s going on in Texas for you commenters once Pete posts an open thread.

  15. Howard says:

    There are new victims of the WOD every day. Here’s the story of Jesse Snodgrass. Entrapping autistic kids? No low is too low apparently;

  16. Duncan20903 says:


    The D.C. Council appears ready to decriminalize petty possession, paraphernalia for cannabis, and “would also preclude police from charging people with possession or dealing if they simultaneously possess large amounts of cash and several bags of marijuana.”

    Like New York’s law which decriminalized petty possession out of public view the proposed D.C. law keeps smoking in public criminalized. But wait a second, it’s only the act of smoking cannabis in public that will remain criminalized. D.C. residents wouldn’t be subject to arrest if they pull their cannabis from hidden into plain view unless there’s combustion. “It also will add gray areas in policing: D.C. officers would not be able to arrest on the smell of marijuana, for instance; they would have to see the smoke.”

    The only remaining question appears to be whether Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large) will succeed in adding a provision to outlaw drug testing by D.C. employers!” (emphasis added by me)

    Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) who authored the measure, said he is confident that it will become law.

    “I think that even a conservative Congress would leave this alone. An incredible waste of government resources goes into the criminalization of marijuana” by police, courts and jails, Wells said. “And it’s law that creates more public harm than public good.”

    This one is going to make Mr. Obama have kittens. He’s been squarely in favor of unfettered home rule for D.C. That’s why D.C. was allowed to implement its next to useless medicinal cannabis law, not because Congress suddenly decided that it didn’t mind protecting medicinal cannabis patients.

  17. Servetus says:

    Mark Kleiman has a feature article at the March/ April/ May 2014 issue of the Washington Monthly, complete with a typically absurd, pot-joke title: “How Not to Make a Hash Out of Cannabis Legalization: Leaving it to the states is a recipe for disaster”.

    The subtitle should read: “Leaving it to Mark Kleiman is a recipe for disaster”.

    Kleiman’s rambling discourse encompasses the usual Big Marijuana fear mongering, the addiction rates for alcohol that he summarily dumps upon marijuana consumers, and a warning that “the [marijuana dispensary] systems being put in place in Colorado and Washington aren’t well designed for that purpose, because they create a cannabis industry whose commercial interest is precisely opposite to the public interest”. Perhaps Mark Kleiman is forgetting the role he played in ushering in Washington state’s program?

    • Crut says:

      (k)Lieman — Hey look, I did a horrible f-up in Washington state. Let me show you how it should be done for the nation.

      Thanks but no thanks.

  18. Non Compliant says:

    Something from Judge Napolitano on your scotus tossing the requirement for a Warrant? bwaHAhaha! really? Prayers Sent.

  19. claygooding says:

    Mixed Signals: The Administration’s Stance on Marijuana, Part Two

    It just ended and no witnesses for reform,,only more bureaucrats claiming unchallenged bullshit and statistics,,,it should be posted there soon as archive,,two weeks for any other written testimony.

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