RANDY LANIER HAS BEEN RELEASED! Life Sentence for Marijuana

(Note from site admin Cheri Sicard, this is Randy Lanier’s first photo post release and how he felt upon release after 27 years of incarceration.)

Randy Lanier Upon Release

Seeing, smelling, and feeling the ocean is a delightful experience.  I felt freedom engulf every pore of every cell of my body.

Toes in the water.
Ass in the sand.
No worries in the world.
Trees, birds, and cars.
No prison bars.
Life is good today



Auction of Prisoner Randy Lanier’s Art – Life Sentence for Marijuana

“The Tunnel” by Randy Lanier, serving a Life Sentence for Marijuana

This oil painting of a race car going through a tunnel is a Randy Lanier original.  It will be going up for auction at eBay.com starting this Sunday, July 12, for one week.  All proceeds of this auction will go on Randy Lanier’s books to help support him in prison.  Auction will be posted Sunday night by Cheri Sicard (AKA FabulousCheri at eBay).

Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of history, an original oil painting by 1986 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and Cannabis POW (for life without possibility of parole), Randy Lanier.


Prisoner Randy Lanier’s Art – Life Sentence for Marijuana

The Squarestream in the Redwoods by Randy Lanier, serving a Life Sentence for Marijuana

Randy Lanier has taken up oil painting while in prison.  This painting of an Airstream B-190 camper van (AKA The Squarestream) was done as a gift to his friend (and admin of this site), Cheri Sicard.

Oil Painint by Randy Lanier for Cheri Sicard

Oil Painting by Randy Lanier serving a life sentence for marijuana.


Happy Independence Day — Life Sentence for Marijuana

Photo: Danny Bradbury

Photo: Danny Bradbury

Randy Lanier’s Prison Diary – Life Sentence for a First Time, Non Violent Marijuana Offense

“What Freedom Means To Me”

Happy 4th of July !

The fourth of July is the only holiday meal when we get watermelon. We also will have BBQ chicken and a hamburger. The chicken is baked with a BBQ sauce on top. I enjoy the holidays meals.  Years ago in Leavenworth we use to have the 4th of July holiday meal cooked on grills.

I am looking forward to cooking on a grill someday. It seems like on the 4 th of July I take extra moments out of the day and reflect on what freedom means to me.

Often I find myself being limited by my thoughts , belief and emotions. The truth of the matter is life is far beyond the mind.  By taking a moment each morning to practice being free of thoughts I become free from the basic underlying limitations.

Too often most of us limit ourselves by thinking we must be a certain way. By keeping it real we can do something new and unexpected at any moment. This in itself contains joy . When we experience joy our life feels full and our heart feels content.

By understanding that freedom goes beyond external appearances a lot more will be revealed.  There is more to life than our thoughts , beliefs and emotions. There is a higher power.  The essence of freedom is within us all.

All forms of joy and delight arises from the Self.  Anyone who recognizes the  Truth and lives accordingly flows on a free course in this world.  We all can experience liberation by tracing the feeling joy  and love to its’ source. The Self! See the Self everywhere and within everyone and you will feel freedom.



Life Sentence for Marijuana — Happy Father’s Day!

Randy Lanier, Life Sentence for MarijuanaGreetings Friends, and Happy Fathers Day.

Being a father has helped me realize that it is not what I have, or have not accomplished in life that is important. What is important is the feelings I share with others.

There are many things we may think are important.  Just the simple act of showing kindness is a wonderful thing.  Each morning I as sit and practice meditation I actually experience the love within.

We all can experience the same love by quieting the mind. To some this may sound like bullshit.  You do not have to believe me. You can experience this for your self. All you have to do is practice taking  a moment out of your day to quiet the mind.  Giving  gratitude for all the things you do have will start the day on a positive note. The love we contribute comes form our inner greatness. This is what we all have in common. It is our inner self.



Life Sentence for Marijuana — Criminals and the Insane

Randy Lanier, Life Without Parole for MarijuanaRandy Lanier’s Prison Diary – Life Sentence for Marijuana 

Greetings friends,

On Monday while we were waiting for an afternoon activity move, an inmate was assaulted .  He is now at a local hospital being kept alive by a breathing machine.

Several men have been locked up. Most likely they will be transferred to a SMU  program — special management unit. There they will remain locked in their cells 23 hours a day.  They will be afforded one hour of rec in a cage five days a week.

There they may be able to take anger management classes.  The insane and criminals do not have very much consideration for others.

Being a mentor, I am often counseling young men that are susceptible to gang influence. It is hard to believe that so many people in gangs will allow others to make decisions for them. Decisions that effect their entire lives and their families lives as well.   If only they lived by the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do to you.



Stingers and Fire — Life Sentence for Marijuana

Randy Lanier, Life Without Parole for MarijuanaLife Sentence for Marijuana — Randy Lanier’s Prison Diary

As I mention in the last post, we recently came off being locked down. Now that it is over, it is so nice to have hot water and warm food again.

When we are locked in the cells, the only hot water we can get is water heated from a stinger or water heated from a fire. I usually keep a stinger, but when I went to the medical facility in Springfield MO, I left mine with a friend. When I returned, he told me they had confiscated it while I was away.

A stinger is two pieces of wire each connected to a piece of metal with something between them to keep them from touching. They are tied together with dental floss so it can not come loose and touch.

We fill up a half gallon water container, and drop the stinger in the water.  One of the other ends of the wire is then inserted between the light switch and one is touched to the screw outside the light switch for the ground. If you can not get the wire inbetweet the lightswitch a hole can be drilled into the switch. If it does not work, often an inmate can get the switch apart.

The water takes about 10 minutes to boil. I like to fill up a separate container such as a soda bottle or coffee bag and drop this into the boiling water. This way I do not get any of the metal filing that comes off of the stinger. We usually use any kind of metal such as finger nail clippers or pieces of a fence. Stainless steel is best.

Another way we heat water is by burning toilet paper or pieces of blankets. By holding a container of water over the fire we can have water for soup or coffee. . We do not have lighters or matches so we must take small strips of foil from packs of oatmeal or grits and scrap an AA or AAA battery. We make a wick out of toilet paper that we use to light. We then touch one end of the small strip of foil to the negative end of the battery and the other end to the scraped part of the battery.  This creates a spark that lights  the wick.  If the battery is weak we use two batteries touching the negative part with both parts of the strip of foil. The positive sides of the battery must be touching metal.

The other way we heat water is we roll up toilet paper or a strip of a blanket to look like a donut. We then sit this on the toilet or near the exhaust vent and light it with the wick. We fill up a paper milk container or some other container and hang it over the fire tied with  a piece of sheet or string through the container so the container is right over the flame.

Anyway, being back to normal operations we have the convenience of a microwave and a hot water dispenser once again, so these necessities are put away until the next lock down.

I have much gratitude for the small things in life.



Lock Downs and Knife Fights – Life Sentence for Marijuana

Randy Lanier, Life Without Parole for MarijuanaRandy Lanier’s Prison Diary

Greetings Friends,

We have been locked down for the last 10 days. On the 26th  of May officers were called to a unit to pat search several inmates. Eleven of the inmates had knives in their possession. Possession of a knife is a 100 series write up, and a trip to the bucket /SHU Special Housing  Unit, AKA the hole for at least 30 days.

None of the inmates are talking about why they all had knives. The administration has plenty of informers in all of the housing units, so I am sure they have an idea.  On the second day of lockdown they began interviews. They interviewed the whole joint. 1500 people.

Every inmate knew the Mexicans were preparing to attack the Puerto Ricans.  The whole compound knew that there was tension over the handball courts. Several years ago we had a battle here at Coleman that took twenty three men to the hospital for stab wounds. That battle was between two Mexican gangs. I happened to be in the bleachers that day watching a softball game.  Around ten men with knives did a surprise attack on about thirty men. There  was so many men stabbed that the officers ran out of stretchers. It was such  a battle that the administration had to get other officers from other prisons within the complex to help assist.  There were so many serious wounded that the Medivac Helicopters had to form a landing pattern to take the seriously wounded to the  hospital.

Fortunately that did not happen this time.  It is insane how people allow their perspective, their ego, and their emotions take them down such a violent path.

When I first came to prison in the late   ’80s I thought I needed to fight if I was being disrespected.  I thought I would gain respect if everyone knew I had no fear of the consequences.

Now I understand that respect from others is not needed. By being true to myself, I will respect all others. They in turn will respect me. If you are true to your self, there can never be  fear.

Often gang members try to instill fear because they live in fear.  These people who were ready to stab and kill  must experience certain situations in order to get rid of certain tendencies. God has a way of attracting to us situations that make us deal with our tendencies. Whether it be a control issue , a fear issue, addiction, compulsion, aversion, inhibition,  misidentification etc. This is part of the journey we all are on.

This is the land of Karma. We all will experience certain karma. We can not always control what happens to us, however we can determine how we choose to experience what happens to us. This is what  free will is.

Realizing that I have the ability, and the power to live in a state that does not get affected is the beginning of true freedom.  My imprisonment lies in the bondage that arises when I allow my self to be affected by outer appearances.  The truth of the matter is the true self is never affected only our ego, our emotions, and thoughts are affected. We experience suffering, depression and a host of of other things due to our mistaken identity.  We identify with our body, our mind, our emotions, and out thoughts. We to often think these are things are who we are. By thinking this is who we are it becomes real to us.

If you ever want to find a solution to a problem, or a feeling about a relationship all you have to do is change the way you think .  By seeing the person in his or her highest way you will develop a different perspective.

Our personal  reality is experienced by the way we define, and describe our selves and our lives. We can experience the world for what it is by maintaining the right perspective. This is why it is important to keep in mind the true essence and meaning of life. Love is the true essence, and we are here to Know the Self.

The awareness or the truth affects the quality of our life dramatically. All relationships are improved when we have an understanding that we all share the same Inner SELF. What is the knower of what we know and the seer of what we see is consciousness. This is the inner Self. This is God.

One of the greatest qualities about being spiritually awakened is nothing is taken so seriously that you feel the need to be violent.  



Life Sentence for Marijuana – Sports in Prison

Randy Lanier, Life Without Parole for MarijuanaRandy Lanier’s Prison Diary

Yesterday we had the first  annual Coleman Softball, Basketball, and Soccer Championships. The rec yard opened  up to both sides of the compound. We have six units on each side of the compound . Around 700 inmates live on the Southside and 700 live on the North side.

The South and North side are separated and we are not usually allowed to recreate together. However, yesterday the administration open the yard to both sides.

The Southside Champion softball team played the North side Champion softball team. They served Popcorn to all the inmates who wanted to stand in line and get a bag. The rec yard was packed!

The indoor recreation center was closed all day. I walked for a couple of hours in the morning and went back in the afternoon and walked a couple of more hours.

I live on the Southside so I got to see some friends who live on the North side. We had chicken wings and french-fries for lunch.

Life is good!



Life Sentence for Marijuana — The Deuces Are Hit

Randy Lanier, Life Without Parole for MarijuanaRandy’s Lanier’s Prison Diary


In the last couple of weeks we have had another 40 or more new arrivals. With new arrivals there usually is new drama. With new arrivals it is just a matter of time before the deuces are hit.

The word Deuce is the term inmates use when a body alarm is pressed. All officers have body alarms. The term deuces came about because officers use to call 2 2 on the phone when they needed assistance.

Anyway, if a body alarm is pressed on the rec yard the tower throws out a concussion grenade, and a loud recording starts repeating:  ”This is an emergency all inmates stop your activity, and get down on the ground.”

A few days ago I watched two men who fought like mix martial arts fighters keep fighting while the whole rec yard was kneeling on the ground watching.

Yesterday the concussion grenade went off early in the morning on the 8AM activity move.   After the officers took the people away to the Special Housing Unit ( SHU) aka t”The Hole,” we had a yard recall. We remained in the units all day because the inmates did not get on the ground fast enough when they were told to.

Earlier this week I had a few intense moments on the rec yard. I recently returned from having a hip replacement . For the last seven years I have been a volunteer Suicide Companion. It is a program ran by the psychology department. While I was away for seven months, all of the white inmates who were a suicide companion either transferred or quit the program. I spoke to several people, and they told me they stopped doing the program because the new doctor was difficult to work with.

Last week ago a couple of men spoke to me about being interested in the program. I told them it would be a good thing for them to do. Several days ago the I saw the two men, and they told me they withdrew their name from the Suicide Companion Program. I asked why, and they said they were told if they sign up they may have problems. I ask who told them that and they were reluctant to say who. They did say it was a gang member.

A few days ago while I am on the rec yard I spoke to a couple of “shot callers” for different “cars.”   They said they did not have a problem, but the a couple of gangs did. So I ask them tell me who is the main one having a problem with understanding that this is a good program.

I went and spoke to the guy. His perspective is that no one should pick up the phone and ask an officer for help. It is the same as telling. He called it a rat position. As I was telling him my perspective several other different gang members come over because they saw a potential problem. When they came over several of my friends came over.

After all was said we finished with handshakes and everyone had an understanding that it is okay to become Suicide Companion.

Being kind to people is a path that all should take. It is important to have compassion in our life. The ability to empathize with another and to feel what it may be like walking in another one’s shoes is a great quality.

Compassion and empathy will bring us closer to the truth. The truth is we are all just part of God’s play. When we are true to ourselves we lose all the fear that inhibits us from being and experiencing the Supreme Truth.

Life is good!