We received the sad news this morning that former marijuana lifer Eugene Fischer passed away last night in Florida at the age of 76.
Eugene Fischer served 25 years of a life without parole sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense. During all that time he never gave up on regaining his freedom, and his endless quest resulted not only in his release, but also the release of his friend and co-defendant Randy Lanier, who was also serving life without parole for marijuana. Sadly he only lived just shy of four years after his release.
At the time of his death Eugene Fischer was in need of a kidney transplant, but despite long term serious health issues he immediately went to work upon his release from prison.
Fischer was haunted by all the marijuana lifers left behind in federal prison, many who had become personal friends over the decades of incarceration. He was driven to do everything in his power to see that they too were released from this cruel and unusual punishment.
A lifelong civil rights activist, not even prison could stop Eugene from pursuing his convictions. He even founded and served as the leader of USP Coleman’s NAACP chapter. More recently, Fischer co-hosted a weekly radio show, Voices of War, with Pacific Northwest activists Kristin Flor and Mindi Griffiths, focusing on the cannabis incarceration issue.
Marijuana Lifer Project director Cheri Sicard met with Fischer last month in Los Angeles in order to collaborate and strategize new actions to help the cause. At the time he was in reasonably good health but was especially worried about his friend Leopoldo Hernandez-Miranda, currently incarcerated in FMC Butner, a prison hospital. Fischer was determined to help his friend gain a compassionate release, but sadly his own health took a turn for the worse shortly thereafter.
The world is a slightly colder place today for the loss of this hero. RIP Eugene Albert Fischer.