A Grateful Dead fan who was serving a life sentence for selling LSD to a police informant is among the 111 individuals who received commutations from President Obama on Tuesday.
Timothy Tyler had no history of violence when a judge’s decision to include the weight of the paper that held the LSD he sold pushed the amount over 10 grams, leading to a mandatory minimum life sentence in prison.
The offense was Tyler’s third, including two prior drug convictions that each led to probation.
An update message on Tyler’s Change.org petition reads:
”He was a kid. He was following the Grateful Dead. I’m not condoning it, but it was a pretty harmless lifestyle Timothy was leading,” Julie Stewart, the president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, told Business Insider in 2013.
“It always seemed really absurd to me that this non-violent guy who was 24 years old, that the government could write off his life. Bingo. You’re gone,” she said.
“Life, [the sentence] says, but life means you die in prison,” Tyler once told the ACLU.
Tyler’s new sentence will end on Aug. 30, 2018, and requires enrollment in residential drug treatment. The assignment to residential drug treatment is a bit puzzling, as LSD is by its nature not physically addictive. The drug stops working if a person takes it for several days in a row.
The August round of commutations marks the most granted in a single month in United States history. The White House also points out that Obama has granted more commutations than the past 10 presidents combined.