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Narcoterrorism in the Austin Scene? [8/24/2008 10:55:00 PM]:
Nope, it's not here in H-town, but it's still damn ridiculous. I've been a fan of Austin rockers The Boxing Lesson for a few years now, since their 2005 EP, so the news out of Austin about the band left me stunned.

Apparently Boxing Lesson drummer Jake Mitchell got busted for growing pot and has been declared...um, a terrorist? The hell? Regardless of what you think of the farcical "War on Drugs" (hooray for trying to claim victory over a nebulous, unbeatable "enemy"!), it's utterly ridiculous to think that somebody could be branded a "narcoterrorist" and tried under the fucking Patriot Act for growing marijuana.

I mean, c'mon -- if the guy's a pothead, fine. But most of the potheads I've met could barely muster the energy to get off the couch, much less engage in any kind of "terrorist" activity. It's nuts. And, uh, don't first-time offenders generally get probation for shit like this? Or is every two-bit pot-smoker now the moral equivalent of Pablo Escobar?

Here're the details from the Lesson's PR guy, Ryan:

You know The Boxing Lesson aren't ones to keep their mouths shut after several interviews and appearances since the release of their full length LP Wild Streaks & Windy Days. The real truth of the matter is that The Boxing Lesson have kept one of the most important parts of their story a secret. It is with much sadness we make this announcement but its time the public knows what is going on. It is with much sadness we make this announcement but its time the public knows what is going on.

Jake Mitchell, drummer for The Boxing Lesson and most importantly, a dear friend, will be put in Federal jail at the beginning of Sept for some marijuana growing charges. What makes this story unique and what has enraged every single one of our close friends, is that Jake has been branded by our government as a Terrorist under the Patriot Act. In fact, they have thrown the Narco-Terrorist tag on him. What this does legally for a defendant is mind blowing in terms of the new laws waged against them. If you are branded a terrorist, your wife doesn't get spousal protections and will go to jail. If you are branded a terrorist, each party involved in the crime gets full responsibility for the scope of the crime. Then there are strict sentencing minimums. And remember we are talking about Marijuana here.

It is obvious from anyone who has ever met, hung out with and gotten to know Jake Mitchell that he is anything but a terrorist. This incorrect and unfair branding on our own US citizen and friend, Jake Mitchell, is a disgrace and this has caused untypical hardships on his life. He has sold his house, lost his cars, and his freedom. We are asking our friends in the media, in bands, in t-shirt screen shops and really, anyone who can help, to send the message of his story to the public eye. We know there was a crime involved but branding him a terrorist has set unfair sentencing guidelines on a person who is anything but a terrorist.

We are accepting PayPal donations to help Jake's mounting legal bills at : freejakemitchell@gmail.com

Jake Mitchell is available for interviews before jail or in jail and has a lot to say right now about the music biz, The Boxing Lesson, the system, playing drums, recording, Fecal Shock, Austin bands, marijuana laws, and life in general. Final performances from Jake Mitchell until he gets out will be next week in Austin,TX!

August 27, 2008 @ Emo's Lounge 101x Homegrown Live show w/ Frontier Brothers
August 28, 2008 @ Carousel Lounge (Monkey Wrench Benefit)

Come out and celebrate life with Jake before our government intervenes. Fans of The Boxing Lesson have no fear, you can keep hearing your favorite songs live. Keeping the seat warm for Jake Mitchell behind the drums will be Kevin Sparks, a veteran of the Austin music scene who has played with many bands including Bad Motivators, Say Hello to the Angels and Megatron Triggerdick. Until next time, we?ll see you on the Dark Side of the Moog.

Do what you can, folks; this guy and his family need all the help they can get.

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