At the age of 19 Jason Spyres was arrested for cannabis and despite not having any weapons or engaging in any violence, 2 years later he found himself sitting in a prison cell with a 30 year sentence hanging over his head, and over $200,000 in fines. While incarcerated Mr. Spyres learned due to the sentencing structure in Illinois, he was deemed a “heinous” offender and was rendered ineligible for the same good-time programs that select murderers and sex offenders could receive. Rationalizing that the only way this could be is that people were uninformed that it were true, Jason wrote every newspaper, magazine and elected state representative urging them to become more aware of the realities of our cannabis laws. He has coordinated efforts with the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, The Illinois charter of NORML, and the Real Cost of Prisons project.
After nearly 15 years Jason Spyres was released and became the Operations Manager over 3 businesses, and actively engaged in activism to reform the American Opportunity Tax Credit, as well as speaking to Criminal Justice and sociology classes. He also works with inmates incarcerated at the Peoria Adult Transition Center for drug offenses to help them with securing employment and coping mechanisms for the institutionalized. He is currently the Director of Field Operations for the Kash Jackson for Governor campaign in Illinois, and the Ballot Access Director for the Libertarian Party of Greater Peoria.