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Kari Boiter

Montana

Kari Boiter is an award-winning community organizer, policy analyst and communications strategist. She is best known for coordinating the legal, media and political strategy to fully exonerate the Kettle Falls 5, a family who was federally prosecuted under harsh drug conspiracy laws for a state-legal medical marijuana garden. After acquittal at trial on all original charges, five years of legal wrangling and convincing Congress to change federal law, the U.S. Department of Justice eventually admitted that it lacked the authority to prosecute. The case was dismissed in 2018 and all property seized by the federal government was returned.

Currently, Kari is President of the Board of Directors for the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform. The newly-formed nonprofit is a modern-day rebirth of a nonpartisan group founded nearly a century ago to overturn the 18th Amendment, which outlawed alcohol. With 1.5 million members in its infancy, W.O.N.P.R. was so successful that founders were able to disband just five years after the work began. Today, the organization is dedicated to the advancement, education and empowerment of women who are actively working to reverse the continuing harms of prohibition-based policies.

As someone with a criminal record, Kari has been directly impacted by the War on Drugs and mass incarceration. She is tenacious in her approach to criminal justice reform and isn’t afraid to dive in head first. At one point in her advocacy work, Kari became the legal guardian for a teenage boy whose father was serving a mandatory minimum prison sentence for what was considered drug trafficking by prosecutors, but was actually a state-licensed cannabis business.

Kari is now a single mom to a precocious two-year-old, which inspires and informs her activism in new and different ways. She presently serves as a Commissioner for the Housing Authority Board in Billings, Vice Chair of AWARE Early Head Start Policy Council and Board Secretary for the nonprofit that hosts Seattle HEMPFEST®. She is also the lead organizer of a Steering Committee to form a Citizens Police Advisory Board in her city and acts as a community representative for the local Continuum of Care, which is a collaborative of social service providers working to address homelessness.

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