Freed After 31 Years in Prison for Cannabis

Today on Hempresent our host Vivian McPeak is joined by George Martorano who spent 31 years in federal prison for cannabis. George is a self-taught prolific writer, poet, educator, and mentor. While in prison, George became a role model and a positive influence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons to impact the lives of the inmates living alongside him. He worked with what he had and what he knew and explains how he gained the strength to push forward even in the hardest times of his life.


Released in October 2015 under the Department of Justice’s Compassionate Release program, George is the longest incarcerated non-violent offender. While in prison, he taught inmates yoga, prevented the hijacking of an aircraft by inmates, started a creative writing course, authored 31 books, pioneered a prison course called Release Preparation: Starting a Business for Under $1,000, among others. He has been featured in Philly Mag and Salem News and is now sought out to be featured by the United Nations. He resides in Philadelphia and continues to write and inspire others.