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Quawntay “Bosco” Adams: True Freedom

Amanda Ferron

The War on Drugs

To completely cover the “War on Drugs“, and all the BS associated with it, I would need to write an entire book series. But, since I am currently writing blogs and not book series, the For:20 Minutes team is going to do our best to routinely highlight people who have been personally affected by the War on Drugs.

We want to tell their stories. And by doing so, bring attention to what they went through, and what countless others are still enduring. Because, to be blunt: NO ONE SHOULD BE IN PRISON FOR CANNABIS. Period. It is a plant. A plant that has multiple therapeutic benefits. Sugar cane does more harm than Cannabis… But no one will get their lives taken away for attempting to possess sugar.

That’s exactly what happened to my friend, Quawntay “Bosco” Adams. Bosco was sentenced to 35 years in prison over a therapeutic plant.


Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference – Miami

This past April, the PayRio team and I headed to Miami for the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. It was our first time having a booth at this event, and we were beyond excited. While my boss, PayRio Founder Aubrey Amatelli, was walking the floor, she met Bosco Adams. She came back to our bright pink booth, exclaiming that “I had to meet him and hear his story!”

She and I walked around the corner on the conference floor, and met Bosco at his booth. He was attending the conference as a Guest Speaker. Aubrey and I bought autographed copies of his book Chasin’ Freedom, chatted with Bosco, and touched on the possibility of doing a For:20 Minutes blog piece in the future. 

We made sure that we got to go hear him speak on Benzinga main stage, where we also got to see a sneak-peak of his upcoming movie, “Bosco”. It features a star-studded cast, and you are NOT going to want to miss it when it hits theaters. Trust me!


Trusting Your Gut

In the beginning of his book, Bosco gets into detail about the events that led to him spending so many years in prison. One thing I take away from Boscos story is that our intuition really is a remarkable thing. He writes how he repeatedly had a little voice in his head telling him “Something’s not right… This seems off…” 

Unfortunately, the thought of selling 1,000lbs of Cannabis for $1,000 per/lb won out over his cautious side. 

The day before this sale was to take place, he had received news that he was going to be a father. He had also promised a few loved ones he would be able to help them financially… So, simply put, he felt he had obligations he needed to fulfill. And this sale would not only satisfy those obligations, but it would be his last time delving into the world that was illegal Cannabis. 

This last sale would never come to fruition, as Bosco was indeed being set up. He was arrested while attempting to possess this load of Cannabis. A load that ended up being 1,400lbs. He had a couple of other arrests in his past, but this one was different. This arrest would lead to much, much more… And carry a much heftier sentence.


Break Out

Bosco was arrested in 2004, and started to gain recognition as an escape artist. After his first couple of escapes, they sent him to a federal maximum-security prison. But even 24-hour surveillance couldn’t keep Bosco from attempting to escape. He had a brand new baby girl whom he had never met, and he couldn’t imagine being forced to stay away from her. He managed one last, daring escape, but ended up being caught in the motel he was hiding in shortly after.

He was officially sentenced to 35 years in 2008. 

His multiple ingenious escapes caught the attention of the documentary series “Breakout”. His story was featured in Season 1, Episode 4, titled “The Escapist”. He started receiving letters from people on the outside telling him how smart his escapes were. “It was the first time anyone had ever called me smart.” Bosco said to me while we were chatting in Miami. He talked about how he was raised in an environment where being smart wasn’t cool… Being tough, and being a “gangster” was what made you a man. 

Those encouraging letters would be a catalyst to Bosco showing the world just how smart he truly was…

Freedom the Right Way

All of his escape attempts led to Bosco spending roughly 10 years in solitary confinement. TEN YEARS. Sentenced to 35 years in prison, and spent 10 in solitary, for a non-violent Cannabis possession offense. (Absolutely disgusting if you ask me.) This last prison he was being held in had seen his previous escape videos… They knew he was smart, and were convinced he would be able to sweet talk his way into an accomplice if he was able to talk to anyone outside of his cell.

But this time in solitary, where he only had access to legal documents, grew Bosco into a “Jailhouse Lawyer” of sorts. He studied the law, and helped other inmates gain their freedom while he sat in a jail cell. In 2020, Bosco represented himself in court, and was able to officially win his own freedom, after spending a total of 16 years behind bars. Shortly thereafter, he scored another huge win when he was granted an early termination of his supervised release. In layman’s terms, that means he is no longer on probation.


The Chasin Freedum Foundation

Since winning his freedom, Bosco has been a busy man. At the top of his to-do list: Spend time with his daughter. He is also a motivational speaker, making his rounds at different conferences across the country. And he has started the “Chasin’ Freedum Foundation.” He told me he spelled it that way in his book and in his foundation’s title because he spent so many years chasing freedom the wrong way, “…the dumb way…”  as he says. Bosco hopes to help other non-violent drug offenders gain their freedom the right way. 

He also has hopes to help young people in the communities and environments that he grew up in. “I want to create opportunities for young people in those communities. I want to provide more exposure to things that can help them find their true meaning and purpose… So they won’t find themselves taking a path that leads to prison.”


Come Talk to Me

My opinion: Bosco should have never gotten his life taken away. Did he break the law? Yes. And he acknowledges that. But the punishment in no way fit the crime.The world of legal Cannabis can be a confusing place. Differences in opinion of the plant itself lead to differences in legality on a federal, state, and local level. Even in California, where the plant is ingrained in major parts of our society, there are people who ignorantly think Cannabis is dangerous, and should remain illegal.

People like Bosco are putting the work in and doing their best to change people’s minds. He regularly speaks at conferences hosting lawyers, police officers, judges… And after hearing him speak and truly listening to his story, they are embracing him. It is a beautiful thing to behold. (Go look at one of his last instagram posts, where he receives a standing ovation… I choked up a little! A very cool moment.)

I asked Bosco: “If you could say anything to someone who is against Cannabis legalization, and is against freeing people imprisoned for nonviolent Cannabis crimes, what would you say to them?” He simply replied: “Come sit down and talk to me.” with a giggle… “I don’t think there is anything else that could be done, other than for them to sit down and actually see how the system ruins lives, rather than helping rehabilitate and improve lives.

Building a Brighter Future, Together

If you would like to learn more about Bosco, his story, and the future he is trying to help build, there are a few ways you can do that! Social media is always a great method, so go connect with him on LinkedIn, and follow him on instagram. You can also learn more about him on his personal website, and by purchasing his book, Chasin Freedum”.

As we celebrate our freedom this 4th of July, I hope we can all recognize the people still fighting for it. There was a point in time in our countries history when farmers were required by law to have Cannabis plants growing… Now you can lose your life, and get sentenced to 35 years in prison, over that same plant. Thanks to people like Bosco, the narrative is changing.

The future is only getting brighter for Bosco. And he is shining that light on the Cannabis community… Guiding the way for others who’ve had their lives affected by the War on Drugs. Teaching people how to gain true freedom, the right way. It has been my honor getting to know him a little better, and to help tell his story.