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The Exile Nation Project - Stephani Conyers and Rebecca Forbes

A pair of videos from a mother and daughter testify to the brutality of the War on Drugs, and the consequences children face when their parents are locked up.

The Land of the Free punishes or imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation. This collection of testimonials from criminal offenders, family members, and experts on America’s criminal justice system puts a human face on the millions of Americans subjugated by the US Government's 40 year, one trillion dollar social catastrophe: The War on Drugs; a failed policy underscored by fear, politics, racial prejudice and intolerance in a public atmosphere of "out of sight, out of mind."


Children are the unacknowledged victims of the drug war.

In this interview, Stephani Conyers recounts her experience as the child of drug offenders. Both her father and mother (Rebecca Forbes) received prison sentences in the State of North Carolina for the cultivation of cannabis.

Stephani describes in harrowing detail SWAT raids on her family home while only a young child, life in abusive foster homes, drugs and sexual abuse, and her struggle to maintain a relationship with her parents as they went through the criminal justice system.


Rebecca Forbes is a medical cannabis patient and activist living in North Carolina.

In 1998 Rebecca was sentenced to 3 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections for the cultivation of cannabis.

In this emotional interview, Rebecca describes the devastating impact the drug war has had on her life, health and family.

These interviews are #17 & 18 of 100 in The Exile Nation Project's archive, which can be found on

About the author

Charles Shaw is an award-winning journalist, editor and filmmaker, and the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality. He is currently working on a new film called I’m Still Here, a documentary on Trauma and Healing that will be released in 2015.

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