The Power of the People

Something interesting happened in a Montana courthouse. Court officials were given a lesson — that this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

The government can try to hide the truth from the people, but when they do, it will find its way out (whether it’s WikiLeaks acting as a release valve for excessive secrecy, or Drug WarRant telling the truth about the drug war).

And eventually, if the government continues to push a lie, people will exercise their Constitutional duty to be the final check on government.

The tiny amount of marijuana police found while searching Touray Cornell’s home on April 23 became a huge issue for some members of the jury panel.

No, they said, one after the other. No way would they convict somebody for having a 16th of an ounce.

In fact, one juror wondered why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, said a flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul. […]

“I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’ ” said Deschamps, who called a recess.

And he didn’t. […]

“Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state’s marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances,” according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney.

“A mutiny,” said Paul.

“Bizarre,” the defense attorney called it.

In his nearly 30 years as a prosecutor and judge, Deschamps said he’s never seen anything like it.

Not a mutiny. As commenter Kaptinemo notes:

No, this was no ‘mutiny’. This was an application of the principle behind jury nullification as it was meant to be applied against unjust laws.

There was an important point raised in the article:

“I think it’s going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount,” Deschamps said. […]

“It’s kind of a reflection of society as a whole on the issue,” said Deschamps.

Which begs a question, he said.

Given the fact that marijuana use became widespread in the 1960s, most of those early users are now in late middle age and fast approaching elderly.

Is it fair, Deschamps wondered, in such cases to insist upon impaneling a jury of “hardliners” who object to all drug use, including marijuana?

“I think that poses a real challenge in proceeding,” he said. “Are we really seating a jury of their peers if we just leave people on who are militant on the subject?”

That’s an important point. Sort of like death-qualifying a jury on a capital case, there is a real Constitutional issue when summarily eliminating any potential jurors because of their beliefs about the drug war. It makes a mockery of the notion of a jury of peers and attempts to short-circuit the legitimate role of citizens as judges of the law.

I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more of this in the future.

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53 Responses to The Power of the People

  1. claygooding says:

    As I noted at another site,jury nullification may be the only way that marijuana will ever be legalized or at the least,decriminalized.
    It is an action by the people the same way a ballot initiative is except the government is not in charge of
    counting the votes of the jury.

  2. DdC says:

    Jury Nullification

    Anglo-Saxon common law right of claiming a “necessity” to break the law, because doing so prevented a greater harm…
    ~ Rob Waddell

    “Jurors have always had the ability to ignore the judge, ignore the law and acquit, jury nullification serves as an important check on government power.”
    –University of Alberta law professor Sanjeev Anand
    Edmonton Sun January 15, 2006

    Say you want a revolution
    We better get on right away
    Well you get on your feet
    And out on the street
    Singing power to the people

    John Lennon Gimme some truth.jpg

  3. darkcycle says:

    When they can’t empanel enough white-haired Baptists to convict a pothead in Missoula, Montana, we are winning.

  4. denmark says:

    I’ve been watching Montana on the side. The end prohibition folks appear to be strong and determined and medical marijuana people are standing their ground.
    Montana is a wonderful state with wonderful people, and lots of rednecks, so yes, this is significiant.

  5. Its called choice ....... says:

    “A mutiny,” said Paul

    A Mutiny? Just because it dosent support their veiw of life? Well I suggest that those who support this law get used to this Mutiny. People of the woirld are seeing just how stupid OUR (USA) prohibition is. So , if we disagree with the law its mutiny? Somnething that can also be prosecuted by a law?

  6. vicky vampire says:

    This is damn significant Montana lots of country pro-gun hunting folks. I feel that even they are starting to get fed up with heavy strong arming of what a tiny minuscule amount of cannabis. Yeah this is very good and lets hope many more stories coming like this in 2011 folks.

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  8. Paul says:

    This is great! I hope it gets a lot more publicity.

    I read this sort of thing happens in rural Kentucky a lot, because there are so many marijuana farmers in the hills and everybody knows each other. When a jury is formed, it almost always includes people you know…and well, he just don’t look guilty to me is all I’m sayin’. 🙂

  9. kaptinemo says:

    “We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.” 417 F. 2d 1002 – United States v. Moylan

    It cannot be any clearer than that. Which is why judges and prosecutors ask the kind of questions they do during voir dire, to remove any citizens who might understand their true role as judges of the law, itself during jury deliberations.

    If this does not demonstrate the degree of institutionalized corruption of the legal process, nothing will. For in outright lying to the prospective or empaneled jury that they must follow only the directions of the judge, and not their own consciences as well, is itself an automatic obstruction of justice worthy of more than just a few days in the Graybar Hotel and a fine. Even a tar bath and a feather rinse followed by riding a rail is insufficient. Think “Safety, off (clack!)”.

    For such ‘directives’ are a poison dart aimed at the very heart of our freedoms; to be able to employ one’s own moral compass in deciding whether a law is unjust or not. That members of the legal establishment are so threatened by such an exercise, and, in turn (illegally!) threaten retribution for doing so, is just one more example of the rot grown thick on American jurisprudence.

  10. Paul says:


    It is the natural direction of things. Jefferson warned that “we all know that permanent judges acquire an esprit de corps…” They are biased for all kinds of reasons, but most of all they are biased towards the powers and interests of their own profession.

    Juries are a limit to their power, so naturally, bit by bit, the legal profession whittles away at the jury tradition. They seek to control juries by giving misleading instructions, or by shaping the jury during the voir dire, or threatening punishment should a juror forthrightly announce he will vote his conscience.

    The legal profession would prefer, really, to have all legal matters simply go in front of a judge and dispense with troublesome juries altogether. To the extent they are forced to have trials with juries, the legal profession seeks to control them as tightly as possible, so the jurors only judge the law according to the arcane, and sometimes, quite frankly, bizarre rules they follow, and which coincidently serve as a barrier to entry into their profession.

    This state of affairs will only worsen over time because power’s tendency to concentrate, the legal profession’s self interest, and the public’s inattention. Another quote from Jefferson comes to mind, the one about armed, bloody revolution every 20 years or so…

  11. richard says:

    just a quick correction to this one statement folks

    No, this was no ‘mutiny’. This was an application of the principle behind jury nullification as it was meant to be applied against unjust laws.

    this is completely false and nothing but a farse. to try and say laws on marijuana are unjust laws,is completely wrong and a lie and you know it.marijuana is the reason for 95% of the voilent acts commited agenist children.marijuana was made illegal to protect our kids and the laws we have put in place work rather well, for you to go out a spread your lies to the american public,to push a discusting agenda of legalizing seek to destory the american dream.all of america’s problems would go away if we just made marijuana laws more like china where they excute you for volaiting the law,you know it works rather well there i garrentee you. you make possison of marijuana even small amounts captial punishment and use of the drug will drop to damn well zero.and another thing that would help fix our country and make it safer is to put the poor back in their damn place in socity,as the piece of sh*% they are and prison where they belong,they do nothing but complain and welch off us working class.see the poor and homeless are the root cause of marijuana crimes.get rid of the homeless and poor and no more marijuana on the streets.kill off the homeless ,i’m sure they’d rather be extermated anyways for being stupid and making retarded choices of being homeless .but anyways if you guys are gonna lie and spreed false statements of dangers of probitian,then why don’t you back it up with studys to support your claims,theres millions of studys that prove the dangers of marijuana.theres that famous study that proved marijuana kills brain cells. i must repeat marijuana is a dangerous drug.Just look at the hard facts, causes deadly addiction, far more addictive than cigarettes far more harmful than beer cause alcohol contains one ingreint ethynol,were marijuana has over 400 chemicals in it that cause lung cancer,and other desieses.’s a gateway drug,u will graduate to herion after using marijuana for a few months,seen all the proof i need of that by looking at my daily newspaper crimestoppers report.
    4.marijuana has no medicinal value,it’s not been aproved by the FDA,theres not enough studys to determain anything of medinial value at all.and it still remains a sedual 1 drug by the DEA cause every study that comes out keeps showing a proving what they’ve been saying about it all along.besides theres merianol thats FDA approved that doesnt get patients high,or any of the addictive qualitys of marijuana.
    5. theres now more alarming rates of drug driving going on 80% of drivers test positive for marijuana,that my friend is a serious problem.cops cant tell when someones high on marijuana,unlike alcohol these new laws are needed to protect me and my family from hippies behind the wheel on dope.i have no problem with random drug test on people who get pulled over,if theres a trace of marijuana or anything then send them off,cause thats all the proof i need to know your high and a danger on the road.
    6.marijuana use supports dangerous drug cartels,and terrorist. if you smoke marijuana then you support the burtal death of Ashley Valareal,who was a buitiful 14 year old girl who had hopes and dreams but lost them all because she got involved with some people who smoked marijuana and snorted cocaine,one of them fell short on paying back their dealer so their dealer came and opened fired on her in her grandmothers car down her smoke marijuana then you support messed up stuff like that.
    7.if you support marijuana use then, you are a disrepect to the founding fathers and disrepect for law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line. you know how many thousands if not millions of peace officers lost their lives in the line of duty becouse of marijuana users and dealers.
    listen i just gave you the facts,no stop trying to lie to america and stop disrepecting our nation. go cut your hair and go get some jobs, u know after you take that ged test that you’ve been holding off of for the past 35 years because you’d rather feed your weed addiction

  12. Pete says:

    Oh, my. That’s hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. This is satire, right? Because I’d really like to believe that nobody is that…

  13. Duncan20903 says:

    Maybe the Know Nothing prohibitionists should merge with the newspapers. They seem to have a natural and mutual appreciation for one another. They also have similar long term prospects for their continued existence.

  14. Maria says:

    *blinks* That sure was … something …?

    Anyways back to the Montana event. The more members are aware of the deep responsibility of juries the better. It’s fascinating and terrify to me how looked down upon jury service has become. It’s a chore, a bore, an annoyance, and inconvenience.

    I’ve met people who are proud to serve their peers and do their duty, who respect the importance of it and can actually articulate what it really and truly means. There’s a certain irony for me that in my life they’ve tended to be immigrants who’ve received their US citizenship as adults. I’m sure there are exceptions, but mostly, I’ve heard too many “busy busy” people bitch about their selection and try to wriggle their way out of it.

    The fact that this jury understood their responsibility for the life of this person, that is a breath of fresh air.

  15. Duncan20903 says:

    I really thought that people couldn’t be alive without a working brain.

    I was wrong. [sigh]

    If you come back Richard, please take a look at the SAMHSA statistics. Remember that the SAMHSA is the US government agency assigned to produce and promote government anti-freedom propaganda.

    The attempt to claim that drugged” driving is and expanding problem just doesn’t hold up when we look at actual facts. Released on 12/9/2010 and ignored by the media while they wailed and gnashed their teeth about the one that purported to show that youth cannabis use is “rising”.

    When combined 2002 to 2005 data are compared with combined 2006 to 2009 data, the Nation as a whole experienced a statistically significant reduction in the rate of past year drugged driving (from 4.8 to 4.3 percent), as did seven States: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (Table 2). No States had a statistically significant increase in the rate of drugged driving.

    Please notice that 4 of the 7 states that saw statistically significant reductions in “drugged” driving were also States with medical cannabis laws.

    Please notice that no states had statistically significant increases in “drugged” driving in those 8 years. None. As in not a one. As in it didn’t happen.

    No, drugged driving isn’t “expanding”.

    No, passing medical cannabis laws doesn’t cause “drugged” driving to “skyrocket”.

    Regardless, we’re not going away.

    We’re not going to quit enjoying our cannabis, and we’ve got almost 100 years of evidence that says you can’t stop us. You’ve got an idiotic belief that you know what you’re talking about.

    We’re also not going to be taking the blame for the mess which the idiots in charge of prosecuting the war on (some) drugs are responsible.

    Have a great day!

  16. Duncan20903 says:

    Maria, around here (Montgomery County, MD) the people that end up getting called for jury duty were saying some of the darnedest things during voir dire to get out of jury duty. So the rules were changed from if you got yourself excluded from the jury you got to go home to if you were excluded you get to spend the rest of the time in the jury pool waiting room. You can get yourself tossed off the jury, but you can’t get yourself out of the courthouse.

  17. kaptinemo says:

    (Smiling in awed appreciation) Richard, much obliged for your tuppence. I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time, and I have you to thank.

    Your sense of faux(?) outrage alone is sufficient to merit an Academy Award, should you pursue (or decide to pursue) a career in acting. Or perhaps you might consider a career in politics?

    Bless you, for this has been a real p*sser of a workday and you’ve greatly relieved my stress for the moment.

    Oh, and BTW, I am gainfully employed, am former military (Honorably Discharged with an Army Service Medal), scion of a military family whose hair (when I had it, I’m 53 now and it’s just a memory) was never longer than the 2″ maximum the my Marine “Hair-is-a-woman’s-glory-and-a-man’s-shame!” father demanded, and wore a crew-cut all through high school (and caught hell for it; this was the 1970’s) because I was in a Civil Air Patrol squadron doing search and rescue work (gets hot wearing those brain-buckets) and getting covered in other people’s blood while hauling them out of downed planes. From there I went to college and earned a BA in Sociology with a minor in Political Science and went into the Army immediately after graduation, enlisting (yes, I was enlisted) in a Special Forces unit.

    Question my patriotism, regardless of who you may be, and you better have your health insurance paid up; you’ll effin’ need it.

  18. darkcycle says:

    Oh. Richard already posted it here I see. Sorry for the redundancy. (That was snark, but not really, read the POS at the telegraph…)

  19. darkcycle says:

    Nemo, he can’t even spell. Let alone define patriotism. If that’s not sarcasm, he’s a frothing-at-the-mouth looney. That was so comical it HAD to be sarcsm, and I’m the one who always misses it around here…

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  21. kaptinemo says:

    DarkCycle, having lived and worked amongst Asians, I am always aware of the need to ‘save face’ when dealing with strangers. Which is why I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    But, as the old saying goes, it’s best to keep your mouth shut to avoid the possibility of being mistaken for a fool, than it is to open said mouth and confirm such suspicions. That goes double for the ‘Net, because the ‘Web is forever’.

    Sadly, some people have never made that realization, and their inanities are preserved on someone’s server in perpetuity for all to marvel at…

  22. Duncan20903 says:

    I’m worried. If I go get that GED I’ve been putting off for 35 years will I then be unable to correctly structure a sentence or know how to use a spellchecker like richard?

    kaptinemo, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is an enduring piece of Americana. Did you realize the movie was released 28 years ago in 1982? I think it may be time to play the Spicoli card vis a vis the notion that potheads are worthless dregs. By that I mean we embrace it as if it were actually factual.

    What difference does it make if we’re all Spicoli? Is being Spicoli any reason to lock people up and to reduce them to second class citizens? Does being Spicoli mean it’s OK for the bigots, religionists, and authoritarian propagandists like richard to treat us in a manner that would be shunned and condemned if used against a person with different skin color, sexual orientation, religion, or physical handicap?

    Clowns like Richard can be slapped in the face with provable facts about the significant accomplishments and systemic improvements in society that various potheads have contributed and they’re just going to disregard it. I believe this happens because it is simply beyond their ken. They just don’t have the brain cache required to process it and understand. It’s a losing battle, with a significant contributing factor being that the prohibitionists are bald faced liars. This causes them to believe that anyone who is advocating a position are also liars. That’s one major problem with advocating an ethically viable public policy against people who are morally bankrupt like richard.

    Shit, they can’t even admit that they’ve lost the war on (some) drugs. Well, that might be a fairly rational defense mechanism on an individual level. Who the heck would want to admit that they got their asses kicked by bunch of potheads? But at this point their denial of obvious reality is a significant, clear and present danger to our society. I’m not really sure that richard understands just how close his favored wholesale and retail suppliers of (some) drugs, (the cartels) are to being systemically ensconced in our social structure and our economy.

    We have no reliable road map from the past with which to predict our country’s immediate future. Al Capone and friends were really only in existence for a little more than a decade, hardly time enough to become part and parcel of the landscape. How many years before we start getting treated to the news that the American cartels delivered yet another a gunny sack of disarticulated human heads to the local constabulary? How long until children die from being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

    Spicoli for President in 2012!

  23. Duncan20903 says:

    Potheads are stupid, worthless amotivational dregs who have no job yet are able to afford several hundred dollars worth of cannabis per week in order to habitually wake and bake.

    Anyone who can look at the list of authorities that recognize cannabis as medicine and claim that it isn’t medicine must be living in an alternative universe. The know nothings claim that potheads are lazy, unmotivated worthless piles of human flesh that only sit in our mothers’ basement eating Cheetos and watching Cheech and Chong movies over and over. Then they proceed to claim that these same worthless dregs have scammed 3 countries, 15 States and the District of Columbia, Bayer Shering Pharmaceuticals, the Boards of Pharmacy of 2 states (so far), and 75-80% of the public into believing that cannabis is medicine. And they claim that potheads are out of touch with reality. Sheesh!

    Oh, lets not forget to mention that they think the American public is as brain dead as themselves.

  24. darkcycle says:

    I truly believe it to be a magnificent piece of satire, the encyclopedic nature of the retarded arguments, the random and frequent misspellings, all combine to give a true feeling of the authoritarian/prohibitionist rant.

  25. Mike R says:

    This really made me smile. Every time I’ve ever had a chance at jury duty, they’ve dismissed me almost immediately. I’m really proud of these folks.

  26. allan420 says:

    “Richard” made more spelling errors in that one statement than I’ve made in my entire life. I think that has to be a spoof. Altho’ Linda may want to post it as a study…

    I’m a Swede-Finn/Norwegian and last nite I re-read Dana Larsen’s excellent write up on the origins of Santa and his reindeer. Gads, what a hoot! Here ya go:

    I’m proud to be a descendant of such ancient fun! I wonder… with the human genome project making such strides in understanding the flow of humanity’s spread across the globe, could I make a claim for psychedelics as a practical part of my religious practices? And… am I really related to that anglo male found buried in China with some nice ganja colas…

    So, back to Dana’s tale… upon reflection I’ve come to wonder what message we’re sending to the children by filling their heads with tales of a red-faced Jolly gentleman bellowing an intoxicated “Ho-ho-ho” and flying with reindeer tripping on mushrooms. Is this psychedelic holiday phantasy healthy for our precious babes?

  27. DdC says:

    Dang it Pete, you have to shut the damn screen door or these pesky bugs will keep getting in… This richard retard whatever sounds like he got the big dose of Raid. Not that I actually read the post. First and last sentences usually tell whats in the middle.

    I think jury nullification was granted under common law. Magna Carta? But the judge can hold you for contempt of court, maybe? The story of the first two nullifying under King George were thrown into the dungeons for two days then released. Not sure about today. The jury would probably have nullified Ed Rosenthals case, the judge did in sentencing one day. But in Charlie Lynch and Eddie Lepp and even Brian Epis no one spoke up in the jury. Because the judge instructed and implemented the 404 gag rule about “medicinal marijuana” confusing the jury. According to Fed law its all just dope. So one must assume the jury can disregard the 404. As well as the defendant. That would seem to be their First Amendment right of free speech and the right to an impartial jury. In Lynch’s case it seems to be a he said she said and the judge nullified the full sentence, but not the charge. Still can’t find a lot on the 404 gag rule, or if its Constitutional banning the right of the defendent to free speech, let alone a jury of ones peers. It also seems Sister Somaya Kambui should have set precident to ban future Feds from Kangarooing those busted.

    “We the People are the rightful master of both congress and the courts – not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    Sister Somaya Kambui 03/20/02
    On Monday, March 18, 2002, Sister Somaya Kambui was found “not guilty” of all charges in the Los Angeles County Court. This is a big win for medical marijuana proponents in many ways. She was facing 5 felony counts… If she had been found not guilty of these charges, the jury could still have convicted her of the lesser misdemeanor offenses of possession of concentrated cannabis or possession of over an ounce of marijuana.

    Morro Bay Lynching
    “I don’t think I should be a convicted felon for doing things that the state of California and the city of Morro Bay told me I could do to help people in our area,” Lynch said.

    Renegade Cops & Ganja Props

    Common Law is a real thing. It is a real system of laws derived from centuries of work, study and sacrifice of millions of people. It is not trivial and inconsequential as some would have you think. It is the Common Law that is most represented within Our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Our Bill of Rights. These documents were designed to limit and eliminate the vicious Equity, Maritime or Admiralty Law which was what we revolted against as Our Revolution against the totalitarianism of England.
    ~ Our American Common Law
    by Howard Fisher and Dale Pond

    How FIJA Saved My Life! By D. Paul Stanford

    “unreviewable and irreversible power [of the jury] to acquit in disregard of the instruction of the law given by the trial judge. The pages of history shine upon instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge”
    — D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1972

  28. Bruce says:

    Day 232
    Not one more dime outta me Big brother you peeping Tom pervert.

    Comical to see my dad at age 79 itching to serve Jury duty in Feb
    His mantra has always been “Lock ‘im up and throw away the key”
    Should be interesting.
    I fear for the defendant.
    Harper smoothie traitor demonic sharpies in full ShrieK.

  29. kaptinemo says:

    SHHHHHH, Allan! Never hand a fool with an empty weapon a fresh magazine! They might use it on you next!

    (Gasp!) You’re trampling on their precious mythology! Why, why, why…you’re a part of the ‘libruhl’ conspiracy to destroy Xmas!

    Some of the poor benighted kiddies might get the idea to begin questioning what they thought was historical fact and learn that most of those ‘facts’ were BS! And by doing it about Xmas, they might even begin to question other things, too…like the legitimacy of the political order that sanctions lying to its’ own people for its’ own purposes! We can’t have that, now can we? Oh, the horrors!

  30. darkcycle says:

    Y’all do know the origin of the brightly colored presents beneath the Christmas tree, right? Where does Aminita Muscaria grow? Under the evergreens!

  31. Duncan20903 says:

    I think darkcycle has just confessed that richard is his doppelganger.

    Study says computers more harmful to IQ than smoking marijuana

    December 20th, 2010
    Author: Toni Bowers

  32. claygooding says:

    Now you have thrown a cravin on me dark!
    Hats off to Richard for giving everyone here a nice wake up call and reminder of the level of intelligent,sophisticated and example of what being str8 can do for you.

    “The only way we can really protect our children and grandchildren from being harmed by marijuana is to remove the harm from marijuana,the law.” me

  33. kaptinemo says:

    Since Richard’s outburst, I was wondering just who his thought processes reminded of. Took a bit of rummaging about in my (eidetic) memory, but it finally dawned upon me.

    I know who he is.

    Ladies and gentleman, Richard revealed!

  34. darkcycle says:

    Nemo, you may be right there, however anybody ever pick up a copy of “The Weekly World News” by mistake? Ever read the “Ed Anger” column? (P.S. I have the original “Bat Boy” cover on my garage wall.)
    No, I’m afraid if I tried that, I could never be as convincing.

  35. claygooding says:

    I already knew this and Richard proved some of it up.

    Study: Smart People Drink, Smoke, Use Drugs

    I am also sure most of the posters here realized it long ago,,,,,pre-study intuition?

  36. allan420 says:

    aaah Kap… I never get the vid fun! Darn dial-up modem…

    And yes… I’ve begun my new anti-drug campaign –Just Say No to Santa! Red-faced, intoxicated pagan… flying reindeer indeed! Santa was tripping…

  37. strayan says:

    The drug war job creation scheme has to be one of the most successful. Here we have comment from the local mayor on a the opening of a new prison:

    McCleary Mayor Gary Dent says it’s a great opportunity to create jobs and restabilize his community.

    Yes, folks, filling prisons is good for the community – now if we could just think of a way to turn normal behaviour into criminal behaviour…

  38. kaptinemo says:

    Clay, it’s a pity that we can’t get good statistics about the correlation of intelligence /cannabis use; subjectively speaking, just about all the truly bright, decent people I know smoke weed. Even one who I know who is a master micro-brewer prefers cannabis when he can get it, and I have it on unimpeachable authority he brews some of the best home-made there is (I don’t drink, so I have to take that on faith.)

    They mostly do not prefer alcohol, and only consume it because of ‘social requirements’ or simply because no weed is available…or their circumstances prevent them from being able to enjoy it without certain discovery (enforced random p*ss testing) and catastrophic loss of livelihood (h/t to S***i).

    The SAFER group’s arguments aside, I much prefer the company of cannabists; I’ve got scars from where drunks wanted to pick (unprovoked on my part) fights. Never, ever had that problem with cannabists. I rest my case…

  39. kaptinemo says:

    Allan, there’s a program called KeepVid that’s freeware that allows you to download vids from various sources and save them in several formats.

    You’d have to keep your dial-up connection going, of course, and hope it doesn’t time out on you as it downloads (most dial-ups give you an IP on their network for 12 hours after you log on; at least, my old one at Mindspring did). That’s one way of watching these online videos.

  40. undrgrndgirl says:

    so the take away from this story is:

    if you are caught with cannabis do NOT take a plea bargain…make sure your case ends up in court

  41. darkcycle says:

    Not a safe takaway, Undrgndgrl. D.A.’s will offer a reduced plea bargain, and in most cases, they lard on a host of additional charges if you push to go to court. They also like to play rough, and will charge your friends or family as accessories if you don’t bend over and grease up. So you are taking a bigger chance if you stand your ground and insist on a Jury trial. It also depends on your circumstances, both the circumstances of your arrest and your financial circumstances. Think “lawers, Guns and Money”, Warren Zevon

  42. Mark says:

    Today was a day that I was especially proud to call myself a Montanan. If you don’t mind me plugging it John Masterson sums it up pretty well on the Montana NORML site. While Montana is a pretty small state (less than 1 million) it’s a bastion of individual’s rights. The presumption of liberty (at least in spirit) runs pretty strong here.
    The basic attitude of many of the people up here is a presumption of liberty; that the government shouldn’t interfere without a compelling need to do so. It seems like the hard right is losing a lot of ground up here on issues such as this up here for this fact alone. On the whole I would say that this reflects more of an attitude that the government should not be interfering with individual liberty because somebody partakes, rather than the ideal that cannabis consumers should have rights. All is well that ends well I suppose and it kind of becomes a chicken and egg argument in the end but you get the idea.
    I was thinking about possibly pursuing a ballot campaign for 2012 based on that premise. With the slant toward individual liberty here something might be possible that allows you to grow your own, use your own and do not-for-profit transfers. It seems like most of the arguments against legalization focus on creating a new industry like big tobacco so I think if the industry aspect is removed more people would support. Not to mention not having to deal with the regulation aspect with the non-cooperating Feds. There has indeed been some backlash against MM here but that seems to be losing some steam as the veil of public safety comes down. If you read some of the comments on these articles in some of the local papers this has become pretty apparent. If we get a ballot campaign going for 2012 we’ll need all the help we can get.

  43. Mark says:

    If you’ll allow Pete I’d also like to plug the Fully Informed Jury Association which interestingly enough is located in Helena, Montana.

    I think the more people know about jury nullification the better and groups like this could become as important as others like LEAP along the way. While there are a lot of rednecks up here who like their trucks and guns (I just might be one of them) there are also plenty who believe that liberty of inviduals (cannabis consumers included) have the right to be left alone by the government unless there’s some compelling reason for the government to invite themselves to the party.

  44. kaptinemo says:

    Mark, although I had not mentioned it directly, the FIJA people were exactly who I had in mind as the ‘true patriots’, who took the time to research the facts and come to the (correct) conclusion as based upon the very same oh-so-holy ‘case law’ that the would-be tyrants of the court system revere so much.

    US vs. Moylan was indeed the key to understanding the true responsibilities of all those called upon you deliberate on not only whether a crime is severe enough to warrant punishment, but whether it is actually a crime at all.

    I suspect, as time goes on and it becomes obvious that we can no longer afford the bloated bureaucracy (caused by drug prohibition) attendant to our (ha-ha) ‘justice’ system, we’ll see a lot more of this happening, as the legal system will not reform itself without an outside impetus bigger than it is leaning on it like the proverbial 800lb gorilla…and that ‘gorilla’ is (to paraphrase an old sci-fi movie title) The Incredible Shrinking Economy.

    I read long ago that “A society has the ethics it can afford”. Substitute the word ‘prejudices’ for the word ‘ethics’ and you have the DrugWar perfectly ‘framed’. It’s a very, very expensive prejudice we can no longer afford…and not just monetarily.

  45. kaptinemo says:

    Sorry, that was “…called upon to deliberate…”

  46. Pingback: Can Jury Nullification End The War On Drugs? – The Atlantic | My Blog

  47. damu99 says:

    Once I finally read Harry Anslingers famous quotations that led to the demonization of this plant I KNEW any and everything I learned from the purveyors of prohibition was a LIE…Now once you’ve come to that conclusion that the prohibitive law was inherently RACIST to begin with You’ll see a problem with any other argument against the plant. I think the law itself should approached on this basis and then the medicinal aspects can be more accepted.


    Now the discussion can begin….

  48. DdC says:

    Congratulations damu99, come on down, you’re the next contestant on the price is right. Yes it is Racist. But the prohibitionists or slavers of the past had no genetic defect causing them to be racist. Now that you see what should be obvious to all. What is the reason for racism? Stigmatizing a group. Dividing the people and cheap labor. Here comes another boat from Niger. Full of Nigers. What else would an illiterate sharecropper say? Then add the old english double gg. Stigmatizing is a tool. Racism is a tool. Prohibition is a tool. Fascism is the product they’re making.

    Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp

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