MARIJUANA SMOKEOUT NEWS

February 26, 1998

by Julian Heicklen

Smart on Crime & Centre County Libertarian Party

 

Hello! Thanks for being here. Let me bring you up-to-date.

Ken Keltner, the high-school senior that was arrested for participating in the Smoke Out of February 12, 1998, was suspended from school for 3 days. Through his attorney, Joe Devecka, he has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the State College Area School District. The suit, filed on February 24, 1998, asked for $10,001.

Alan Gordon, one of the arrestees on February 12, 1998, was taken into custody at 1:30 PM on February 19, 1998. He was released on bail at 2:05 PM on February 24, 1998. He has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, manufacture of marijuana with intent to deliver, and three bad checks.

The other four arrestees were charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana. Their preliminary hearings were set for March 25, 1998. Andy Burke requested that his preliminary hearing be changed to March 4, and his request was granted. I hope that you will attend his hearing next Wednesday afternoon at the Courthouse in Bellefonte to show your support. I also requested a March 4 date for my preliminary hearing, but the Court Administrator reset the date at March 18. I believe that this is too long a delay and have appealed that decision. Andy Burke and I each will be representing ourselves. In addition, I will act as Andy's co-counsel. Legal arrangements for the other arrestees have not been decided, as far as I know.

Today I will not be smoking marijuana, and I urge you not to do so either. We will meet again next Thursday. A decision about smoking next Thursday will be made Wednesday evening, after Andy's preliminary hearing. In two weeks, we will not have a smoke out because of the spring break at the University.

Now let me tell you what is happening elsewhere in our country. Senator Orin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 28 Senate co-sponsors have introduced Bill S. 3 that mandates that a person convicted of bringing into the United States "100 usual dosage amounts" of several illicit substances–including two ounces of marijuana–be sentenced to life without parole for a first offense and death for a second offense. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and 37 House co-sponsors have introduced Bill H. R. 41 with the identical provision. On May 8, 1997, Speaker Gingrich said: "If you sell it, we're going to kill you."

In Mississippi, a bill dubbed "Smoke a Joint, Lose a Limb" would punish marijuana smokers by amputating an arm or a leg. The legislation, submitted in January by Republican State Representative Bobby Moak, provides that the convicted person and the court "must agree on which body part shall be removed."

In Kansas, a coalition of 38 Republican state legislators wants to impose life terms without parole for people convicted of growing marijuana plants -- even though first-degree murderers can be paroled after 25 years.

Congressman John Linder (R-GA), Chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, has proposed that drug users be quarantined at abandoned military bases so they don't "infect" others.

Tyranny has encompassed the land. Fortunately, there is a political party that can restore freedom, if you will it. That party is the Libertarian Party. One if its freedom planks is to repeal all drug laws.

We are fortunate today to have with us Ken Krawchuk, the Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania. With your help, he will be the next Governor of the Commonwealth. He will work to return to you the right to own your own body and your own property. Please join with me in welcoming a man who believes in America and the Bill of Rights, your next Governor, Ken Krawchuk.