SPEECH GIVEN AT THE 1999
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CENTRE COUNTY, PA?
by Julian Heicklen
E-Mail: jph13@psu.edu
May 1, 1999
        Fellow Patriots! It is immoral to arrest someone for owning a
vegetable. The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control
your own body. The issue is not marijuana. Marijuana is the messenger, not
the message. The issue is whether we will live in freedom or under tyranny.
        Furthermore I am a miser. One-third of all people entering state
and federal prisons are doing so for non-violent narcotics violations.
Keeping them there costs a lot of money, my money. I object to supporting
dope-heads in prison, when they should be out working to support me.
        At noon on January 15, 1998, I smoked a marijuana joint in front of
100 people at the main university gate. The point was to get arrested and
use a jury nullification defense to have the jury nullify the
anti-marijuana law. Much to my surprise, I was not arrested. I repeated
this 3 times at weekly rallies until an arrest was made. I then continued
the weekly rallies, but did not smoke. I said that my goal was
accomplished, and that I would not smoke again as long as I received a
fair, impartial, speedy trial in front of a jury of my peers. Very soon, it
became apparent that this was not to be the case. At the 7th rally, I
resumed smoking marijuana joints. We have held at least one Marijuana Smoke
Out every week for 65 weeks.
A. CENTRE COUNTY COURT
        Our county court is a constitutional disaster. The Vth amendment to
the U. S. Constitution requires indictment by a grand jury. At present
there are no grand juries in Centre County. Twice I was found to be in
contempt of court, because I requested my right to a grand jury indictment.
        The VIth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution guarantees the accused
to a speedy and public trial. In Centre County, an accused can be held in
prison for 6 months before trial. This is not a speedy trial. How would you
like to be imprisoned for 6 months and then found to be not guilty? In
Centre County, cameras are not permitted in the courtroom, so that a full
public trial is impossible.
        The VIth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution guarantees an
impartial jury. One of the requirements for an impartial jury is a jury
pool that is representative of the county population. In Centre County,
residents of University Park are systematically excluded from the jury
pools. Young adults are grossly underrepresented. In my trial, Jews were
systematically excluded. This was done by setting the date of the trial for
September 21, 1998, which was Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish High Holiday. I
notified both the judge and the court administrator that this was Jewish
High Holy Day, and that I could not attend. I was told that was too bad the
trial would be on September 21. At jury selection the jury pool was
informed that the date of the trial was September 21, and that anyone that
could not attend that day should excuse himself. Of course, all of the Jews
excused themselves. Then the jury was selected. After the jury was
selected, the judge changed the trial date to October 7, 1998.
        The VIth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution also guarantees a
defendant the right to have witnesses in his favor. In Centre County the
number of witnesses the defense wishes to call is restricted. In my trial,
witnesses that I had subpoenaed were not permitted to testify. I was denied
the right to have expert witnesses testify on my behalf.
        In Centre County, juries decide cases without even knowing what the
law is. Judge Brown never read the law to my jury, so it had no basis for
knowing if I was guilty or innocent. In fact Judge Brown did not even know
what the law is. My defense lawyers had to show it to him in the middle of
the trial, but he ignored it.
        The state's "expert" witnesses are allowed to state that they found
some result without presenting any data or even what tests were done or the
date on which their tests were performed. There is no evidence presented in
court that the state "experts" even performed the tests.
        The Centre County judges prohibit the defense from using
well-accepted legal defenses of jury nullification, necessity, or
justification.
        Trials in Centre County are held as if they are timed sporting
events. The judge decides how much time each side should have, disregarding
the amount of evidence either side wishes to present.
        Indigent defendants are appointed a public defender. Often this is
a farce. Many defendants do not meet their public defender until the trial.
 
B. POLICE HARASSMENT
        Because of the situation that I have described above, the
Libertarian Party of Centre County decided to run candidates for public
office for the first time in Centre County. Carla Moquin and I are running
for County Commissioner. Then started the police harassment.
 
1. Heicklen-Fornbacher Arrest of February 11, 1999
        On February 11, 1999, Julian Heicklen and Diane Fornbacher were
arrested for using a battery-powered bullhorn at the weekly Marijuana Smoke
Out. They were charged with violation of the municipal noise control
ordinance and the state statute against disorderly conduct.
        The noise control ordinance prohibits the use of loudspeakers/sound
amplifiers, but exemptions are made for "musical, recreational and athletic
events conducted by schools or a local government including such outdoor
practices as may be necessary in preparation for such events." Furthermore
exemptions can be made by special waiver with approval of the Borough
Council. In fact, everything is permitted except political speech and loud
parties. However if the University approves of the political speech, it is
permitted. The U. S. Supreme Court repeatedly has ruled that municipal
bullhorn ordinances are a violation of the First Amendment right to free
speech, and therefore are unconstitutional.
        We use a bullhorn because we cannot be heard over the noise of the
motor vehicle traffic. In fact when buses or large trucks pass, we have to
stop talking, because even the bullhorn is not loud enough. We had used a
bullhorn every week for a full year prior to our arrest. On the day of our
arrest, there were no complaints from businesses or pedestrians. The
Borough Manager filed the complaint, because he was going to eat in the
restaurant across the street. He had a window seat, but testified that he
could not remember if he heard the bullhorn in the restaurant. The police
officer who made the arrest testified that the bullhorn could not be heard
inside the restaurant.
        Bullhorns are used at the location of our demonstrations in
parades, athletic rallies, bicycle races, and other political rallies that
do not offend the University establishment.
        Heicklen has filed for injunctive relief in the U. S. Middle
District Court for Pennsylvania. At the hearing, it was established that
traffic noise and the electronic amplifiers used at the Arts Festival,
parades, bicycle races, and other political activities are louder than the
noise made at the Marijuana Smoke Outs. All of the events in question were
held at the same location.
2. Wal-Mart Arrests
        On March 12 and 13, Heicklen was arrested for passing out campaign
flyers in front of a Wal-Mart store and held in prison in lieu of $75,000
bail. Wal-Mart policy prohibits political activity on its premises. In
front of the Wal-Mart store are 14 benches, two public telephones, 7
soft-drink vending machines, and a newspaper dispenser. Wal-Mart permits
the Salvation Army and other charitable organizations to solicit money in
front of the store. The only thing it does not allow is political activity.
        The Pennsylvania State statute states that a defense for defiant
trespass is: "The premises were at the time open to the public and the
actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining
in the premises or area."
        Heicklen has filed for injunctive relief in the U. S. Middle
District Court for Pennsylvania. At the hearing, it was established that
all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining on the premises
were met. A request for a temporary restraining order was denied by the
Court.
        I have been aware for some time that the Constitution is void where
prohibited by law. However now a new concept has been added to the law.
Both the Constitution and state law are void where prohibited by Wal-Mart
policy.
C. SUMMARY
        I have been arrested 15 times, six for smoking marijuana, and
incarcerated 5 times. You are looking at the number one criminal in the
United States based on arrest rate. What makes me so dangerous? I own a
vegetable, and I tell people that they have the right to own vegetables.
Let me tell you something. I am the most dangerous person in the United
States, because, with your help, I intend to restore the constitution.
        We are involved in a struggle for the soul of America. The issue is
whether we will live in freedom or under tyranny. Choose freedom! The
lighted marijuana weed is the torch of freedom.