Live Pot Plants From Dead Hempseeds? Pay Up!

Live Pot Plants From Dead Hempseeds? Pay Up!
Posted by FoM on June 23, 1999 at 09:07:47 PT
From Steve Kubby!
Source: The Kubby Files
Aaron Anderson came by yesterday for a visit and boy was I was impressed. Anderson nearly won his last bid for election, scoring 26% in a three way race. He's beaten back City Hall and made a federal case out of their illegal and immoral behavior.
 Both Anderson and Christie are walking a high path, re-defining local politics. This recent only account is but a brief introduction to the exploits of these New Age politicians.High Times Online: Pot Plants From Dead Hempseeds? Pay Up, Prosecutors!Aaron Anderson, veteran hemp and marijuana advocate on the Big Island of Hawaii, has been advised by the Ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that he stands to be reimbursed by Hawaii County for the 25 pounds of sterilized hempseed they seized from him in 1991--to the tune of $120,000 per pound, for a total of $3 million.Anderson will be arguing shortly in civil court that the county prosecutor's office violated his constitutionally protected right to free speech, because he was singled out for prosecution due to his advocacy activities. While plenty of Hawaiian citizens buy hempseed every day to feed their parrots and cockatoos--it's available at WalMart--none has ever been busted for it except Anderson and his friend, Roger Christie. Anderson will also attempt to prove that County Prosecutor Jay Kimura knew that his deputy Kay Iopa had falsified evidence in order to secure Anderson's indictment by a grand jury.Leaning on the HempstersBack in 1991, Anderson and Christie were plotting nothing more nefarious than the manufacture of tasty baked goods when they ordered 25 pounds of sterilized hempseed from a DEA-licensed distributing company in Fargo, ND, which had legally imported it from China. Brothers in arms (they share the same birthday), Anderson and Christie had gotten excited about hempseed cuisine at the first Hemp Expo in San Francisco. They planned to turn their community on to the delights of gourmet hemp goodies. While their ulterior motive was undeniably to "confound the prohibitionists," this is not now nor ever has been a crime anywhere in the United States of America.Anderson and Christie have always been active with the Hawaii Hemp Council, and fond of exercising their free-speech rights. Anderson has run for mayor of the Big Island three times, mostly for the speaking opportunities provided by campaigning. Acutely aware of this, Deputy County Prosecutor Kay Iopa thought she saw an opportunity to lean on the hempsters, and had the whole consignment of seed intercepted en route from North Dakota. Anderson and Christie never laid hands on it. And in April 1992, a grand jury indicted them for a felony called "second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug."But Kay Iopa had made a couple of mistakes involving the law herself, the Ninth Circuit ultimately ruled. For one thing, she presented the grand jury with a police detective who testified that the cops grew 11 plants from these DEA-sterilized seeds. This was later determined to be bunk--and providentially for the police, too, who could have been duly charged themselves with "manufacturing" cannabis without a DEA license, if they'd actually succeeded.Immaculate Germination?"The first two tests were done by the police, at the police station, without a permit," explains Roger Christie. "They came up with zero germination, twice. But on the third test, all of a sudden, out of tens of thousands of plain brown hemp seeds, eleven plants are grown: all from speckled and striped seeds! They weren't our seeds." Through the courtroom discovery process, Christie has obtained color photos of the plain, brown, unspeckled and unstriped Chinese seeds that were delivered via North Dakota; these photos will likely be introduced as evidence in the new trial.And it gets even better. Next, having obtained this highly dubious indictment, Iopa offered to enter into a plea-bargaining process with the defendants--but only if Anderson and Christie would stop writing letters on the case to the local newspapers, and if Anderson would stop running for public office. The Ninth Circuit later took an exceptionally dim view of these other-than-democratic proceedings.Anderson and Christie of course refused this enticement, and the case went to trial. Whereupon Iopa herself got on the stand, took the oath, and testified out loud. "As a practical matter, no, we're not going to go out, bust the little old lady that's got a bag of bird seeds," she said, inadvertently addressing the constitutional topic of equal protection under the law for all citizens. "When you get 25 pounds," she added, "going to, um, a hemp grower, that is very vocally, very outwardly advocating the legalization of marijuana." As if that were a crime, which it is not, even in Hawaii.Basically, not only did her testimony display ignorance of hemp botany, but also that the Hawaii County authorities were selectively prosecuting these very public hemp-and-pot advocates. If they had been busted simply to shut them up, then that was a violation of their constitutional right to free speech, the Ninth Circuit justices ultimately ruled.Oops, Never Mind. PLEASE Never Mind!Hawaii County dropped the charges against Christie in 1995. Anderson's trial ended in a deadlocked jury and was declared a mistrial, and eventually dismissed by the judge. Anderson and Christie filed suit in 1995 against Iopa, her boss Jay Kimura, and Hawaii County, claiming the prosecution was selective and therefore illegal, and seeking $3 million in damages. The county said they weren't responsible for Iopa's actions, and when the District Court judge agreed, Anderson took it all the way to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, whose rulings apply to the entire Western section of the USA, even to the mid-Pacific.On June 2, 1999 a Ninth US Circuit judge in San Francisco excluded Roger Christie from the suit because his charges had been properly dropped, and he is now planning to refile against the same people in state court. The Circuit panel then ruled that Aaron Anderson definitely has a civil-rights-violation case, and that it must be heard in federal court in Honolulu. The San Francisco justice wrote that there was evidence that Jay Kimura, the county prosecutor, knew of Iopa's actions and either approved of or was "deliberately indifferent" to them."I'm thrilled that we'll be able to get to have the light shone on this case in federal court," says Christie. "The credibility for cannabis and hemp is going up, and the credibility of prohibition is going down. I'm happy to be in the right elevator for a change."Hawaii County now holds the ball. They may appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling to US Supreme Court. They may wait and go to trial sometime next winter. Or they may offer Anderson a cash settlement, an option they have stated they are actively considering.As for Kay Iopa, she resigned from the county prosecutor's office last December after she was caught "misrepresenting information" regarding court evidence in a murder case. She continues in private practice, taking cases from the public defender's office."She's just about as sour as ever," says Anderson. "She's a really hard woman to watch, she's so stuck."Christie is more blunt. "She's a danger to the community," he says.And what would Anderson do with a state-awarded three million dollars for his big burlap bag of hempseed?"If we win the case, we'll be ready for moving forward with the hemp industry," says Anderson. "I'll be in the market for the biggest seed press and one of those seed-cracking machines!" The HI Hemp Council is celebrating on several fronts nowadays: Hawaiian Governor Benjamin Cayetano is set to sign the Hawaiian Strategic Industrial Hemp Act on July 7, opening the door for the US' first modern industrial-hemp test plot.And Christie's new store, The Hemp Island Outpost, will celebrate its grand opening on June 15, the friends' shared birthday.Candace Batycki - Special to HT New     --------------------------------------------           -THE KUBBY FILES-          Monarch Bay Plaza #375          Dana Point, Ca 92629        DON'T GET LEFT OUT OF THE LOOP:        Kubby-Announce-on
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