Actor Woody Harrelson Acquitted Marijuana Charge

Actor Woody Harrelson Acquitted Marijuana Charge
Posted by FoM on August 24, 2000 at 19:11:49 PT
By Steve Bailey, Associated Press
Source: Boston Globe
 A jury acquitted actor Woody Harrelson of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges Thursday, ending his four-year court battle to get the state to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Harrelson planted four hemp seeds in 1996, knowing he would be arrested, so he could challenge a law outlawing possession of any part of the cannabis plant. The jurors deliberated about 25 minutes before finding him innocent. 
''Regardless of what the Supreme Court says and regardless of what the legislators say, those people don't think it's right that someone should go to jail for growing industrial hemp,'' Harrelson said. The Kentucky Supreme Court cleared the way for a trial when it ruled in March that there is no difference between the narcotic marijuana and its botanical cousin, hemp, which contains only minute amounts of the substance that makes marijuana smokers high, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Lee County Attorney Tom Jones asked the jury to fine Harrelson the maximum $500 and give him at least 30 days in the county jail because the actor misused his fame to break the law. ''He could have come here and talked about school violence or domestic violence and tried to bring attention to those problems. Instead, he came here and broke a drug law,'' Jones said. Harrelson, who starred in ''Natural Born Killers,'' ''The People vs. Larry Flynt'' and the TV series ''Cheers,'' is a longtime environmental activist. He has invested in a hemp clothing company and argues that if paper manufacturers used hemp, there would be no need to cut down so many trees. Hemp was once one of Kentucky's leading crops. In the 1800s it was used to make rope and sails, but anti-drug laws, the availability of other fibers and the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 wiped out most legal production of hemp in the United States. Beattyville, Ky. (AP)Posted: August 24, 2000© Copyright 2000 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, Inc. Related Article: Former Lawmaker To Help Woody Harrelson at Trial's Case Up in Smoke To Be Tried for Marijuana 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 26, 2000 at 12:19:07 PT
Harrelson’s Hemp Woes Over - ABC News
Hi!Here's another article on Woody Harrelson!
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Comment #5 posted by freedom fighter on August 25, 2000 at 19:15:31 PT
thar go 
the cali orange joint waiting for you woooooddddyyy!!! :)\/
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 25, 2000 at 18:19:51 PT:
A Little More News 
Woody Harrelson's Trial Goes To Pot By Mark Armstrong Aug 24, 2000, 5:00 PM PT E! Online,1,6991,00.htmlCopyright © 2000 E! OnlineWith a little help from an unlikely hemp-pushing pal, Woody Harrelson is a free man after standing trial on pot charges.,128,38,00.htmlThe former Cheers barkeep turned hemp crusader was found not guilty Thursday of a marijuana possession rap stemming from his ceremonious planting of four hemp seeds in a Lee County, Kentucky, field four years ago. A six-person jury deliberated for all of 25 minutes before reaching its verdict, and the film star promptly signed autographs and thanked jurors for their decision.,1,316,00.html,60,39544,00.htmlHarrelson also found support Thursday from none other than former Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn, who testified in Lee District Court on Harrelson's behalf, saying the Wood-man wasn't trying to break the laws, just challenge them. Harrelson, 39, first began his clash with Kentucky authorities in 1996, claiming that the state's pot laws were unjust. Current state laws don't differentiate between industrial hemp (which can be used to make paper, cloth and those neat little necklaces you can buy at Phish concerts) and its more stoner-friendly cannabis relative, marijuana.,1,6214,00.htmlThe cultivation-lovin' star of Play It to the Bone and White Men Can't Jump appealed his case to the Kentucky Supreme Court, but in March, the high court ordered him to stand trial. Harrelson could have faced a $500 fine and 12 months in jail if convicted.,60,26159,00.html,60,73725,00.htmlProsecutors initially offered to go easy on the film star if he accepted to a 30-day jail sentence, or agreed to stay away from hemp and marijuana in Kentucky for a year. Harrelson rejected the proposal, and prosecutors on Thursday asked the jury to give Harrelson (who showed up to court in a suit made of hemp) a $500 dollar fine and a 30-day jail sentence. Meanwhile, Nunn, a Republican who served as governor from 1967-1971, has become an outspoken advocate of hemp and joined Harrelson's side in June. "I feel this is a way to disseminate information on industrial hemp because of the personalities involved," Nunn said at the time. As if Nunn's help wasn't enough, Woody's trial had a somewhat serendipitous beginning: The jury reportedly received his case at, um, 4:20 p.m. 
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Comment #3 posted by J.R. Bob Dobbs on August 25, 2000 at 09:27:47 PT
25 minutes?
They deliberated longer than the OJ Simpson jury!!
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Comment #2 posted by Hempman on August 25, 2000 at 06:17:48 PT
One battle at a time
I'm not really sure what to think of this. I am, of course, elated that one more victory has been won freeing cannabis from over 70 years of lies and myths. However, this could actually work against the pro-freedom of whole cannabis.It does give those in the industrial hemp liberty sub-movement some of the separation from medicinal life and recreational pursuit of happiness portions of the movement that they have been seeking so hard. But I question the dubious distinction.The Kentucky Supreme Court is right, of course. Botanically speaking, hemp, medicinal and recreational cannabis really are the same plant. But that is like saying that the corn that the indians were growing on this continent is the same corn that we grow today, or that a collie is the same as a pit bull.There are subtle differences both in the genetic heritage and the methods used to grow them that makes the end products of these three types of cannabis significantly different. Industrial hemp has been selectively bred to be grown tightly spaced and will produce nearly none of the psychoactive material. Recreational cannabis has been bred to produce bushy plants that require space and significantly increase the psychoactive portions. Medicinal cannabis has a range of breeds that will produce a varying amount of numerous chemical groups intended to treat anything from pain to nausea to muscle spasms and some medicinal breeds take special growing conditions requiring knowledge of horticultural techniques and indoor laboratory conditions.But, essentially, they all come from a common ancestor. Unlike dogs, with just a few generations of tweeking, any one breed of cannabis can produce any one of the others. The prohibitionists, though stupid in other ways, know and understand this.This reminds me of the old fable of the blind men trying to describe an elephant. One describes a tree, another a snake and another a rope. But they are all describing parts of one large animal. Unless one assembles all of the parts, one does not have a complete picture of the beast.This applies to Life - Liberty - Pursuit of Happiness, Medical, Industrial and Recreational cannabis. All parts of the same beast. Each inescapably connected to the other. Ultimately, one can not have one without all of the others. To try to separate them is a fools game. Just like separating the snakelike truck from the ropelike tail of the elephant, medical cannabis and industrial hemp can't be separated. It would just be an illusion.And ultimately, each success for each part of the beast will ultimately set the entire animal free. So, for now, I accept this small visctory, with reservations.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on August 25, 2000 at 05:53:05 PT:
There's nothing like a little education
Believe it or not, Mr. Harrelson has pounded a very large nail into the prohibitionist coffin.How? By forcing the government to accept a decision by the people of the Great State of Kentucky that hemp has a legitimate use. And in the process, force the government to *explain it's position why it thinks it doesn't*.The latter part is of the greatest importance; for far too long, the Feds and their State allies have been able to maintain a stonewall of silence regarding the origin of the anti-cannabis laws. By being able to browbeat, imprison, and even KILL, they have been able to deflect an honest, objective examination of the laws, themselves. The lack of a successful challenge to their lies was translated by the public into the supposition that there *weren't* any reasons to question government pronouncements, so what the government was saying must be true. Thus they have been successful in perpetuating a myth that few would dare challenge. Until now. Now, a precedent has been set; now, people will further question the legitimacy of the laws banning hemp - and by derivation, the laws prohibiting cannabis in toto. This is anti's long-awaited worst nightmare: the public directing its' interest into an area that antis have very strenuously tried to deflect it from. Dorothy's curiosity has been aroused, and the Wizard is screaming his head off at her not to pay any attention to 'the man behind the curtain'. Who is sweating bullets right about now. 
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