An 18-year-old Keene activist was convicted Friday of possessing a small amount of marijuana during a protest earlier this year.
James Andrew Carroll represented himself during his trial in Keene District Court on a Class B misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession tied to his January arrest in Railroad Square in downtown Keene.
Between 30 and 40 people with ties to the Free State Project showed up to support Carroll during the trial. Many of them protested the state’s marijuana laws, holding up homemade signs outside the courthouse, before the trial was under way.
The Free Staters relocated to New Hampshire as part of an effort to recruit at least 20,000 “liberty-loving people” to the state, according to the project’s Web site. Carroll left California for Keene.
Armed with the works of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and printouts of sections of the U.S. Constitution, Carroll argued that marijuana possession is a victimless crime and said his rights were being violated.
Ian Freeman reports that Andrew Carroll was fined $350 + 20% = $420 and given the weekend to think about his discission to not pay the fine or do community service.
As reported back in early December James Andrew Carroll of Keene, NH will be in posession of a small ammount of marijuana at 82 Main Street (Railroad Square) in Keene at 1PM today. Please keep watching blogofbile.com and http://forum.freekeene.com/index.php?topic=302.0 for the latest. Lets hope the Keene, NH police decide to leave him alone.
Here is an interview with Carroll from FreeMindsTV episode 91:
And a RidleyReport on his adventures:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2008
Contact: James Andrew Carroll
Phone: (562) 505-1289
DRUG LAW PROTEST
Young Man to Possess Marijuana as a Protest Against Current Drug Laws
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE – A young, 18 year old man will purposefully possess marijuana to incite his own arrest. At 1:00 PM on January 10, at 82 Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire, J. Andrew Carroll will illegally be in possession of marijuana as a protest against the drug laws of the country.
Echoing the thoughts of other liberty-loving people, Carroll says, “The drug war is an unconstitutional and inhumane breach of individual liberties which claims many victims, and dollars, each year.” Carroll claims he wants to “demonstrate the absurdity of putting a human being in jail for a crime with no victim.” He says the point is further demonstrated by the fact that he does not, personally, smoke marijuana, and only intends to possess it.
The war on drugs has garnered much public interest, as more and more people are becoming directly affected by it each day; and Carroll says that protesting the drug war in such a manner will bring even more attention to an already press-worthy issue. He also says the protest will “change some minds, somewhere” about the American government’s War on Drugs.
As a member of the Free State Project (FSP), an organization which is attempting to get liberty-minded people to move to New Hampshire to aid in reducing the size and power of government, Carroll moved to the Granite State from California only a few months ago.
Discussion forum thread: