Reefer activism: 2.6-ounce possessor fights back in Drug War

Here's what Jordan McNeish learned after nearly half a year in jail: "There are two classes of people: people who have done something they think they should be in jail for, and people who think the system completely mocks justice."

Unsurprisingly, McNeish, 23, falls into the latter category. After serving his time, he estimates that the cost to taxpayers to incarcerate him was $17,000.

That was the punishment for getting nabbed with around $400 worth of marijuana after police caught the then 20-year-old at home with a beer in his hand after a noise complaint.

"In Virginia, more than half an ounce is felony intent to distribute," explains McNeish. "I had 2.6 ounces."

Not two pounds. Not two kilos. Not two tons. He says the baggies that police found in a kitchen cabinet next to the aluminum foil were considered evidence of his intent to distribute the 2.6 ounces.

McNeish would learn that felons in Virginia permanently lose their right to vote; but after participating in last fall's Occupy Charlottesville movement, he also learned something else.

"I could have more influence going before City Council than voting every two years," he says.

And that's why he began speaking up before Council. On May 7, Council voted 3-2 to approve part of his suggestion– to ask the governor and General Assembly to revisit possession penalties and to consider regulating marijuana like alcohol.

Councilor Dave Norris calls the resolution McNeish inspired "very reasonable and well-thought out." And Norris contends that McNeish's firsthand experience with the criminal justice system gives him some standing on the issue.

"We should not be putting responsible adults in jail," says Norris, "for use of a recreational drug."

Two councilors expressed concern about what message the resolution might send to children.

"I think that was completely irrelevant," says McNeish. "By no means did the measure advocate that it's healthy to use marijuana. The message should be that we should use empiricism in our decision making rather than a blanket yes or no."

Having grown up in nearby Nelson County, McNeish was living in Charlottesville and attending Piedmont Virginia Community College in January 2009 when he got busted. Sentenced to five years with all but six months suspended, he was jailed in April of 2010, unable to sway the judge to let him attend that year's fall classes.

"I would have graduated by now," says the young man interested in journalism and anthropology– fields he hopes he's not shut out of due to his felony conviction. He says he feels fortunate to have a job doing auto restoration, because many felons can't obtain employment.

As for his own pot use, McNeish says, "I can't enjoy it anymore." He adds, "And I'm on probation for five years."

Still galvanized, McNeish held the first meeting of the Jefferson Area NORML– National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws– on May 22. Five "very dedicated people" met at Baja Bean, he says.

Next, he'd like to have activists go before every jurisdiction in the area with the same resolution he took to City Council, and then move on to the state level.

"Before something like this changes laws," he observes, "it has to be talked about."

Attached Documents: 


Good work Jordan. This is a cause worth fighting for. In the grand scheme of things alcohol has damaged far more lives than marijuana ever will. Both substances should be equal before the law .

What a joke. If this guy belongs in prison so does everybody else on earth. What a waste of resources.

The dead in Mexico whose killings he financed could not be reached for comment. But hey, It's Charlottesville.. He probably thinks he was saving the planet by lowering the population in Mexico with his drug money!

So the guy broke the law, and we're supposed to feel he's the victim of injustice. I don't feel the least bit sorry for him. Our world has too many kids who never had to experience the consequences of their bad choices.

Hey Sean, answer this. Do you know his marijuana was grown in Mexico, or was it grown domestically and you're ignoring the fact for the sake of presumption? You're just trying to tar him with someone else's crimes.

Hey Bob, answer this. How is it just to incarcerate someone for possessing a plant? How is it just to lock them up for possessing less marijuana than the weight of an average paperback? How is it just for the law to presume intent to distribute simply by amount, instead of proving actual intent, or even demonstrating a history of distribution? How is it just to lock up a man when he has not hurt anyone?

I have never touched an illegal recreational drug in my life, but the more hypocrisy, injustice, and government evildoing I see in the war on drugs, the more I despise anyone who advocates for its continuance.

Here's the deal- pot is against the law. You knew it was against the law. You took the risk. You got caught. You were convicted and served the time. You aren't a victim Mr. McNeish, because of your inability to follow the rules of society, you are now a felon.

My advice to you is to follow this link:

Bobby, here's the deal - nobody said that Mr. McNeish didn't break the law. You're arguing against a straw man.

The point of this article, in case you missed it, is that laws against the use of recreational drugs unjust. The punishment in no way fits the "crime", if you can call possessing a few ounces of dried plant material a crime. 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana offenses every year. Nearly 90% of those arrests are for possession only. In 40 years of Nixon's "War on Drugs", the approach of locking people up has never decreased supply or demand more than momentarily.

It doesn't take a whole lot of smarts to realize that when something that doesn't work has already cost the taxpayers more than a trillion dollars ($1000,000,000), it might be time to explore a different approach. 56% of American voters in a recent Rasmussen poll are in favor of legalizing marijuana and treating it like alcohol and tobacco. 78% approve of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.

I left off a few zeroes. One trillion dollars is $1000,000,000,000. How many schools and bridges would that build? How many hungry people would that feed? How many jobs could that create?

Wah, wah, wah!
Tired of hearing the whining about pot. Guess what, it's illegal. You can cry all you want that it isn't dangerous, or that 2.6 oz shouldn't net you jail time, or that it's medicinal, and that is all irrelevant, because it is still illegal! I can sit and whine about paying taxes that support roads I don't drive on, schools that my children don't attend, and I would still have to pay them, and suffer the consequences if I broke the law and didn't pay them.

If you want to change the laws, fine, get them changed. But then make the FDA regulate its production and distribution and get ready to pay taxes on it. With all the potheads in Charlottesville city alone, it could lower my real estate taxes by at least $500!

So when I have a team a Little Leaguers, most of them living in broken homes with (hopefully) one semi-functional parent - and I try and give them some heads up at an age when their peers at school are starting to do drugs, imagine how it makes me feel when any of them can pick up a free copy of either of the free dailies in this town and read pretty much every week of what a great thing marijuana is - and what a joke the law is. And imagine how it makes me feel when I have the MAYOR and city counselors in a town everyone knows is drowning in both pot and cocaine whimsically singing the praises of "recreational" drugs..

Maybe I'll try an new tact from now on to combat the drug dealing gangs that are trying to recruit them. Perhaps I'll sit them all down and tell them that there used to be this litte restaurant down off the mall that the mayor loved to hang out in. And all of a sudden it got closed down. Real fast. Everyone out of work. And maybe I'll try and explain to them why it is that really happened. Or maybe I'll tell them why a 21 year old UVA student dropped dead in a frat house. I know they will never read of any such stories in these newspapers, so maybe I have to really dive into explaining to them just how rotten some parts of the world are - including the one they live in.

Just becuase it's illegal don't mean it's wrong. Some people just because it's illegal think it's wrong. These people are not Native Americans. They are not gay hoping to have the same rights as other couples. Sean maybe you should teach your lil ones the truth. Anywhere you go in the world bad things and people will be there. It is up to them to decide for themselves what they will or won't do. Keep filling their heads with your lies and when they realize you are full of it they will abandon everything you tried to teach them. You may want to chill out and smoke a dub also son. My vaporizer just finished warming up so I gotta go. Peace to all you non beleivers out there. Oh and Jordan should appeal to the state to get his voter rights back. It's not hard I did it.

Ok kids we are going to teach you not to think for yourselves because you are too stupid to do so. Soo repeat after me kiddies Mmm drugs are baddd mmmk? Don't do drugs mmk. The vapo is on point this mornin son! With that sour diesel and a lil sizzurp!

Sean: What do you tell the little kids about alcohol?

Are you the typical hypocrite who says it is OK because it is legal?

Do you try to give them a heads up because it kills thousands of people a year?

Do you think the "broken homes" they come from are alcohol free?

@Sean: What do you tell the little kids about alcohol?

Perhaps not to drink and drive, as that can hurt others and might land you in jail and facing other consequences from the court.

agreed that alcohol is very dangerous for the public health. look here at our own county where breweries and wineries are opening with abandon. This is only being overlooked because it is legal, as Jim and WR point out what about the broken homes, addiction, death rates, and danger being only supported here in Albemarle.
Nancy Drew points out that alcohol has damaged far more lives then weed, but we only promote and applaud the spread and access to a dangerous drug. Recent local hook article in point:

Good Luck Jordan - Keep fighting for everyone!!!

Does Charlottesville have the right to selectively enforce State and Federal Laws? Yes we like this one but not that. You violated this one but our friend did also so let him go. What ever happened to "equal protection" and "due process"?

Think about the surrounding counties. Their school children just got a message. Come to Charlottesville to get stoned. It's open season there. And the dealers just got a concentrated market to sell to.

So much of drug experimentation is peer pressure. Why ignore the law in Charlottesville and not in the surrounding counties? Do you doubt that bringing the pot users to the 10 square miles within the city limits will also bring so many more problems. What about the values of Charlottesville?

@Voter, you throw out a red herring. The city council is not advocating for selective enforcement. They are petitioning "the governor and General Assembly to revisit possession penalties and to consider regulating marijuana like alcohol." No one's ignoring the law, they're just complaining about it.

So to reiterate the point, it is unjust to imprison someone when they did not hurt someone else, physically or otherwise. That punishment is unreasonable, and needs to be repealed. Petitioning the state's leaders is the first of many steps.

Asinine MJ laws and stupid people defending them. Some things never change.


Consider this from City Council minutes.


Mr. Jones presented to Council on a resolution for consideration of whether to
deprioritize marijuana. Staff and Council have heard from proponents and opponents of
this resolution. The effect enforcement of marijuana laws has on the police department is
one reason cited for deprioritization. "

Deleted by moderator.

What do you think the judge thought when this character walked into court? He/she sees lots of people and knows the misfits.

@Voter, deprioritizing is not the same as decriminalizing without authorization from the state level. It still requires the city to enforce the law, but only after they've taken care of other, more pressing matters, like crimes where someone is actually hurt.

I dare you to show me how marijuana prohibition is better, in terms of crime rates and civil rights protections, than alcohol prohibition was. If you cannot, then you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of either advocating for a ban on alcohol (tried and failed) or advocating for a contradiction in law because of a contradiction in principle - or admitting that marijuana prohibition is bad and should be scrapped.

Buzzby- (cool name, btw).

So you are quoting the money that would be saved if we ended the war on drugs. What is the estimate of the money we would save if we quit giving freebies to those that are leeches on our welfare system, most of those that use drugs? We need to piss test all of the welfare recipients. It'd be an interesting report.


Your completely missing the point. Actually I would favor legalization at the federal level. But for 10 square miles to become a haven within the surrounding area is asking for problems.

Slow down and think.

@Voter, I don't see what I'm missing. You say Cville is trying to "selectively enforce State and Federal Laws", I point out that they're only petitioning the state. You say they're deprioritizing marijuana, I point out that its not the same as decriminalization. Even if it were, the accused would still face state and federal charges, though not charges for violating city code.

You haven't demonstrated how deprioritizing marijuana prevents the police from arresting someone for possession. I'm glad you advocate for federal legalization, but if that's your position, why shouldn't the law change at the state level too? And if it should change at the state level, why is it a bad thing that the city is petitioning the state?

You say it will increase crime in the city, but if the only "crimes" that increase are sales and consumption of marijuana, who is the victim? If it increases robberies, then the police are equipped and authorized (and acting justly) to prosecute such crimes, which would (and should) be higher priority than marijuana prosecutions.

What am I missing?

Telling the police which laws to enforce and what not to enforce.

Get it now?

Again, enforcement and prioritization are two different things. The police would still be required to enforce marijuana laws, but only if there wasn't something else that needed to be taken care of first, like a crime with an actual victim. You acknowledge no difference between enforcement and prioritization, but nevertheless, there is, and you undermine your argument by ignoring the difference.

Judging from the guy's haircut and appearance, he has no interest in helping himself. Smoking pot eliminates a young person from getting employment at more than half of the career opportunities in the area.

Sean --

Tell the little league team the truth: that if they possess drugs, men with assault rifles will invade their home at 5:00am, shoot their pet dog, and possibly kill anyone who happens to be in the house. They do not even need to be in possession of any drugs for this to happen, they only need to live in the same area as someone who does, since the drug squads sometimes raid the wrong house. That is the reality of the war on drugs, which at this point is an excuse to create paramilitary police squads that can use seized assets in their own budgets. You should also remind the little league team that if the attorney general's office (in practice, the paramilitary DEA) says a drug is illegal, it is illegal, without requiring any democratic process -- and that they could be raided by a paramilitary squad if they possess such a drug.

After all, that is the sort of system allowed by our constitution, right?

-- B

If he had 400 dollars worth of Captain Morgan in his trunk would the Judge believe it was just for personal use? Doubtful.....

Look, decriminalize personal use, ... in a drug bust divide the weight by the number of people at the party willing to take the ticket and move on...

As for REAL dealers keep prosecuting them UNTIL we can have a real dialouge on how to address dispensaries and regulate it.

I feel bad for the guy for being such a dummy and keeping it all in one place.

Also... how did the cops get their probable cause? WAS he dealing?

The Hook should do a little more research before writing an article portraying him as a victim....

Just like there are a lot of people who abuse alcoholl there are a lot of people who abuse pot... and if it were legal and accessible (and cheaper) there would be more burnouts not less....

I would like to hear more about why they nailed HIM so hard.... anybody?

The story has been updated with more detail about how a noise complaint brought police to McNeish's apartment. -- Lisa Provence

Marijuana is a religion for a lot of folks around here. And a lot of us who are old enough to have paid taxes and our own bills for over a decade have watched it turn many of our productive and happy friends at 20 into depressed, angry couch potatoes by 40. All their diversions aside, we all know that this is THE gateway drug. Always has been. We could outlaw caffeine and even aspirin too, after all. Why stop at alcohol? The bottom line is that society has decided to draw the line after alcohol and before drugs like marijuana that are consumed strictly to get high. People don't buy $25 shots of whiskey strictly because they want to get drunk. That is a big difference.

There's nothing wrong with this guy advocating for a change in state law. But I think he knows that is a pipe dream given the General Assembly, not to mention the executives in Richmond. Perhaps he could move to DC and start hanging out with Marion Barry and the boys? Hell, they might give him 4 votes!

If this guy were a successful artist in his own right, then he could look that way with no worries. But it sure doesn't look like he's going out of his way to be employable, or to leave his past mistakes behind. Imagine YOUR daughter coming home with this guy on her arm. Talk about a Maalox moment! I don't doubt that long term exposure to THC has genuinely damaged some minds. I hope he snaps out of it. I really do. But I wouldn't bet on it either.

They REALLY absurd thing is that we have our city leaders backing THIS guy up of all people. The same folks patting each other on the back for "saving the planet" or "freeing Tibet," all while they directly finance rape, torture, and murder in Latin America en masse. Those are the facts. They just don't care. Perhaps Virginia should start requiring random drug tests legislators as well as welfare recipients!


"People don't buy $25 shots of whiskey strictly because they want to get drunk. "

Do you really think that getting high is the equivalent of getting drunk?
If so, then it shows how uninformed you are. People have a glass of wine, couple of beers, or a cocktail, same as smoking a bowl or joint, to relax or be social. There is no getting equivalent to getting drunk in the world of weed. You can get the famous "couch lock", where you just sit and listen to music or just chill but you will be spared the convulsing and vomiting as your body tries to expel the toxic alcohol. Also when you awake the next morning you will not be hung over with a pounding headache.

@Sean,..."gateway drug" ?..That’s BS. Friends of mine who smoke pot occasionally have done so for forty years. It is not addictive like booze can be. I think you would be very surprised to find out how many closet smokers there are out there, in all walks of life.

Deleted by moderator, eh? I was simply giving him perfectly NORML advice on how to actually go about changing things. Alas, the banhammer cometh.

Sean, you appear to owe the rest of us answers to the following questions:

#1. Why do you rejoice at the fact that we have all been stripped of our unalienable rights, leaving us totally subordinate to a corporatized, despotic government with a heavily armed and corrupt, militarized police force whose often deadly intrusions into our homes and lives are condoned by an equally corrupt and spineless judiciary?

#2. Why do you wish to continue to spend $50 billion a year to prosecute and cage your fellow citizens for choosing substances which are not more dangerous than those of which you yourself probably use and approve of, such as alcohol and tobacco?

#3. Do you honestly expect the rest of us to look on passively while you waste another trillion dollars on this ruinously expensive garbage policy?

#4. Why are you waging war on your own family, friends and neighbors?

#5. Why are you so complacent with the fact that our once 'proud and free' nation now has the largest percentage of it's citizenry incarcerated than any other on the entire planet?

#6. Why are you helping to fuel a budget crisis to the point of closing hospitals, schools and libraries?

#7. Why do you rejoice at wasting precious resources on prohibition related undercover work while rapists and murderers walk free, while additionally, many cases involving murder and rape do not even get taken to trial because law enforcement priorities are subverted by your beloved failed and dangerous policy?

#8. Why are you such a supporter of the 'prison industrial complex' to the extent of endangering our nation's children?

#9. Will you graciously applaud when due to your own incipient and authoritarian approach, even your own child is caged and raped?

Perhaps Sean can share studies comparing the rates of vehicular accidents caused by persons under the influence of alcohol versus those under the influence of THC.

I gather he has particular knowledge.

I ain't Sean but i'll have a go at it...

1) like sodomy before it, a pot smoker who does so in the privacy of a locked door will probably be left alone...the law is not "after" them... The law will change and is changing as we speak, but there are ramifications and ways to accomplish it that take time.

2) 50 billion dollars a year is not spent on people incarecerated for smoking a joint. Dealers are not consumers.

3) See number 2 and there is evidence that the DEA uses "pot" as a way in to get the real drug pushers because they go hand in hand , so if they stop enforcing pot, it will get more expensive to catch the cocaine and heroin dealers.

4) I don't think pointing out that some people abuse pot and it ruins their own familys lives is a war on that family.

5) With "freedoms" comes responsibility. Americans have been taught that
"freedom" means do what you want and hand someone else the bill... for instance the occupy crown who want someone else to pay their student loans... If people commit crimes then they need to do the time... the real problem in america is that we send people to jail for 5 years to play ping pong instead of five months on a chain gang.

6) The war on drugs is not denying anyone a library or school. We have been borrowing money for 5 decades to fuel the wasteful spending is all categories without exception. If we did legalize pot then it may cost more. (see number 3)

7) Rapists and murderers are not walking free because pot is illegal. They are walking free because liberaL Judges didn't lock them up when they had the chance (you know when they were just molesting and robbing) because people like you whine about the number of GUILTY people in jail.

8) The prison industrial complex needs reigning in. Bring back the chain gangs and you will see a lot of people who never want to go back again.

9) If my child were caged and raped and the cops did nothing I would deal with it accordingly and it would not involve the legislature.

10) There are people who are pot heads just like there are drunks. We should figure out a way to legalize it, but all of your rantings are just that.

Ponce De leon....

1. You will get arrested if a cop knows you are smoking in your house, lock or not.
The laws are not changing along with the will of the people, who are polling in favor of legalization.

2. Yes, there are hundreds of thousands of arrests for simple possession every year, consumers are getting arrested.

3. You are saying it is just to keep pot illegal because of money!

4. Lives are being destroyed ever time someone is arrested under prohibition.

5. "With "freedoms" comes responsibility. " You are so right, you need to stand against unjust laws just as Rosa Parks and the rest of the civil rights movement. They knew it was wrong so do we all thanks to them. Just as we know prohibition is.

6. The cost saving by legalizing has been estimated by experts to be in the tens of billions annually

7. That is just too disjointed to even re-butt.

8. Chain gangs are not a viable solution.

9. Vigilante justice, that is crazy talk.

10. We do need to find a way. Folks ranting is good, it is how we express our needs and exercise our rights. Hopefully people like us talking on the internet will help the process.

Sean May 28th, 2012 | 5:51pm

The dead in Mexico whose killings he financed could not be reached for comment. But hey, It's Charlottesville.. He probably thinks he was saving the planet by lowering the population in Mexico with his drug money!

I think it's worth repeating. Obviously this guy hasn't learned much and will probably get arrested again. This time he will complete his sentence till will not teach him much.

7) your inability to re-butt does not make you right. (or me wrong)

8) Why are chain gangs not viable? Talk about closed minds....

I agree that pot needs to be decriminalized and said so... but your rantings asnd reason are simply selfish, not thought out and inaccurate.

If we made pot legal the cartels would just try and make up the loss of income by producing more cocaine meth heroin and prostitution.

Brainwashed by the media. I pity the fool lulz

There seems to be an intelligent conversation going on here. Multiple, rational perspectives are being offered. There are only two arguments I hear that bother me. One of those arguments I will paraphrase ... "since marijuana is illegal, and Jordan knowing broke the law, it is right that he should be punished".

It is certain that he knew he was taking a calculated risk by possessing marijuana. Yet, there are MANY laws that have been passed by a majority representative vote in human and American history that almost no one would find just today (aka Jim Crow laws). Although we almost unanimously declare such laws unjust, there seems to be some disagreement about how to deal with those laws. Some people feel that it is your human and constitutional right to defy laws that violate your inalienable rights. Others think that it is only proper to change those 'bad' laws while leading a law-abiding lifestyle. So was Rosa Parks in the wrong to break the norm? Would a 'proper' 1940's German follow Hitler while trying to change Nazi policy from the inside? I think no. I think demonstrating your constitutional pursuit of liberty and happiness (or your ability to decide what goes in your body) despite unjust laws is perfectly justified.

Secondly, some folks who have commented seem to be pre-occupied with the difference between a 'user' and a 'dealer'. The law makes no distinction between user and dealer. What makes a pot charge a felony is "distribution". This does not mean sale per-say. If you give someone a joint, that is drug distribution. If someone smokes all your pot, reimburses you for your loss and you accept this is distribution. This is not a semantic matter. I know a non-dealer who did four months because a narc (who had been an associate for years) begged him to give him a few dollars worth of pot. Unfortunately, he accepted.

Furthermore, people who are worried about supporting cartels should SUPPORT decriminalization. In areas that have decriminalized, or have strong medical marijuana programs, the main supply has shifted from foreign production to local growers. You can talk badly about these growers, (who admittedly, yes, are 'dealers') all you want but when it comes down to it, EVEN SELLING marijuana does not make you a bad person if it comes from an ethical, local source.

* excuse my typos.

So can we place the 400 bucks in context? Is he a rich kid who has 400 bucks to blow on pot or is he a typical 20 year old who generally has to scrape together enough money for a six pack?

If the state made a decent case for intent to distribute (not hand out a joint at a party) then he is no Rosa Parks he is a rum runnner...

There is civil disobedience and there is wreckless disregard for the rule of law. The law is evolving and there is evidence that it is a waste of time, but it is wrong to think that legalizing marijuana will save money. Once it is legalized it will be taxed and that will open up a black market just like cigarettes and alchol and we will have a whole new set of problems to pay for.

So.. is he a rich kid with 400 bucks to blow on pot or is there another side to the story?

I want to respond to the 'opening up a black market' comment.

All marijuana is currently black market in Virginia. Much of it comes from cartel-ridden Mexico. Legalization and regulation stifle black markets.

Does the regulated cigarette market compete with a tobacco black market? Yes, but it's minimal. Do moonshiners compete with state regulations? Yes, but their effect is minimal. All the evidence shows that regulation either kills the black market or diminishes it to the point it becomes insignificant.

Ponce De leon....

My reasoning is sound and based on facts, just because it does not reflect your views does not make it a rant.

Legalizing will not create a utopia where crime will vanish from mankind, nor should it be a requirement.

The problem for these folks, most of whom are probably high every day and high while they are posting here, is that they have been failing for decades now to convince those of us who are NOT potheads to change the law. Indeed, I knew young potheads who grew up, wised up, and got a grip and changed their minds on all these issues. It happens a lot. But for those trust fund puppies and others who spend all their money to finance terror in Mexico, it remains a bizarre cult or religion. It's all they seem to care about. It's all they seem to do with their days and nights. Look at the "free the roaches" guy lounging on the mall year round..

Thankfully, they have no hope whatsoever of getting any of their drug bills out of committee in either the state House or Senate. Purposely inhaling smoke of any kind into your lungs is rather stupid. People in Virginia like the line drawn right where it is. Maybe they should consider moving to some hippie commune in Oregon or Vermont.

The only legitamate argument for decriminalizing it is fairness.... it does ruin peoples lives to be caught with it and often moreso than the drug itself does...

So decriminalize its use and try and minimize its abuse by keeping pressure on dealers.

If you make it readily avialable we will have a lot more stoners than we have now....

Just imagine the very real possibility of medicinal marajuana being covered by the free obamacare the homeless will get in 2014.

Sounds like a plan if you just want to coast....

The only difference between a wall street worker and a wall street occupier is that the wall street worker doesn't lie about living off the backs of others....


And we have come to the name calling and slander. It is the usual ending argument of prohibitionists. They believe that by degrading their opposition they strengthen their weak minded opinion. In reality they expose the fact that they have no case.

Sean, the cannabis I smoke does not come from Mexico....It's grown organically here in the Commonwealth. No terror funding here. I make a nice living, have a great family, and have never once been in trouble for anything other than a speeding ticket in my entire life.

I WOULD spend a day in jail in trade if you would move away from here, stop posting and take the gas Twinkie, Nancy Drew, the guy that says RIP on every post I think he name is Liberace and Bill Marshall with you... Peace

"Sean, the cannabis I smoke does not come from Mexico....It's grown organically here in the Commonwealth. No terror funding here. I make a nice living, have a great family, and have never once been in trouble for anything other than a speeding ticket in my entire life"

Which is why it should be decriminalized for the occasional user... but if you quit your job because you are a stoner and your kids have no shoes then what do we do then?

just because you can toke responsibly doesn't mean others can....

Fix the laws so that society functions better... but do it so that someone like you deosn't get caught in the crossfire, not so some stoner can coast through life living off of your tax dollars...

So was it 400 bucks worth of recreational pot or was he actually guilty of intent to distribute?

Did the 2.5 ounces start out as a 1/4 pound and he had unloaded some? (did the cops find it in a large bag almost half empty?

2.5 ounces is 150 joints or a three month supply for a person who lights up three joints a day...

Why would he not by as needed to get "fresh" pot?

He is the wrong poster child for this fight.... we need a nice blond female straight A student who is going to lose her scholarship who got busted with seeds and dust....

Hint: If the cops knock on your door and you are underage don't answer the door with a beer in your hand.... ( people warned ya the pot would make you a moron )

I am truly amazed by some of the comments and arguments this story has generated. I will not go through and reference each I disagree with as I do not have the time. However, I will comment on a few statements. Not all cannabis consumers support the violence resulting from our failed prohibition in Latin America. In fact, most that I know (including myself) are in the end actually supporting other states in our union which have less stringent attitudes and local laws. Personally, as a disabled vet I use cannabis daily to cope with PTSD, and epilepsy resulting from a traumatic brain injury I sustained while on active duty that has to date been uncontrollable with conventional medications. If we were as a people, so truly concerned with the ills that cannabis reeks on society, perhaps some of the money we currently spend on prohibition could be better spent on education in our communities regarding the dangers associated with illicit drug use? Granted, the young man in the story violated a standing law. However, I must ask dose the punishment exceed the crime? Mr. McNeish chose to violate the law, was incarcerated and served the punishment many here seem to think he deserved. Why are we derideing this young man for working within the system to attempt to change laws which nearly half the nation (according to recent polls) has recently opposed?
Good day all, I wish you well.

why is everyone talking about "the children"? Don't we make it illegal for "the children" to drink? Couldn't we decriminalize marijuana while still keeping it illegal for "the children" to smoke it?

Why are we derideing this young man for working within the system to attempt to change laws which nearly half the nation ...........

Because he is claiming that he was railroaded for having a "personal" stash.

The evidence indicates otherwise.

Or perhaps the evidence indicates he is a thrifty young man, prices are generally lower when you buy in bulk on the black market. For all you or I know he may have had no intention on parting with any of it or maybe he was looking to sell it. It seems to me many are way too eager to condemn this man. I do not know him and I assume you do not either, so who are we to judge his intentions or motives?

so who are we to judge his intentions or motives?

.......................................It's called a jury of your peers....

No one is going to read those walls of texts. Learn how to make paragraphs and be short and to the point lulz at the sheep trolls in here. Work for the socialist politicians or the biased media? Free market capitalism with states rights and charity and love and compassion for one another. Disrepectful sheep make me lol out loud. Try and act like an adult...

Thank you for the insightfull conversations here. Again, I wish you all well.

Sean --

So you have no interest in addressing the issue of paramilitary squads who kill innocent people and their pets with impunity, who use proceeds from seized property sales in their own budgets, and routinely violate the civil rights of American citizens? Maybe you think that the ends justify the means -- locking up millions of people is acceptable in your view of the world, as long as they were people who possessed illegal drugs. Giving a law enforcement agency the power to declare the very laws it enforces is fine too, right?

Then again, in your view of the world, anyone who says that the war on drugs needs to end is someone who must be a drug addict. As any sober person could tell you, the image of an American police officer is supposed to be a man wearing body armor, carrying an assault rifle and grenades, supported by fellow officers driving tanks. Anyone who is not high knows that telling little children to report their parents' activities to the government, publishing results from retracted scientific papers, and hijacking daytime TV shows for propaganda purposes are things that we must do to keep our children safe. Only a pothead who supports Mexican cartels could think that drugs are not a serious enough problem to justify such measures. Mature, sober adults know that things like the Posse Comitatus Act are irrelevant when it comes to drug enforcement, and that the Controlled Substances Act was an absolute necessity for the safety of our society.

I must be some kind of crazed drug addict if I see any problem with our drug laws, right?

-- B

Though I think pot should be legal, 2.6 ounces is not a small amount. The story makes it seem like a tiny amount and not evidence of an intent to distribute. 2.6 ozs in "baggies" supports an intent to distribute.

@Red, the problem is not the amount, it's the law. As written, the law defines a physical amount in possession (regardless of packaging) as proof of intent to distribute, but intent is a state of mind, not a physical thing. So in effect, the law requires a conviction for a state of mind even if, strictly speaking, the state of mind hasn't been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

In other words, Mr. McNeish could have purchased the 2.6 ounces frugally for his own use, or grown it himself from a single plant and stored it in baggies small enough to not trigger a felony if caught with only one bag, but the law doesn't care what his actual intent was. The law presumes, based on just one factor. That is bad law.

Why should we care about what amount he possessed, or whether or not he intended to distribute this drug? The law would be bad regardless of how it is written; the problem is the war on drugs itself, not determining how best to decide who should be a victim of that war.

Some of the comments above make me think that far too many people get their information from sources like this when they seek out alternatives to Fox news.

Marijuana is a huge part of the Mexican cartels business. Have a look at the amounts they have been caught smuggling into the US (or indeed growing in the US themselves) almost every time they have been prosecuted. You can add one more fantasy to the stoner's blinded mindset - that "all my sh*t is local dude" BS.

Congrats to Bob Marshall and the republicans who got a new law signed forbidding state law enforcement to assist in the illegal detention without charge of Americans under Obama's NDAA. Now if they could only do something about his being a criminal under the War Powers Act. (Do you remember all the way back to 4 years ago when the Obama cult was "anti-war?")

Sean --

Still not willing to address the issue of paramilitary squads killing innocent people? They are not Mexican gangs, they are agents of the US government, and they kill with impunity. Children, grandmothers, pets -- basically anything that moves during a "no knock" raid is a potential target.

Let's hear your justification for that Sean, since you are so in favor of the war on drugs.

-- B

suppose it was 2.6 POUNDS? Would that change your mind? How about 26 pounds?

If you can agree that there is "some" number that would legally show intent then the debate is where the line should be drawn and other circumstances.

As far as "intent" not being a legitamate argument should we wait until a redneck actually blows up a building or should we arrest him when he is found with a truck full of fertilizer amonnia and a detonator?

Once again... this is 150 joints... that is a lot for personal use, especially since it goes stale... also.. how do we know the bag was not half empty when they found it?

I am for decriminalizing the law but I am not for an all out legalization unless it is orderly and well regulated because we have too many stoners now.

If they want to make people who test positive for pot ineligible for welfare obamacare and scholarships then let em smoke...

I have no doubt that 150 joints is a very moderate amount of marijuana to the average employee at any Charlottesville media outlet. But to the rest of us living in the real world, that is an amount that someone possesses to DEAL - not just to consume. Sure, it gives all reasonable people pause to consider why this adrift young man went to jail for six months while Jon Corzine has not served an hour. But he should have gotten at least three months for being an illegal drug dealer. Again, there is nothing wrong with him or anyone trying to get a law changed via peaceful means. I do that too.

B, your straw man arguments are so filled with delusional references that they don't warrant a response. I thought that might occur to you, but I guess I had to state it also. Myopia is another problem for many. We do not - as of yet - live in a police state. And, again, it is the re[publicans in the General Assembly who are - among others - confronting president Obama regarding his disdain for the constitution, the law, and the separation of powers between different government branches.

'Just imagine the very real possibility of medicinal marajuana being covered by the free obamacare the homeless will get in 2014'.

This made me LOL. Even if this has a remote possibility of happening, which it doesn't, it would certainly save taxpayers money. No drunk and strung out homeless people going to the ER every couple of weeks and costing tax payers a fortune.

He could have had 26 tons in a warehouse somewhere and it should make no difference; there is no amount that should be illegal to possess. The debate about the amount that he possessed and whether or not that indicated that he intended to distribute the drug is a complete red herring, since the real issue here is the war on drugs itself. The war on drugs has left thousands of innocent people dead (a number that includes thousands of people who had no drugs at all, but who were just in way during a drug raid, and even people whose homes were raided by mistake), millions in prison, and has undermined our most important constitutional rights. Do you really think that determining a threshold for deciding if possession was for the purpose of distribution is an important issue here?

I agree with you: Let us regulate drugs. I do not think that a middle school student should be allowed to buy any drug over the counter. There should be regulations on quality control and labeling, so that people who buy drugs know what they are buying. These regulations should sound familiar, since that is how we approach alcohol and tobacco. Nobody questions why any individual possessed some particularly large amount of those drugs, even though there are people who have enormous personal stashes (wine cellars, whiskey casks, home-grown tobacco, etc.). How do you know that the owner of a large wine cellar is not giving alcohol to teenagers? How do you know that a person who grows tobacco in their back yard is not selling it to minors? How do you know that people who possess large amounts of legal recreational drugs are not planning to host a party where those drugs might be illegally distributed?

By the way, there are legitimate reasons for a farmer to have a truck full of fertilizer, barrels of diesel fuel, a box of blasting caps, and a detonator. All of the above have real uses on a farm; you can look it up yourself if you do not believe me.

God is the only Judge I answer to. God Bless ^_^

Adam waked and baked this morning. Again.

I got my second college degree last May and graduated with Honors.

B so you want total legalization and I get it. But that is not the issue we are discussing.. he claims to be a victim and wants people to believe that he was not dealing and you agreed with him using the defense that you THINK it should be legal and therefore innocent and a victim.

The FACTs are that he knowingly and willfully violated the law and wants us to believe he was convicted of a crime he did not commit (intent to distribute) Well he flaunted the law and got busted. Too bad. Perhaps he should have tried to get the law changed BEFORE he broke it.

and a farmer does have all of that on his farm but if he puts it in a truck and parks it in front of a government building the cops can bust him and if he has all kinds of nazi propoganda etc than a JURY OF HIS PEERS can judge him accordingly.

The guy got caught... I have zero problems with him trying to get the law changed, I just don't like the slant that he was punished unjustly. He was not. If he had no intention of distribution then he can chalk he time he served to experience and learn from it. If you don't want to be accused of stealing strawberries then don't bend down in a strawberry patch to tie your shoes.

And the stoners and alcholics will still go to the ER when obamacare kicks in.. the only difference wil be that the ER will welcome them because they will finally get paid full boat. (the ERs will start handing out vicodin to every bum that lies about back pain. (and students and anyone else who jumps on the free ride)

I'm with Bill.

Up on Hydraulic Road, at UVA Hospital, and on Commonwealth Drive - they kill people. Every week, completely innocent and defenseless infants are beheaded, cut to pieces, and thrown in the garbage after their valuable parts are cut off and sold. BUT at present that is allowable under the law, so there is nothing I can do about it by try and change the laws - or persuade a mother to be a kind mother rather than a selfish killer. I can't start beheading the beheaders. I can't even break their windows, or block the entrance to their chop shops.

If I so much as simply stood in their driveway, I would be arrested and go to jail. AND I WOULD DESERVE IT. That is the fundamental disconnect here in this article. That someone who breaks the law to such an extent should be exempt from it simply because his fellow stoners at the Hook think it is a bad law. Well, me and my colleagues could take that ball and run with it too, couldn't we, and justify whatever we do by counting over a million KILLED a year in the US alone? Get it? Arbitrary, fantasy disconnect from the reality of the law is what Bill is talking about with this article - and he is right.

A second associates degree Sean or was that another of your master's degrees from PVCC?

Bill and Sean, do you deny that he was the victim of a bad law?

Sean --

What delusional references? The Pentagon gives law enforcement agencies around the country surplus military equipment, which ranges from body armor and rifles to tanks and helicopters. A typical "no knock" drug raid begins with a flashbang grenade being thrown into a person's home (at least one person died as a result; she had no drugs, and the police had already arrested the person they were supposedly raiding). There are thousands of cases of innocent people being shot during drug raids, and a frighteningly large number of raids on the wrong house, wrong address, or wrong person. Many pet dogs have been killed during these raids, for no reason other than that the dogs were barking at the people invading their territory (a natural behavior for a dog, and a common reason to keep a dog in one's home). Go ahead and look it up yourself; this happens across the country.

The Controlled Substances Act gives the Attorney General's office the power to make an "emergency" scheduling a drug, for up to a year though there is a push for expansions of that power. In practice, this power is delegated to the DEA, the organization that enforces drug laws. Several synthetic cannibinoids were recently added to "schedule I," making them illegal for any purpose, using this procedure; similarly, the synthetic "bath salts" stimulant MDPV was make illegal using this procedure. The DEA can and does arrest people for possessing drugs that were made illegal using this procedure.

The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 allows law enforcement agencies to use proceeds from assets seized as part of a drug raid in their own budgets. A famous abuse of this power occurred in 1992, when a drug squad killed Daniel P. Scott in front of his wife in order to seize his ranch; no drugs were found, the search warrant was not supported by probable cause, and the law enforcement agency behind this killing had received an appraisal on the property prior to the raid. There are even drug squads that are "self funded" -- their entire operating budget consists of proceeds from asset forfeiture.

So no, it is not inappropriate or delusional to refer to paramilitary squads that roam around this country. Nor is it wrong to suggest that these squads are killing innocent people, or that they operate with the support of helicopters and armored vehicles.

This is not an issue of Democrats versus Republicans. The Controlled Substances Act was signed into law by President Nixon; the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was signed by President Reagan. The Clinton administration was caught manipulating the scripts of TV shows to push an anti-drug message. The second Bush administration saw the beginning of NORAD assistance to the DEA. The Obama administration has gone as far as to say that the term "War on Drugs" will not be used; they then threatened to sue California if marijuana was legalized there.

So, would you like to try again and explain why these are good things for America to be doing?

-- B

no prob..

And if your version of reality was even 10% true, Charlottesville's downtown mall would be a war zone.

It's not.

No Sean, the downtown mall would only be a war zone if there was anything resembling an army fighting against the paramilitary police. Here in Virginia, we do not have cartels shooting the police; in the worst case, we have gangs of lightly armed drug dealers. A few months ago, a local man was arrested by a drug squad when a helicopter patrol spotted two hemp plants and a green house on his property. The men who arrested him wore body armor and carried assault rifles, and the man being arrested was unarmed. The kid described in this story was unarmed when he was arrested. The old woman in Harlem who had a heart attack when a flashbang grenade was thrown into her house was unarmed.

Try again Sean, and this time, try to find a video that is relevant to this discussion, instead of a video about an extremely unusual crime that had nothing to do with drugs and in which nobody but the criminals themselves was killed. It is worth mentioning that in the shootout, police officers who were lightly armed were able to procure AR-15s from a nearby gun store -- which is fine for such an extreme emergency situation, and hardly counts as a justification for the paramilitary police in this country. Let me clarify my question for you: what justification do you think there is for the routine use of paramilitary police squads and tactics against unarmed or lightly armed civilians, and the routine use of seized assets in police budgets? We are not talking about extreme cases, we are talking about a common application of paramilitary police teams, something that occurs in tens thousands of cases each year across this country.

I think he was a victim of his own stupidity.

I think the laws on the books need drastic reforming because they do not accomplish the goals, however I do not think they should be scrapped altogether. There is a need to fix the problem but it needs to be well thought out and implemented. Giving stoners a license to be irresponsible is irresponsible.

For instance... if it is legalized can a stoner light up wherever smoking tobacco is legal? Can a stoner toke up in a public park or on the appallacian trail? What if they are around kids and there is secondhand smoke? What about being a passenger in a car?

So if your answer is to make it regulated like alcohol will there be police harrasment claims when someone tells a cop at the pavillion that it is a hand rolled cigarette? What happens when the cop doesn't believe him and arrests an innocent tobacco smoker? Will the cops then just let people smoke pot at Fridays?

These are valid questions that most stoners lack the intelligence to decipher, especially since many of them are too burnt to get off the couch.

I am discuassing pot right now... There are way too many unfair laws that need addressing and throwing them in here takes away from the matter at hand to me.

My belief is that 2.6 ounces means he probably bought 4 ounces (or at least 3 )and that is more than one person can consume before it goes stale. So maybe he got hammered by the state or maybe he didn't. I am fine with him lobbying for change. I just don't feel sorry for him getting caught with a buttload of pot and expecting people to believe he was just going to spend a "Weekend at Bernies" with it.

I have no problem with cops taking every precaution they can to prevent injury to themselves. I think over 90% of people even in Charlottesville would agree with me. It is a difficult, underpaid, and often thankless job. My reference to the 1997 shootout was 100% relevant in countering your ridiculous points and exaggerations. The FACT is that both the Cartels killing thousands of people and the gangs in the US killing hundreds of people are making lots of money smuggling and selling marijuana.

You support and finance them. I don't.

And I agree with Bill - again - by pointing out that this guy was NOT caught with a tiny amount of pot. He was clearly dealing it. I hope for his sake he can put this behind him, not violate his parole, and look to a brighter and more productive future. Doesn't sound like he is so far. And you can bet that his biddies in Charlottesville media would rather he keep waking and baking.

OK Sean, keep living in a state of denial about what is happening. It is interesting that you accuse me exaggerating, but fail to point out any specific exaggeration. Did I exaggerate about what the Controlled Substances Act actually says? Maybe about the Comprehensive Crime Control Act? Maybe about the fact that tens of thousands of no-knock raids are conducted each year? Maybe about the Pentagon program to transfer surplus military equipment to local police forces? The fact that drug squads had made thousands of deadly mistakes? Where did I exaggerate about any of these things?

You are free to believe whatever you want. You are free to think that I must be a pothead if I think that there is a problem with paramilitary raids on the homes of unarmed civilians. For your sake, I hope that the drug squad never makes a mistake and invades your home, or the home of anyone you care about.

B, please reference a few of the these "paramilitary raids" in Virginia recently. I would be curious to know the circumstances of each. So would others I imagine. Please at least try and give both sides of what happened.

Sean, perhaps you aren't aware of the Cato Institute's Botched Paramilitary Police Raid Map:
I count 2 deaths of an innocent, 1 death of a nonviolent offender, 7 raids on an innocent suspect, 2 unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people, and 3 "other examples", versus 1 death of a police officer, in which case the house of the accused had been burglarized previously.

I hope that's enough examples to make you reach for the napkin and wipe the egg off your face.

Benjamin Franklin smoked pot...

More "burnouts" as sean would call them..
1.) Barack Obama. El Presidente de Los Estados Unidos!

2.) Bill Clinton “…but I didn’t inhale.” Fomer U.S. President!

3.) Bill Murray. Yep, everyone’s favorite actor was arrested for possession.

4.) Paris Hilton. Socialite. Night Vision Porn-Star.

5.) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball star

Here's more:
6. George W Bush Politician and professional hypocrite.
7. John F Kennedy. Politician.
8. Steve Jobs, co-creator of the Apple computer.
9. Queen Victoria.
10. Bruce Lee.
11. Aaron Sorkin, creator of ”The West Wing”.
12. Art Garfunkel , singer, Simon and Garfunkel.
13. Abbie Hoffman, Activist.
14. Al and Tipper Gore Politicians
15. Aleister Crowley, Author and Famous Satanist.
16. Alexander Dumas, Author - “The Three Musketeers”
17. Ali Campbell, Singer with UB40
18. Alice B. Toklas. Famous Cook - Wrote recipe for Hash Fudge Filmed as. ‘I Love You Alice B. Toklas’
19. Allen Ginsberg, Poet. Andrea Corr, musician, “The Corrs”. Anjelica Huston, Actress. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Actor. “I did smoke a joint and I did inhale.”
20. Art Garfunkel. Singer of, “Simon and Garfunkel” fame.
21. Arthur Rimbaud.
22. Balzac.
23. Beatles.
24. Bill Gates. Not confirmed, just very strongly hinted at in his Playboy interview.
25. Bing Crosby. Famous crooner of “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”. Now the Film “High Society” makes sense!

More still...
26. Bix Beiderbecke Jazz musician.
27. Black Crowes, musicians
28. Bob Denver, Star of “Gilligan’s Island”.
29. Bob Dylan, musician.
30. Bob Marley, musician
31. Burt Reynolds, actor. He left his first wife because of her drug use. But he has been seen in Cannabis Cafes.
32. Cab Calloway, Jazz musician. Claimed he only used it once.
33. Carl Sagan, Scientist - SiFi writer - film “Contact” More info here.
34. Carlos Santana musician.
35. Carrie Fischer, Actress
36. Charlie Sheen, actor.
37. Charlize Theron, Actress.
38. Charles Beaudelaire, Author.
39. Cheech Marin, Actor
40. Chris Conrad, Author and expert on Cannabis Hemp
41. Chris Farley. Comedian.
42. Chrissie Hynde, musician.
43. Chris Rock, Actor, Comedian, Producer, Screenwriter.
44. Chubby Checker, Musician. Sang; “Lets Twist Again”.
45. Cilla Black, Musician and presenter.
46. Claire Rayner, Agony Aunt.
47. Cody Kasch Actor. TV series Desperate Housewives
48. Conan O’Brian TV Host
49. Count Basie, Jazz Ban Leader
50. Dame Margot Fonteyn, Prima ballerina.
51. David Bailey, Photographer .
52. Dan Quayle . Politician.
53. David Hockney, Artist.
54. Diego Rivera Mexican Artist
55. Dion Fortune Welsh occultist.

Geez...all these worthless burnouts sean...
56. Dionne Warwick, Famous singer of “Walk on by”.
57. Dioscorides Pedanius, 1 st cent. AD. Greek physician. Wrote ‘De Materia Medica’, used for 1,500 years.
58. Dizzy Gillespie, Jazz musician
59. Dr Francis Crick. Nobel Prize winner.
60. Dr Lester Grinspoon.
61. Dr R.D.Laing
62. Dr W.B. O’Shaugnessy Re-introduced cannabis to European medicine.
63. Drew Barrymore, actress.
64. Duke Ellington, Jazz Band Leader.
65. Elliott Gould. Actor.
66. Eminem, musician.
67. Emperor Liu Chi-nu, made medical recomendation for its use.
68. Emperor Shen-Nung, made first known medical recommendation for its use.
69. Errol Flynn, Actor
70. Evelyn Waugh. Author.
71. Francis Ford Coppella, Film Director.
72. Frances McDormand , Actress
73. Fats Waller, musician.
74. Fitz Hugh Ludlow - wrote ‘The Hasheesh Eater’.
75. Francois Rabelais. 16 th French author
76. Friedrich Nietzsche, Used it as a medicine.
77. Gary Johnson. Governor of New Mexico - Reformer.
78. Gene Krupa, Jazz musician.
79. George Gurdjieff , Russian Mystic.
80. George Melly, Jazz musician.
81. George Soros, Financier and reformer.
82. George Washington , grew it and there is evidence that he prepared it for smoking.
83. Gerard de Nerval French writer
84. Graham Greene, Author.
85. Grateful Dead musicians.
86. Harrison Ford, Actor.

The list goes on...
88. H R H Prince Harry, Third in line to the British throne.
89. H R H Princess Margaret, sister to Her Majesty the Queen.
90. Howard Stern
91. Hua T’o Medical use as anaesthetic .
92. Hunter S. Thompson, Author
93. Isabel Allende, Chilean author. Mentioned in her book “Paula”.
94. Jack Kerouac, Author
95. Jack Nicholson, actor.
96. Jackie Gleason, actor. Another whom the DEA kept on their pot files.
97. James Brown, musician
98. Janis Joplin, musician.
99. Jane Fonda, Actress.
100. Jennifer Aniston, actress.
101. Jennifer Capriati, Tennis champ.
102. Jesse Ventura, Governor of Minnesota.
103. Jim Morrison, musician.
104. Jimmy Dorsey, Jazz musician,
105. Jimmy Hendrix, musician
106. Joan of Arc, was accused of using witch herbs (another name cannabis).
107. John Belushi, actor.
108. John Denver, musician. He recorded a song about it.
109. John Kerry . Politician. US Senator
110. John Lennon. musician.
111. John Le Mesurier. Actor.
112. John Wayne, Actor, “I tried it once but it didn’t do anything to me.”
113. Jonathan Miller, Theatre Director.
114. Johnny Cash, musician.
115. Jon Snow, Channel 4 News presenter. (UK)
116. Julia Roberts, Actress,
117. Kary Mullis, Nobel Laurate, Biology.
118. Ken Kesey, Author
119. Kenneth Tynan, Playwright.

120. Kurt Cobain, musician.
121. Larry Hagman, actor, of “JR” fame.
122. Led Zeppelin, musicians.
123. Lenny Bruce, Comedian.
124. Lewis Carroll, Author
125. Lewis Wolpert, biologist.
126. Little Richard, musician.
127. Louis Armstrong, Jazz musician.
128. Luke Perry, actor.
129. Louis Hebert, French Botanist
130. Macaulay Culkin. Actor, Home Alone.
131. Mark Stepnoski. two-time Super Bowl champ, Dallas Cowboy.
132. Mick Jagger, musician
133. Mike Bloomberg. New York City Mayor.
134. Mike Tyson, Boxer.
135. Miles Davis, Jazz musician.
136. Milton Berle, Actor
137. Mo Mowlam, Minister
138. Modigliani. Sculptor.
139. Montel Williams Chat show host.
140. Montgomery Clift, actor
141. Neil Diamond, musician.
142. Neil Young, Musician.
143. Newt Gingrich Speaker of the US Senate.
144. Norman Mailer, Author.
145. Oasis, Noel Gallagher
146. Oliver Stone, Film Director.
147. Oscar Wilde, Author.
148. Pablo Picasso, Artist.
149. Pancho Villa, Revolutionary Leader.
150. Peregrine Worthstone, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph.
151. Peter Fonda, actor.
152. Peter Sellers, actor.
153. Peter Tosh, Poet.
154. Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Former Prime Minister of Canada.
155. Pink. Musician. Mentioned in Playboy interview (11/02).
156. Pink Floyd, Musicians.
157. P. J. O’Rouke. Author.
158. Ram Dass, Philosopher.
159. Ray Charles, musician.
160. Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize Laureate physicist.

161. Richard Pryor, actor.
162. Robert Anton Wilson. Philosopher .
163. Robert Mitchum, Actor, was jailed in the 40s for possession of marijuana.
164. Rolling Stones, musicians.
165. Ross Rebagliati, first ever snowboarding Gold Medallist, 1998 Winter Olympics.
166. Rudolf Nureyev, Ballet dancer. Also see entry for Margot Fonteyn.
167. Rudyard Kipling . Author.
168. Ryan Farrell, Australian Sprint Car champion.
169. Salvador Dali, Artist.
170. Samuel Beckett, Author.
171. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Author.
172. Sinead O’Connor, musician.
173. Sir Paul McCartney, Musician.
174. Sir Mick Jagger, Musician.
175. Snoop Dogg, musician.
176. Steve Martin , Actor.
177. Stephen King. Author.
178. Steven Soderbergh, Film director.
179. Stephen Sondheim. Broadway composer and lyricist.
180. Sting / Gordon Sumners, musician.
181. Ted Turner, of CNN fame.
182. Terence McKenna.
183. Terry Pratchett. Author of the “Diskworld” books.
184. The Who, musicians.
185. Thelonious Monk, Jazz musician.
186. Timothy Leary
187. Tomas Enge, Formula 3000 World Champion.
188. Tommy Chong. Actor
189. Tommy Lee, Musician.
190. Tony Booth, the father-in-law of Britain’s Prime Minister.
191. UB40, Band.
192. Victor Hugo. Author ‘Les Misérables’
193. Walter ‘Stumpy’ Brennan actor.
194. Walter Benjamin, Philosopher.
195. Wesley Snipes, actor. Has been seen in Cannabis Cafes.
196. Whitney Houston, musician. William Butler Yeats. Famous Irish Poet and Occultist.
197. William S. Burroughs, Author.
198. William Shakespeare. Dramatist. More here.
199. Willie Nelson, musician.
200. Woody Harrelson, Actor and reformer.

I have a few other comments I would like to leave with you fine folks. If you support this young man and his ambitions, stand with him. Contact your local, state, and federal representatives and state your opinions. If you feel the laws are correct and we should continue with buisness as usual do the same. Weather you like it or not, this is a major issue on the horizon and only you can make your voice heard.

you forgot charles manson, ted kazinski, and jeffery dahmer.....

You can keep working on that list but for every Dave Matthews on that list there are ten thousand stoners who live on their parents couch and complain that they can't get a job....

Nobody has villified anyone who wants to use a little reefer to enjoy themselves, but just like a glass of wine or looking at a Penthouse magazine.. there needs to be a distinction drawn between use and abuse. That distinction is called a "law" which need sto be followed until changed. Not disregarded until caught. He didn't toke up on the courthouse steps in civil disobedience he answered the door with illegal alcohol in his hand.... I suppose he doesn't like that law either......

Penthouse? =o/

@ Sean: "If I so much as simply stood in their driveway, I would be arrested and go to jail. AND I WOULD DESERVE IT."

Yes, and that's a good thing. You, if you're indeed Sean C., might be benefiting from legal counsel to not compound the potential ramifications of criminal charges you've self-reported elsewhere in comments to local media.

OK Sean, here are some examples:

Christie Greene, Richmond -- wrong place at the wrong time, killed by shotgun used by a SWAT team trying to blow a door of its hinges. The team was investigated suspected drug activity in the apartment that Ms. Greene was inside of; she did not live there and was not involved in such activity.

Edward Reed, Virginia Beach -- Working as a security guarding, demands to know why a suspicious car with tinted windows was approaching the club he was guarding, which had been robbed in the past. The SWAT team in the car shot him, claiming he refused to drop his gun after they identified themselves as police.

Hines Family, Dale City -- SWAT team invades their home, holds them at gun point, and searches their belongings. The police were looking for a man who had moved out of the home over a year beforehand.

John Rickman, Wincester -- drug squad invades his home without identifying themselves, kicks him, and point their guns at his head; he was not a suspect in any crime.

Pam and Frank Myers, Prince George County -- drug squad holds them in a bathroom while searching their home; their pet dog is shot in the process. The police had the wrong house.

These are just a few examples from the CATO map; you can see for yourself if you want to know the rest (but there are likely other incidents not shown on this map, given that tens of thousands of on-knock warrants are issued each year), there are several examples of innocent people who mistook the police for home invaders and tried to defend themselves, resulting in both civilians and police officers being killed:

In case you were wondering, Sean, the word "paramilitary" refers to organizations that carry military weapons and equipment, and use military tactics, but which operate separated from a regular army. The DEA and SWAT teams at both the state and local levels meet this definition. A raid performed by such squads is a paramilitary raid, and in the United States these raids are almost exclusively directed at the homes of lightly armed or unarmed civilians.

Oh, and Joan of Arc is now been remade into a stoner hero, Richard Prior is a role model for drug use, and Abbie Hoffman an example of longevity and happiness! lol

(Please refer to my reference above to the damage to young brains caused by sustained exposure to THC)


Were all those home invasions from paramilitary for marijuiana?

If not then what does legalizing pot have to do with it as it will still occur.

Or do you want to legalize meth cocaine and heroin too?

Maybe the president's pot use is what caused him to forget all that constitutional law stuff from college, and prevented him from ever grasping fundamentals of economics?

"Bill and Sean, do you deny that he was the victim of a bad law?" He was a victim of his own stupidity. Having to have a gun permit may also be a bad law according to some, but its stupid not to have one. Go to jail, lose your job, lose your home, children become homeless, lose your children.

Ponce De Leon --

Sorry if this was not clear, but yes, I am in favor of a complete repeal of the Controlled Substances Act. Recreational drugs should be regulated -- regulated for quality control, regulated so that only adults can (legally) buy them, taxed, etc.

Ironically, two the drugs you mentioned -- methamphetamine and cocaine -- are legal by prescription, as they are in Schedule II of the CSA. Methamphetamine is even prescribed to children as an ADHD medication, although its neurotoxicity makes it less common for this purpose than other amphetamines. Cocaine has use a local anesthetic, similar to Novocaine, a drug in the same family. Overwhelmingly, however, the demand for these drugs is recreational, which has created a substantial and very dangerous black market -- one of the many reasons I think legalization and regulation are far better approaches (especially for methamphetamine, which is often produced using suboptimal chemical processes that, in addition to being physically hazardous, also result in a more dangerous product).

I could go into a long discussion of the history of drug prohibition, which was fueled by racism, but in today's world this is a matter of public health. People who want to use drugs could be allowed to by the drugs from legal, well controlled sources, which would vastly improve the situation that health workers face when dealing with drug users. MDMA (i.e. ecstasy) is a good example of the problem: it is difficult to find pure MDMA, and many pills that supposedly contain MDMA actually contain other drugs -- methamphetamine, caffeine, etc. The FDA should be in the business of regulating the content of these drugs, and we should be able to apply truth in advertising laws, but neither of these is possible when the only source of the drugs is the black market.

As for marijuana, I think it is unfortunate that so many people focus their attention on this specific drug. It is popular, sure, and legalization would represent a very big step forward for this country, but it is only one of literally hundreds of drugs that are illegal. Even if marijuana were legalized, we would still have a paramilitary police force, and there would still be drug raids. We would also still be fighting in South America, where cartels have seen enormous profits from cocaine, and where the Obama administration recently began to increase the military effort. Legalizing marijuana would also do little to curb the power of the executive branch to make unilateral declarations about which drugs are illegal, nor its power to decide what schedule to place drugs in (which e.g. was exercised famously with MDMA, which had been recommended as a Schedule III drug but which the DEA placed in Schedule I).

It is also the case that other Schedule I drugs have legitimate medical uses. Medical marijuana is a big issue, but there has also been research on medicinal uses of MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, LSD, heroin (which is used medicinally in Europe) and others. Why single out marijuana as being a legitimate medicine, while ignoring other illegal drugs?

The home invasions on that map were, for the most part, drug related; there are few that were related to other crimes, but these are a minority and all of the examples I selected were all drug related. The war on drugs is also the primary reason for our enormous prison population, which as several others have noted is the largest in the world (and is the third largest in the history of the world; only Nazi Germany and the USSR ever had larger populations).

Hope this clarifies my view.

-- B

If you believe this country would be better off with people being able to buy cocaine, mcrystal meth, heroin and vicodin over the counter then you are out there.

Once you were done with all the regulations and the associated costs you would just have a black market anyway just like with cigarettes and online viagra.

Marajuaina laws need to be reworked and I am for more accountability regarding police abuse... but I am against repealing the controlled sunstance act. This country has enough addicts. A lot of those people you whine about being locked up are there because they ABUSED drugs and turned to a life of crime so they could keep using. There are not millions of people in jail because the smoked a joint on their balcony after work.

@Sean, you think like a cave man.

Give Sean a list of exceptional human beings that smoke pot and have made priceless contributions to society and he tries to find faults. Sean, try smoking a joint and maybe you will actually experience a moment of creativity.

Well Ponce, I may be out there, but I have spent a long time thinking about these issues, reading about the history of the war on drugs (going all the way back to the early days of cocaine and opium prohibition in this country -- back when you could buy Beyer brand heroin over the counter at the corner pharmacy), and reading about the reality of the war on drugs today. I am not just talking about books and opinions, I am talking about the congressional record, the reports from law enforcement officers, and so forth. I recommend that you do the same before talking about how "out there" it is to suggest that the war on drugs has been a destructive thing for America and American rights.

Do you really think millions of drug addicts were out committing crimes just to fuel their addictions, and that is how they wound up in prison? Guess again -- we have the world's largest prison population because we arrested and imprisoned millions of people for possession of drugs. We have mandatory minimum sentences and mandatory sentence "enhancements" that have left some people in prison for decades. The longest sentences are handed down over drugs other than marijuana, which have been demonized to a much greater degree.

I am not claiming that under a system of regulation and quality control, there would be no black market. I am saying that people should be able to obtain recreational drugs legally, and that they should be able to have legally enforced assurances about the quality and composition of the drugs they buy. The market for alcohol is an example: you can certainly buy moonshine here in Charlottesville, and you have no good assurances about what you'll receive, but you can also buy alcohol from ABC that comes with at least some level of assurance that it is safe (in responsible amounts). There is no reason to think that a similar situation would arise if a drug like MDMA could be legally purchased, and I suspect that MDMA users would flock to legal channels just to have an assurance that the drug they are buying is actually MDMA.

Honestly, do you think America would be worse if methamphetamine could be purchased legally, from reliable methamphetamine producers (turns out they already exist -- where do you think prescription methamphetamine comes from)? Right now, one of the most serious problems with recreational methamphetamine is not its users, but its producers, who use unregulated production methods that create both dangerous conditions and dangerous pollution. Some methamphetamine producers have turned to "mobile labs," disposing of the byproducts on the side of a highway -- and leaving toxic waste out in the open, endangering the people who pass by it and especially the people who must clean it up. This is a problem that stems from the fact that the only market for methamphetamine is the black market.

Then again, maybe it is "out there" to think that regulating the production of these sorts of drugs would benefit society...


You are correct in your assessment. Users and abusers will exist, law or not.

I believe the problem lies in people belief that they and by extension everyone else are basically bad and given a choice they will make a bad one. This has been taught ever since control by a leader amongst humans has existed. It is necessary for people to doubt their choice or they could not be lead. Religion requires this also, people must be sinners or they would not need saving.

A certain amount of people will make bad choices when it comes to drugs and it will ruin their lives, just as in all human activities. If we allowed that to dictate all our behavior then a sport like back country skiing would be against the law as many people kill and maim themselves while doing it. Most skiers just go on the regular slopes or make the better choice. They will never experience the thrill of going down a cliff or just missing a boulder but they will be safer.

Several separate issue here. The guy screwed up and got caught. Underage and having a beer in his hand when he met the cops at the door. Not bright. Back in the day(60s for some of us) when we lit up, we made sure not to call attention to ourselves. No too-loud music disturbing neighbors, curtains pulled, and no blabbing to everyone in earshot about what we were doing, Its called being discrete-something so many kids now seem not to have heard of.
Yes, the laws need changing. Medical marijuana and industrial hemp should be legal. And I don't think the amount he had proves he was a dealer--maybe he had friends that came over he smoked with. In fact, in the 60s it was considered not cool to smoke alone.

And I don't think City Council needed to once again show how hip they were by passing that resolution.
While some may make legalizing pot their cause, I am much more concerned about farmers who are persecuted for supplying raw milk to customers and falling afoul of the Nanny state. Or for those small farmers who would be put out of business if more onerous regulations about animal ID were out in place. Being able to earn a living is more important than being able to get high.
I hear reports that some want vendors who prepare food at home to sell at the City Market to be subject to the same regulations as commercial restaurants. Next they;ll require you to have your kitchen inspected before you can invite friends over for dinner!

The same people who want to legalize drugs and let the abusers out of jail want the taxpayers to also pay for these people to go to rehab and to give them welfare when they are too screwed up to work.

So lets compromise... lets let people sign a waiver... they get the drugs but they get no government support of any kind no matter how bad it screws up their lives. No ER no ambulance nothing but a ride to the morgue when they OD.

A lot of the problems we have with "recreational' drugs is that too many use them daily and it affects their lives and their responsibilities to their families and to society to pull their own weight.

Nobody cares if a painter gets jigh to create the mona lisa... but what about the school bus driver? What about the guy six months behind on his child support who is such a stoner that the only place that would hire him is the record stores which no longer exist?

You want it legalized so responsible people can enjoy it. Well responsible people are not the problem.

and when you go to a ski resort to go down the crazy slope you sign a waiver....

bill --

What about the school bus driver who drinks? What about the guy who is six months behind on his child support, and has such an alcohol problem that he cannot find a job?

It is not as if we deny people who overdose on alcohol an ambulance.

This demonizing of certain drugs has to end. Yes, some people are irresponsible with drugs, but that is not limited to illegal drugs. How many people keep smoking after they have a heart attack or are diagnosed with cancer? How many people get so drunk they can barely stand, then get behind the wheel of car? There are even people who get high using caffeine pills (do not try this -- it is a very dangerous thing to do), which anyone can buy regardless of their age.

You are right, responsible people are not the problem, so there is no reason to put millions of responsible people in prison because they happened to possess drugs. Do you really think that the police only arrest irresponsible people for drug possession?

-- B

I know it is counter intuitive, but all the people who are going to screw up on drugs are doing so with or without your consent. Legalization will not cause a significant increase or decrease in their percentage of the population. We will be better able to manage the costs under a legalized and regulated system.

There are school bus drivers who are stoned as we speak as there are ones who are drinking on the job and on meds while driving. There are tons of guys and gals who do not pay their way and they don't use.

Responsible people are not the problem and they should not be punished along with the screw ups but that is what is happening.

You might have to sign a waiver but if you get in trouble they send the rescue teams in and if you have insurance then that system pays for it, if not the public pays, they are not left to die, we are not capable of it.

At the core of every town populated/run by liberals is a large illegal drug market. Although they are all famously boastful about how much they care about people in other countries - they never, ever will care in the slightest about anyone raped, tortured, or murdered in Latin America with their ample drug money. This is but one example of how their fake concern for others is instantly revokable if it ever dares interfere with their hedonistic lifestyle.

Making a living dealing drugs in a small Virginia town is OK. Like most businesses in town it depends on UVA. Most profits are when schools in session and that requires out state supply which is expensive and you gotta know your way around.

Please keep the current laws in place. They provide a barrier on new entrants into the market. Legalization would destroy the business profitability. Currently the players all know one another and business is good and profitable. Lets keep it that way.

Speaking of false concern, what do you have to say about the thousands of people in America, including people in Virginia, who have been terrorized and killed by the paramilitary police who enforce drug laws? You asked for examples, and you have received them. You claimed it is not happening, and you have been shown to be wrong. So what do you have to say about it now? Or are you going to continue to point fingers at the situation in Latin America, while ignoring the fact that we could both cut off the cartels' primary source of revenue and make great strides to restoring American rights and liberties by ending the war on drugs?

Diversion, diversion, conspiracy theory, diversion... Like 4th. graders.

It sure as hell wasn't a conservative that sat around one weekday afternoon and thought
"hey, what would happen if I smoked some bath salts?"

I take it, Sean, that you do not care about the thousands of innocent people who have been killed during botched drug raids. It is not a conspiracy theory, it is a fact: it is a fact that over the past 40 years there has been an enormous growth in paramilitary police units, it is a fact that these units can recycle seized assets from drug raids into their own budgets, it is a fact that these units have killed or traumatized many thousands innocent people during their raids, and it is a fact that America has the largest prison population in the entire world. You are living in some sort of state of denial about these facts, and trying to divert attention to the dangers of certain drugs instead of the very real danger of paramilitary attacks on civilian homes.

Just admit it, Sean: admit that you actually believe that the innocent people who have been killed during botched drug raids were just collateral damage, and that such deaths are an acceptable cost. You will not be an outcast for doing so; police officers make these sorts of statements all the time.


You are wasting your time on this one. As you know kidnapped people will defend their captors just as controlled people will defend those in charge.

Nothing wrong with cops being at least as well armed and defended when going after drug gangs. Glad my tax money pays for their body armor and weapons. Your references to a FEW instances of overkill in the case of a pot bust (not even close to thousands) is just a childish diversion from what you are directly financing right now in 2012 in Mexico. The bottom line is that you simply don't care. Your drug habits are paramount to anything or anyone else.

Thankfully, you remain a pathetic minority of drugged up drains on society here in Virginia, and it will always be this way.

Well Sean, I sincerely hope that you are never on the receiving end of a paramilitary police raid. You summarized your view nicely:

"Glad my tax money pays for their body armor and weapons"

I will keep that in mind the next time you complain about Obama's reaches for power or disdain for the constitution. As for the issue of how many times paramilitary raids target the wrong home, here is an excerpt from a Cato Institute report on paramilitary police squads:

"Because of shoddy police work, overreliance on informants, and other problems, each year hundreds of raids are conducted on the wrong address, bringing unnecessary terror and frightening confrontation to people never suspected of a crime."

Read it yourself if you are curious, if the Cato Institute is not too "liberal" for you:

Jim, you are right; this is a waste of my time. Sean does not really care about logic, reason, or civil liberties, he has his views and he will never give up on them.

"Thankfully, you remain a pathetic minority of drugged up drains on society here in Virginia, and it will always be this way."

Poe's Law-
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing."

Wow, I am really surprised you all are still arguing/ discussing this! I suppose this goes to show how hot a topic cannabis laws have become!
As for those "pathetic minorities of drugged up drains on society", a MAJORITY (56%) of americans now favor legalization of this plant. If you think I'm full of it, google it for yourself. Take the time to educate yourself on the subject before making uneducated decisions and ignorant statements based on decades of lies.

My advice; turn off Fox News, open your eyes to the world around you.

Your cult idol running the country signed the NDAA, is a criminal under the War Powers Act, killed a foreign leader's grandchildren, and routinely blows buildings full of people away in other countries with missile strikes - and you can't wait to vote for him again.

So just shut up about a handful of instances where police made honest mistakes while going after heavily armed and very ruthless criminal gangs of drug dealers. It's just a diversion from what you already know you are financing in Mexico. The police have not left 50 beheaded bodies laying in the road lately.

There is no need to get angry, Sean. Did I say that Obama was some kind of champion of human rights? Did I defend him or his administration? You are the one try to defend some of the Obama administration's actions: the decision to continue supporting a vast paramilitary police infrastructure and to continue war on drugs policies from previous administrations.

We are not talking about a "handful" of instances, we are talking about hundreds of paramilitary raids on innocent people each year, and tens of thousands of paramilitary raids on guilty people who are neither heavily armed nor suspected of being violent. We are talking about police officers that can only be distinguished from soldiers by the word "POLICE" being printed on their uniforms.

You are the one who said that if what I was saying was true, the downtown mall would be a warzone. Well, if Virginia's paramilitary police were going after heavily armed and very ruthless criminal gangs of drug dealers -- the sort of situation that faces Mexico -- then the downtown mall would indeed be a warzone. Yet that is not the case, and a recent paramilitary raid is more typical: Phil Cobbs, who was held by a team paramilitary police officers while his elderly, disabled mother was stuck in a bathroom; his property had two hemp plants growing in an unmaintained area, which were spotted by a police helicopter. There was no gunfight, no barricade, no beheadings -- just an unarmed guy trying to care for his disabled mother at his home.

In fact, contrary to your assumption that paramilitary police units are called in because of a serious threat of militarized drug dealing gangs, assault rifles are rarely used by criminals in this country, both before, during, and after the passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban:

So in fact, a paramilitary police team is overwhelmingly likely to be much more heavily armed than its targets. Not surprising, given that 40,000 SWAT raids are conducted each year, yet our nation is not riddled with bullet holes.

Oh anonymous one, you're going to vote for him again anyway. You're in denial of what your drug money does to others - plain and simple. The vast majority of Virginians are busy looking after themselves and their families - and keeping their kids away from aging stoners who hate the cops.

I wonder why you keep accusing me of using illegal drugs. Is your worldview really so simplistic that you think that anyone who takes issue with this country's approach to recreational drugs must be a drug addict of some kind? What does voting for Obama have to do with this? Do you really think that someone who wants to see the Controlled Substances Act repealed would vote for a president whose administration fully supports the war on drugs, but only if we call it something else?

Really Sean, you should take a moment to calm yourself down and reevaluate your arguments here. You denied that there are paramilitary raids on unarmed civilians, and you were shown to be wrong. You claimed that the paramilitary police face dangerous and heavily armed gangs, and you were shown to be wrong. You claimed that it is only a handful of cases where the paramilitary police raid an innocent person's home, and you were shown to be wrong. After being shown to be wrong, you just resort to a tactic of accusing your opponents of being drug addicts, as if that somehow proves that you were really right all along. Then you try to bring the Obama administration into this, since obviously anyone who wants to end the war on drugs must be someone who is planning to vote for Obama.

Your arguments are nothing but denials and ad hominem at this point. Maybe you should stop before you damage whatever credibility you might have had any further.

Sean got served!