Simple Marijuana Bust Leads To Government Banning Free Speech

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director July 7, 2009

    Hello Bob,

    I’m sorry to read of this near conclusion of your run-in with cannabis prohibition laws in SD. Like you, I’d hope to see a suspended sentence, or a lower sentence all together.

    With 98% of all criminal cases being plea bargained, I’m sure this Hobson’s Choice was a difficult one to make.

    Being banned from public advocacy regarding something you–and clearly tens of millions of other Americans agree should be discussed publicly–maybe the cruelest cut of all. One that I suspect is ironically going to draw more attention/media awareness to your ‘run-of-the-mill’ cannabis bust than any cannabis possession case in your state’s history (if it has not already).

    You may have to remain mum about marijuana advocacy (for a year), but groups like NORML never will, and where your voice has been temporarily silenced by a system (i.e., the mechanisms of cannabis prohibition) no longer worthy of public respect in America (and South Dakota), know full well that hundreds of thousands of your like-minded friends and fellow cannabis consumers will be LOUDLY protesting the continuation of cannabis prohibition from the halls of Congress, to Statehouses across the country, to the streets and parks in protest of both a failed public policy—and against any government or court mandates that seek criminal sanctions against citizens who disagree with prohibition laws, and will not allow them to share their views with the general public.

    When a simple cannabis arrest turns into government restrictions on protected First Amendment speech and right of assembly, cannabis consumers and concerned citizens need to re-double their efforts to end our country’s expensive and destructive cannabis prohibition laws.

    Godspeed Bob! Please remain in touch with NORML!!

    Cannabem liberemus,

    Allen St. Pierre


    On 7/6/09 9:40 PM, “Bob Newland” <newland@rapidcity.com> wrote:

    6 July 2009

    Hello everyone;

    This will be the last email I send under the banner ‘South Dakotans for Safe Access‘ at least for a year.

    By now, most of you know I plead to a felony count of possession of marijuana in May. Today I was sentenced.

    In an hour-long sentencing hearing, Judge Delaney waxed reminiscent as he described his admiration for Muhammad Ali’s stance against an illegal war, which cost him millions of dollars and his peak performing years, during which time he did not complain, nor did he leave the country that so abused him for his beliefs.

    Then, citing the fact that he (Judge Delaney) had to account for his actions to the hundreds of kids he sees in juvenile court, he sentenced me to a year in the Penn. Co. jail, with all suspended but 45 days. During the suspended part of the sentence I will wear a bracelet that senses alcohol use and I will be subject to arbitrary piss tests by a probation officer to detect illegal “drug” use. In addition I may have no “public role” in cannabis law reform advocacy during that year.

    Work release is an option, but I have few marketable skills, especially in a time when everyone else is getting laid off. I’ll follow any leads any of you might have.

    It was somewhat harsher than I expected, and probably less than I deserved. At least it did not cost me a career worth millions, and my peak performing years won’t begin until July 6, 2010. And that’s about all I feel comfortable saying about it. For a year.

    I’ll turn 61 in prison, doin’ six weeks for smokin’ a joint. Mama cried.

    I will do my time beginning sometime in August. If I have a job of the conventional sort (you know, with a time to get there and a time to leave) I can get work release. So, if you have any ideas for me along those lines?…

    Thanks again to all who sent letters to the judge, and to those who have sent messages of support to me.

    For 40 years I have watched as dozens of people I know–and thousands I know of–go through this same, ummm?, procedure. Now it’s happening to me, and I feel the same frustration over the purposelessness of it all as I have felt for all those other people, many, many, many of whom were treated far more viciously than I.

    Someday this war will be over.

    So long for now,
    For anything for which email is inadequate, contact sender at
    24594 Chokecherry Ridge Rd
    Hermosa SD 57744

    118 responses to “Simple Marijuana Bust Leads To Government Banning Free Speech”

    1. #110 – Smokey da Weedy Says: – Did you say “how long shall they kill our profits…”

      …within your redemtion song?

      …I’d like to see them kill false prophets

      ….on this journey of life so long.

      Prophecies are predictions and foretelling

      and a prophet is one of whom foretells. Amen.

    2. Manford Mantis says:

      Wendy…..I gues you found me out…pretty smart kiddo.

      Hi! I am Manford Mantis. If I may…I’d like to tell you a little about myself. First…as the name of my order…derived from the Greek word signifies…I’m a prophet.

      Second…I’m here to safeguard you from My Evil Brother. So compelled am I…to warn you of his presence…I have enclosed him in the universal caution sigh. “BEWARE OF THE PRAYING MANTIS.”

      I’m here to perpetuate and preserve the fate of individual freedom…and…to make a new way in this world that others can follow.

      Be assured…tears, sadness, and fears…pay the debt of nature through the love and enjoyment of life.

    3. Manford Mantis says:

      110 Smokey da Weedy

      The words of the prophets,
      are written on the subway walls.

    4. Manford Mantis says:


      What does that mean…you ask?
      What’s it mean to you…I ask!


      To me…it warrants my worst fears for the salvation of free thinking…and…the ability to act on those thoughts and beliefs…the death of individual freedom.

      I’m born again…and…in my heart is born again the joy of mankind. But…the joy of freedom bears a price tag…and…in defense of freedom…it becomes necessary to regain and maintain freedom…as well as develop peace.

      All men and women…are by nature…free…equal…and independent…and…submit to government because they find it convenient to do so…not because they acknowledge any devine right on the part of any one person or droup of persons.

      The free ground we stand on is tapped solid by the feet of individual action…so…the fate of indidvidual freedom depends entirely on our defense of it. I am but one soul in the universe…O.O…nothing more…nothing less. I know not…what course others may take…but as for me…give me liberty or give me death…for I would rather die on my feet…than live on my knees. People who will sacrafice freedom for order…will recive neither.


      O.O are the extreme endsof individual freedom…and…
      free thinking…and…to that end…there exists nothing to the left…nothing to the right…no more no less. To that end…I am a neutral…but…a neutral has a right to take account of the facts…
      and…a neutral has a right to an open mind and a conscience.

      Therefore…I am unilaterally opposed to anyone…or
      …anything that would stand on any Genesist’s path of individual freedom and rattle their sword. I am neutral…until you tamper with my individual freedom
      …then…I am a praying Mantis.

    5. Manny My Daughter and Her Husband sailed the Greek Islands last summer.

    6. (**) (>*_*<) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

    7. Manford Mantis says:


      Will you decipher
      for me.

      My Evil Brother calls me a “FOOL.”
      I told him…”It’s never too late to make a fool of yourself.” Then I made “funny faces” at him…and
      …”laughed right in his face.” That’s what I’m talking about.

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