Julian Heicklen, the retired Penn State Professor Emeritus, who is in the third month of a civil disobedience campaign, was arrested at his State College home Wednesday afternoon after angrily walking out of the Centre County Courthouse in Bellfonte, Pennsylvania a few hours earlier.

Heicklen's Preliminary Hearing on marijuana possession charges stemming from the Feb 12 protest was scheduled for 1 PM, when the court failed to call his case by 1:25pm the professor left. Heicklen's case was finally called at 3:00pm and Judge Alan Sinclair issued a Bench Warrant for his arrest.

At 4:20pm, he was arrested at his home by three police officers and brought before District Magistrate Carmen Prestia in State College for "Failure to Appear." Dr. Heicklen told Prestia, "You arrested the wrong man. I appeared but the judge didn't."

Magistrate Prestia explained that all hearings are scheduled for 1:00pm and a defendant is expected to wait until the case is called. He said that this was the procedure for everyone.

Heicklen said he told Judge Prestia that, "You treat everyone like pigs. That's not right, stop doing that. I go to any other professional's office and they take me in a few minutes...I was delivering Meals On Wheels from 10:30 to 12:30. I raced to Bellfonte to be there at 1:00pm and I didn't have any lunch."

"The Judge walks in at 1:20. He doesn't introduce himself. He doesn't apologize for being late and then he takes another case. I left. I absolutely will not be treated like that under no circumstances whatsoever...I was madder than hell and the court has to change its ways."

Heicklen said that he had written to the Court Administrator explaining that he was bringing his own court stenographer and that he was paying her by the hour. He asked the court to schedule his hearing within 15 minutes of when he would be called but the court refused.

Heicklen told Prestia that, "I just don't deal that way and I won't deal that way in the future either."

Magistrate Prestia dismissed the Failure to Appear charge and rescheduled Heicklen's Hearing for next Wednesday (3/25.)

Heicklen said he told Prestia that he didn't know if he would appear and that he refused to sign bail papers. The Magistrate was apparently dismayed at the professor's attitude and he simply let Heicklen free on his own recognizance without signing anything or promising to comply with court orders to appear.

The following day, Thursday March 19, Heicklen held the 8th Marijuana Smokeout at the Main Gate of Penn State, located in downtown State College. Heicklen and co-defendant Alan Gordon each smoked a joint. The Penn State Police were present but they didn't arrest or cite anyone although they did grab a "roach" that the professor laid down on a table beside his megaphone. Penn State Police later told the World On Line that they would test the roach and arrest Heicklen if it was positive for marijuana. When told of the impending test Heicklen said, "If it doesn't test positive, I'll have words with my dealer."

The weekly rallies have evolved into a series of anti-Drug War "teach-ins" similar to the instructional rallies on the Vietnam War that were held during the Sixties. Referring to the protests as "seminars," Heicklen has been assigning "homework" to his supporters. He started off a few weeks ago asking them to read the Bill Of Rights. In subsequent weeks he assigned the Declaration of Independence and then the US Constitution, and this week the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

After introductory statements by the professor, Alan Gordon and Ken Krawchuck- the Libertarian nominee for the Pennsylvania Governor's race, they took questions and allowed others to address the crowd of about 125 supporters.

One student said, "I've been coming here week after week. At first I wasn't sure why you guys were doing this but I've learned a lot. You question authority -- authority doesn't like to be questioned. If you're educated and know what you're talking about, authority doesn't like that either...I've learned a lot and I want to thank you for that. I'll keep coming out and supporting you guys."

Heicklen responded saying, "Thank you very much and don't forget to do the homework assignment...if you do the assignment every week you'll learn about the law and it's not just academic. It will protect you. People come up to me all the time and say I got arrested for this and that. They put themselves in situations that make their cases hopeless when they didn't have to... If you know what to do, you can be protected. I hope you continue to come. We have to show the powers-that-be that this is a movement that isn't going to go away. They're going to have to deal with us...and eventually (they'll) give in."

Heicklen and three co-defendants have hearings on Wednesday March 25. The professor hasn't decided if he will attend but he did say that if they make him wait again then he will leave again, even if they arrest him again. "I won't put up with it, its the rudeness and arrogance of tyranny."

Alan Gordon, the fifth co-defendant with the most serious charges had his Preliminary Hearing last week (March 11). He was bound over for trial on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Gordon is representing himself at all court proceedings and will be using a medicinal marijuana/medical necessity defense.

-- END --
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Issue #34, 3/20/98 Global Days Against the Drug War -- Demonstrations Planned to Protest U.N. Special Session on Narcotics -- Please Join the Coalition | President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS Votes "No Confidence" in Administration -- Demands Immediate Action on Syringe Exchange | Major New Study Calls for Treatment Instead of Prisons | The Makings of a Constitutional Crisis? California City Officials Back Medical Marijuana Outlets vs. Feds | Medical Marijuana Ballot Proposal Filed in Nevada | Heicklen Update: Penn State Professor Still Challenging System | California Cops Teach Parenting Classes -- "Lie to your kids," They Say | Illinois Study Finds D.A.R.E. Graduates Using More Drugs than Their Peers | Federal Agency Finds International Drug War a Total Failure | Medical Marijuana Patient/Activist Meets with Canadian Health Minister | UK Cannabis Campaign -- 2 out of 3 New MP's Favor Royal Commission Review of Drug Laws | American Choice for President of Colombia Quits Campaign | Malaysia to Drug Test Students | Editorial: A Call Goes Up for Public Health, but Our Government is at War
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