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Busted: Veteran Yippie Activist Dana Beal Arrested in Illinois

Dana Beal, a permanent fixture on the counterculture scene and a veteran New York City-based activist perhaps best known for organizing the annual Global Marijuana Marches and smoke-ins for the past 30 years, was arrested last week in Illinois on money-laundering charges. But at a court hearing Thursday, the original charge was abandoned and Beal was charged with the much lesser offense of obstruction of justice. He was able to make the $7,500 cash bond set at that hearing and is now a free man, at least for now.
Dana Beal
According to the New York Times, which cited local law enforcement officials, Beal was arrested after officers from the Mattoon Police Department arrived at a local restaurant on June 3 upon receiving a report of two women creating a disturbance inside. (A private source told Drug War Chronicle it was a daughter helping her disabled mother, who had become flustered with a physical situation.) The two women were traveling with two men, one of whom was Beal. Witnesses told police they saw Beal, who was in a van outside the restaurant, placing bags beneath nearby vehicles. When police opened the bags, they found more than $150,000 cash. They then brought in drug-sniffing dogs, who alerted on the cash.

"They're saying the money smelled like marijuana," Beal's local attorney told the Times.

The Times reported that Beal had told friends he was traveling with the cash because he was planning to finance an ibogaine clinic with it. Beal is a long-time advocate for ibogaine, which he and others argue can be used to break addictions to other drugs.

Although Beal was originally charged with money-laundering, local prosecutors may have figured out that a US Supreme Court ruling last week cut the legs out from under them. In that case, Regalado Cuellar v. US, the high court ruled that merely hiding money in a vehicle does not constitute money laundering. Instead, prosecutors must show that the money was hidden with the purpose of hiding the true source of the funds. Illinois prosecutors said they may try to file money-laundering charges later, but that will require more evidence than merely hiding money.

Still, Beal is currently facing charges and his money is now in the hands of Illinois authorities. Whether he can keep his freedom -- or get the cash back -- remains to be seen.

At least two web sites, Steve Bloom's Celeb Stoner and the Weird Load: Only in America blog are providing frequent updates on Beal's ordeal. The latter features a jailhouse interview with him.

(Drug War Chronicle will publish information on Beal's legal defense fund when it becomes available.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Beal persecuted

it would appear the road to hell is paved with good intentions. signed Charlie Bananas Bwiti Initiate

Dana Beal:

At least the latter site is bogus. Do NOT send any money to the jail. It's a lie. Someone is trying to abscond with money that could be used to actually help Dana/The Cause.

I'm an old friend of the Hoffman's. And I'm not kidding you. They are trying to rob you.

Leave Dana alone!

Dana Beal is a humanitarian who should not be arrested!!! He's a dedicated activist!

Isn't there a rapist out there somewhere who got let out of jail yesterday who the police oughta keep an eye on instead?

Wrong photo on Weird Load site

The image identified as Abbie and Dana, is actually Andrew Hoffman, Abbie's son, with Dana. Likely taken at the 1996 Democratic Convention protests in Chicago.

Sending money to the jail is a bad idea. There were people from two states on the way to bail him when they found out he was already sprung. Irvin Danforth Beal, is the right name though.

LOL, ibogaine clinic my ass! he is a dealer

his KARMA ran over his dogma a long time ago.
who did he pay off to get the charges reduced , one wonders.

Read 'em & its clear why hiding $ in car isn't hiding $'s source

Read the law and you'll get it. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand how trumped up the charge is. Hiding money does not mean you're hiding it's source. You've never stashed money? There are so many reasons to stash cash. For security alone. And not shit it smelled like pot. Total geniuses we have in the law authority. It's obvious at least some of the cash was near some one who smoked pot. What does that have to do with Dana? I am sure that $20 in your pocket has traces of coke on it. (Have you ever read that study?) Prob not if you can't understand this case. I read 3 articles and got more info than needed to decide it was a farce.

I am not some random person voicing an opinion with no basis to back it up. I was hired to work for this man and the Museum installing A/V equipment and spent quite a bit of time with him one on one and saw the inner workings and drama of the 9 Bleecker Street cafe. They can barely deal tea there. HE IS DEF NOT A DRUG OR POT DEALER! (Not that I would morally care because I am not really into the government controlling people's bodies). From what I read and understand from everyone surrounding him, he's dedicated his entire life to helping others. I have seen where he resides and if he were dealing or had access to that much cash personally, you'd see some examples of him spending it on himself which there is no visual evidence of. Even i donated my service and cost of the A/V equipment was donated by another party to the Museum.

I think I also met a few of the people who were the ones that donated or gathered the money for the Ibogaine clinic (it may not have been the same clinic but it was a Ibogaine clinic but because I know there are more than one he started I can't say it was the same one). I know they just raised enough at the last conference for another one. I do know he lives modestly and only saw him spend money over the month I was there on getting his message out - flyers, books, conferences or other social events, up-keeping the Museum as best he can, etc.

Even the job we did was donated to his non-profit. If I had to guess his causes are taken care of by all his old friends who went on to do other successful business ventures when they spent less time with the movement and since he continued it - supporting the Museum or causes is their way to still help or be involved. But I don't know, why do you care? It's not my business how he feeds himself or anyone elses. I do know he isn't living like a pot dealer, never goes to meet anyone, doesn't invite people in his living space very often (all though I went there to talk about the design of the A/V set-up since the cafe had a band playing), and didn't have pot any of the times I spent there - so if he was a pot dealer he'd seriously have to be the worst one I ever met.

More likely you're just bitter. Right? Why don't you spend time working on that? It's hard for people like you to understand human kindness because you and everyone you surround yourself with is most likely miserable too. I suggest visiting 9 Bleecker so you can find one more disappointment in your life. At the very least you can finally witness some human kindness. Maybe it will rub off - it is highly contagious (among other hippy diseases). Kidding - try working on a joke that's funny. People laugh then.

Dana-AID Event leading up to May 19 court date

My people,
I'm Jay and Dana has asked me to be point man on organizing protests around his court date on May 19
So I'm inviting all to come to DANA-AID in Illinois.
Activists who need help to attend should call me as I'm organizing transport and lodging.
Come Friday 15 through Wednesday 20 or any interval in between for speeches, video shows, Lakota hemp exhibit, Shattered Lives gallery, Teach-INs, Drum Circles, Live Acoustic Music and a living proof model of market seperation.

Charleston, IL
At the Cole County
Courthouse. Drive yourself or ride my shuttle bus each day
Saturday to Monday
May 16 - 18
11:30AM - 2:00PM
& 4:00PM - 6:00PM
and on the court date of Tues May 19
8:30AM - 4:20PM or until Dana is free.

Camping for DANA-AID
Rally Event is at
Hebron Hills
Campground in Oakland, IL
14349 N. County Rd. 23500
and Fox State Park
Please do not bring alcohol or fireworks to the parks, pets are OK. BRING DRUMS.
Updates will be posted at
To Help or Volunteer Call Jay 773-957-6101
Stay high, stay free, best way to do both things,
God forgive America,
Jay CNW of MI

For info on Sept. 30, 2009 arrest in Nebraska.

See the DRCnet article:
Law Enforcement: Veteran Activist Dana Beal Busted in Nebraska -- Supporters Rallying to Help.

Facebook group:


********** DANA.....................


Geez Dana, keep the women under control....  Speaking of trolls, I wonder how there local police will handle this caper...??  Dana Beal taught me that criminalizing harmless persuits like pot smoking & nude sunbathing is a Nazi reflex........  and I think he is correct....  Hang in there Dana.......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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