Daily marijuana legalization protests in the Central Square in Keene, New Hampshire, led to one arrest Saturday for marijuana possession and one Sunday -- but the victim in that arrest was later found to be smoking chocolate mint in his glass pipe and released without charges. The demonstrations began last Tuesday with a couple of dozen people gathering at 4:20pm to toke up as an act of civil disobedience and call for marijuana law reform. After Saturday's arrest, the protests continued, with about 100 people showing up Monday.
Arrested Saturday was Richard Paul, 40, one of the protest organizers. Paul was arrested after police patrolling the square saw him smoking a joint. Protestors shouted at police, yelling "Leave him alone!" and "This is how they did it in Nazi Germany!"
After the arrest, about 50 protestors followed Paul and police officers to the police station, where they shouted through the door and sat in a circle smoking marijuana. No more arrests were forthcoming, though.
To confuse police at the protests at the square, some smokers smoked things other than marijuana. That was the case Sunday, when police arrested a protester identified only as "Earl" for puffing on a glass pipe. Embarrassingly for police, that substance turned out to be not marijuana but chocolate mint, and Earl was quickly released.
Protests continued this week in Keene and have now spread to Manchester. In the latter town, protestors sparked up in the presence of police, but failed to provoke any arrests.
Perhaps the cops have better things to do. And that's precisely the point.