WA Man Refuses Marijuana Fines, Chooses Jail

Enough already! That was the message Olympia, Washington, resident Dana Walker sent to the Thurston County Superior Court last Friday when, in an act of civil disobedience, he refused to pay fines for past marijuana offenses and demanded to be sent to jail instead. He got his wish and is currently behind bars awaiting sentencing, but the local criminal justice system is going to be out several thousand dollars, and Walker is going to be able to look himself in the eye and know he didn't back down before the pot prohibition laws.

Could this man be the Rosa Parks of the marijuana legalization movement? (Image: Dana Walker)
Walker has been arrested on marijuana charges on numerous occasions and has served time in the federal prison system for pot. After finally being freed from the feds' leash, he told supporters on a Dana Goes to Jail! Facebook page he set up for the event that he had had enough.

"Have you ever wanted to go into a courtroom and honestly tell the judge and prosecutor what you think of their marijuana laws?" Walker wrote. "I have a golden opportunity to do just that and I plan to take full advantage. Those of you who personally know me know I am fully capable of turning righteous indignation into an entertaining show, and I plan to pull out all stops on this one," he explained.

"I owe Thurston County over $3,000 for a marijuana charge from back in 1997," he said. "I am currently unemployed, I am not a fan of hot weather, and I wouldn't mind at all spending a few weeks in jail just for the opportunity to tell a court where they can stick their laws."

Walker said that if enough other people followed his example, they could clog the gears of the drug war punishment apparatus.

"If everyone throws a few shovels full of dirt into the cogs of the Machine then the Machine can't function," he explained. "If even a relatively insignificant number of criminal defendants demanded full jury trials and court-appointed attorneys and then refused to pay any fines then the entire prison-industrial complex would implode.

His action was also for his own good, he said.

Dana Walker outside the Thurston County Jail wearing a "Stop Snitchin'" shirt. (Image: Dana Walker)
"I am also fulfilling a psychological need to take back control of my life," Walker said. "I highly resent the fact that I have been forced by circumstance to kiss their evil asses for over a decade and I will now have my say. I am a keen patron of irony and I LOVE the fact that I am going to reclaim my freedom by going to jail."

Last Friday morning, Walker did have his say. Here is his statement, which was read into the record, in its entirety:

"I am an active and contributing member of my community and I have earned the respect and admiration of large numbers of the people in my community and I hate to admit it as it goes against my 'outlaw' image, but I even obey the traffic laws.

"In spite of all this I now have four felony convictions and three misdemeanor convictions, all for marijuana; I have spent over six years of my life incarcerated in a federal prison and four years on federal probation over marijuana, and Thurston County now wants me to pay a fine of $2,010 for marijuana plus $1,754 in interest on that fine that was accrued as I sat in a federal prison all those years.

"Since I have been smoking marijuana on a regular basis for over 40 years now and suffered no ill effects of any kind whatsoever that I am aware of, since I consider this state's marijuana laws to be an unacceptable, unconstitutional, and outrageous infringement upon my personal liberty, since I love smoking marijuana and I intend to continue smoking marijuana at any time that I darned well please, and since making someone like me into a criminal over marijuana is insane and stupid; then today I am placing the State of Washington on notice that from this point forward I will not only never again pay the state to prosecute me for marijuana but that I intend to make it as expensive to prosecute me for marijuana as I possibly can -- and since I have been in the system for a long time I know how to do that.

"I would also like to point out that the feds had me under their thumb for over 10 years and they did not break me -- and as of a few days ago I am no longer under that thumb. And so today I am celebrating and reclaiming my freedom by informing the state that since I will no longer pay your fines and since I no longer fear your jails then -- as far as marijuana goes -- you no longer have any power over me and that in fact the stick is now in my hand."

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor was not amused. "If I had known what you were going to say, I wouldn't have let you make the statement," he said. "Once you got started I didn't want to be rude and interrupt you."

He then ordered Walker handcuffed and sent to jail pending sentencing. That was supposed to happen this week, but there is no word yet.

Thanks to Toke of the Town for the heads up.

Olympia, WA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

I'm now a Walkerite

I'm now a Walkerite. I think everyone arrested for marijuana possession should demand a trial if the charge warrants it. Everyone should do their best to get on jury duty  & nullify any marijuana possession charges. If no jury will convict marijuana users it will soon become obvious that arresting marijuana users is counter productive. This will end the war on marijuana users without need to twist our lawmaker's arms. I'm going to start producing "I'm a Walkerite" tee shirts & give them away. Once enough people do this, the Walkerite movement will go viral & crash the Marijuana prohibition industry. Go Dana, go! You're about to become a national hero & prove that all it needs is one man to stand up against injustice.

Xlnt

It makes me sick that some idiot on YouTube is getting a million views and there's one comment here. With a little push, this could be a very inspirational and effective message. For one thing, we need to deluge that judge's office with calls and e-mails. What an ass! Yeah, let's silence the convicted, too. It was a great statement and a judge, of all people, should have respected it, even if he didn't like it. Monstrous! Jail for pot? Ridiculous.

Hell Yeh

"There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all... One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly...I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law."

Would the judge really have

Would the judge really have had the power to deny him the right to make that statement? 

Can a judge stop

The simple answer is yes. There are two different types of courtrooms. One has a barrier across the front of the courtroom with a swinging gate that separates the judge from the public, that's called a Maritime Court of Law. Those courts are normally found in locations adjacent to bodies of water (i.e The great Lakes or on the east and west coast) or next to rivers like the Mississippi.

Those that have no barrier are open courts of law and are found in "landlocked" locations.

Each has their own unique protocols. But to get back to your question, the answer is yes, the judge (even if its illegal to prescribe or invoke) can do as they like. Of course the judge risk being thrown off his or her bench for misconduct.

Example was in two separate cases, two judges where not only thrown off the bench but tried for accepting bribes to send youthful offenders (malicious sentencing) of youth to a (for profit prison), and themselves sent to prison.

In another case a judge with thrown off the bench for jerking off while behind the bench and ejaculating all over a witness who was testifying at the time, in a case he was presiding over.

The most famous or infamous case was the Chicago's (Operation Gray Lord) where over one hundred judges and prosecutors where rounded up and arrested and eventually sent to prison themselves on bribery charges (i.e taking bribes to fix court cases they where involved in).

Something to remember.... that is this, that in a jury trial, the jurors are equivalent in powers to the judge. The judge is then the thirteenth juror and head of that jury. Jury can legally nullify any laws they feel are unjust or exceed the framework of our Constitution. Always demand a "trial by jury" it is one of many legal rights you have.   

Can a judge stop

The simple answer is yes. There are two different types of courtrooms. One has a barrier across the front of the courtroom with a swinging gate that separates the judge from the public, that's called a Maritime Court of Law. Those courts are normally found in locations adjacent to bodies of water (i.e The great Lakes or on the east and west coast) or next to rivers like the Mississippi.

Those that have no barrier are open courts of law and are found in "landlocked" locations.

Each has their own unique protocols. But to get back to your question, the answer is yes, the judge (even if its illegal to prescribe or invoke) can do as they like. Of course the judge risk being thrown off his or her bench for misconduct.

Example was in two separate cases, two judges where not only thrown off the bench but tried for accepting bribes to send youthful offenders (malicious sentencing) of youth to a (for profit prison), and themselves sent to prison.

In another case a judge with thrown off the bench for jerking off while behind the bench and ejaculating all over a witness who was testifying at the time, in a case he was presiding over.

The most famous or infamous case was the Chicago's (Operation Gray Lord) where over one hundred judges and prosecutors where rounded up and arrested and eventually sent to prison themselves on bribery charges (i.e taking bribes to fix court cases they where involved in).

Something to remember.... that is this, that in a jury trial, the jurors are equivalent in powers to the judge. The judge is then the thirteenth juror and head of that jury. Jury can legally nullify any laws they feel are unjust or exceed the framework of our Constitution. Always demand a "trial by jury" it is one of many legal rights you have.   

Bravo ! Plug up the system.

Bravo ! Plug up the system.

This is great! This reminds me of "A Force More Powerful"

"A Force More Powerful explores how popular movements battled entrenched regimes and military forces with unconventional weapons like boycotts, strikes, and demonstrations. Acts of civil resistance helped subvert the operations of government, and direct intervention in the form of sit-ins, nonviolent sabotage, and blockades frustrated many rulers' efforts to suppress people.

The historical results were massive: tyrants toppled, governments overthrown, occupying armies impeded, and political systems shattered. Entire societies were transformed, suddenly or gradually, as nonviolent resistance destroyed the repressor's ability to control events.

The story begins in 1907 with a young Mohandas Gandhi, the most influential leader in the history of civil resistance, as he rouses fellow Indians in South Africa to a nonviolent struggle against racial oppression. The series recounts Gandhi's civil disobedience campaign against the British in India; the sit-ins and boycotts that desegregated downtown Nashville, Tennessee; the nonviolent campaign against apartheid in South Africa; Danish resistance to the Nazis in World War II; the rise of Solidarity in Poland; and the momentous victory for democracy in Chile. A Force More Powerful also introduces several extraordinary, but largely unknown, individuals who drove these great events forward.

The greatest misconception about conflict is that violence is the ultimate form of power; but in conflict after conflict throughout the 20th century, people have proven otherwise. At a time when violence is still too often deployed, A Force More Powerful dramatizes how ordinary people throughout the world, working against all kinds of opponents, have taken up nonviolent weapons and prevailed."

We can make change with resistance and disobedience! I urge us all to follow in Dana Walker's shoes!!!!

Shelby

jury nullification time has

jury nullification time has come

Jury Nullification

You're too late.  While you weren't(obviously) paying attention, President Clinton gutted the Jury Nullification laws.  It is now illegal for anyone to bring it up in court.  You could have your friends put flyers on the cars of the Jury notifying them about the fact of Jury Nullifcation.  But, if they get caught.....

There are no Jury nullification laws

As much as you may want to vilify Clinton, neither he nor any other president has any authority or even ability to change jury nullification. It is an English common law RIGHT that goes back to the time of William Penn.

The only thing that keeps it being more widely applied is lack of knowledge among the general population about their rights and responsibilities as jurors.

There is no power under heaven that can FORCE (the State is only about force) you to vote for a conviction, if you feel in good conscience that you can not do so.

You have not only the RIGHT but the ABILITY  and RESPONSIBILITY to vote your conscience and under NO obligation to explain your reasoning for doing so.

Stick it to the corrupt court system. Clog it anyway you can.

Mass Chaos

I think this is great, We should all participate

I think we should pick a date in the future, maybe 4-20-2012, and everyone that has ever used cannabis, should turn ourselves in, and demand prosecution

Can you imagine the chaos

love it 4-20-2012

I'm lucky to be soooon getting. My medical marijuana card. R.I.allows medical use. They were forced by economics to see the real cost of the anti marijuana laws.... Such as, families destroyed by an arrest of one or more parents or family members. Not only does the state have to suppliment the childrens expenses The laws against marijuana do more destruction on the nuclear family than any health consideration one invevitablely consider.

Speaking Truth to Power Works

While Judge Gary Tabor retreats into his judge’s chamber to sulk and pout about having the sheets pulled off his precious but contemptible concept of justice, Dana Walker basks in the glory and pleasure of sticking it to the Man.  Right on, Dana.  As Janis would say, “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Yeah, the Man really hates it when you burst their little bubble.

The legal system is rigged to reduce its drug war victims to quivering figures of fragile humanity, begging forgiveness and pledging cooperation to the demi-gods of judicial inequity and unfairness.  The strategy usually works.  When it doesn’t, it rattles their brains.  It’s like the Man doesn’t have a Plan-B when it comes to dealing with the truth.

The truth is that people only have power over you if you give it to them.  It’s usually a voluntary process.  An equitable trade to achieve a civilization and a good life.  When it stops being voluntary, problems begin for those in power.  Big problems.

For purpose of analogy, and for whatever reason, let’s say every helicopter pilot in the world tells the president of the United States to go fuck himself if he wants a ride in the big whirlybird.  What’s a president going to do about that?  No pilot.  No helicopter.  No ride.  That’s it.  No happy president.  And yet, it is totally within the power of the people to do something like this.  It can be done.  And the war against the Drug War is the best place to start.

I congratulate Dana Walker, and I wish him well.  We can all hope more people will follow his courageous example as demonstrated in his remarkable, landmark address to Judge Tabor.

Giordano

Nice work. I have created

Nice work. I have created this website for instructions on jury nullification - just as good for Americans as Canadians. http://www.juror.ca

DdC's picture

Fully Informed Jury

Jury Nullification

Anglo-Saxon common law right of claiming a "necessity" to break the law,
because doing so prevented a greater harm... Rob Waddell

POWER 2 THE PEOPLE~RITE ON!

POWER 2 THE PEOPLE~RITE ON!

I Understand

Dana,

 

Enjoy your freedom, Brother.  There are some areas that one just can't be locked away from and you know it's location. 

War on ourselves

I am running a campaign for The United States Congress AGAINST the War on Drugs.  http://www.romainforcongress.com/
Other than those who have vested financial interests in not seeing the truth –such as the Pharmaceutical, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Prison /forced “Treatment” industries, -most people who talk about The War on Drugs agree that it is a failure on every front but what to do…? What can any one person do…?  On the day that I or anyone else who subscribes to my plan takes office in a position with pardon power, THE DRUG WAR IS OVER in that jurisdiction.  While a Governor or a President (I am not currently seeking these positions but with strong support I may switch gears) can’t write law or usually even determine what on the books is enforced, pre-emptive online pardons for drug law violations from that day forward will stop it on day one.  When coupled with a requirement that any distribution have occurred in warning covered packages while banning advertising promotions, usage will drop, -with a precipitous decline in the murders, corruptions, overdoses, environmental poisonings, funding of terrorist/criminal elements, wrong or "right" house raids, horrific imprisonments and other problems caused by the War on Drugs.  -Marc Romain 

Man: Stickin' it to the Man.

Holy Smokes.  Now this guy really knows about stickin' it to the Man.  Dana best of luck on your intentions.  This prohibition is insane.  Insane by definition. 

The Rev.sLeezy

RELATED:   http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-fast-furious-20110805,0,7816124.story 

I just got a new hero. Enjoy

I just got a new hero. Enjoy your freedom, Dana. You are earning it.

DdC's picture

"The jury has the right to

"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts"
~ Samuel Chase,
US Supreme Court Chief Justice 1796

"The Jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact"
~ Oliver Wendell Holme, Chief Justice

"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the case which is to be decided"
~ Judge Harlan F. Stone,
Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1941-1946


Only registered voters are called to serve on juries. Most cannabis trials by jury are deterred by 3 stripes, 404 gag rules and mandatory minimum sentencing. Snitch arrests make up most of the cases. The majority are Plea bargained, along with $4500 rehabilitation facilities and urine testing, monitoring, fines and probation costs. Removing someone from voting is a slimy ends justifying any means coup d'état. By prison disfranchisement. Modern Jim Crow, Racism, Mass Incarceration. Kochaine A.L.E.C. Drug Detention Centers and Slave Labor. Perpetual wars and profits by prohibitions, crushing campaign finance restrictions, gutting oversight checks and balances, redistricting shenanigans and removing those most likely to vote against Neocon fascism and a Neopolice state. ~ DdC

Tell Holder: Protect Every Citizen's Right to Vote!


The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'
~ Steppenwolf - Monster

AMEN!!

AMEN!!

A class display of testicles!

I sure wish I had Mr. Walkers balls.  What a great man.  I believe everyone should fight this criminal law by being uncooperative with the "system".  Unfortunately, he has an extensive record, and that may prevent him from being the next Rosa Parks.

But that does not prevent him from being my personal hero.  Bravo Dana Walker, no fear brother!

If only our judges and law enforcment had this much integrity...

 

Amazing man.  Just to clarify, there are hundreds if not thousands law enforcement officers and judges who are now speaking out against prohibition. Unfortunately there are many more like this guys judge who still keep it going.  Much gratitude to men like Mr. Walker  who stand up for what's right.

Nancy

Author of "A Painful Truth - the Entrapment of America's Sick"
www.apainfultruth.com

Unjust intimidation

I've been mostly silent for the last two years because of Drug Court.  I'm now on the downside of it, and intend to go FULL FORCE against Marijuana Prohibition when completed.

I was Forced to take Drug Court for a second offense or face two years in prison.  They call it minimum security for non-violent offenders, but prison is prison.

My first offense was 15 years prior and was misdemeanor, they made me into a felon for the second offense even though I had no prior criminal history.  They said I did it "against the Integrity of the State" - what a load of crap!

Drug Court is great for those that committed serious drug crimes such a manufacturing meth and were facing class Y felonies and 25+ years in prison, or those that 'claim' they committed acts of robbery and theft to support their habits and face class A felonies - but it shouldn't be for pot smokers that are otherwise hardworking productive members of society.

Through fear and intimidation I've remained clean and sober, but I fully intend to smoke pot again even if I have to get a Rx.  So what has been accomplished?  I'll tell you what -->

 

1.  I've been labeled as a criminal, though law-abiding otherwise

2.  I now have bad credit, and no savings, lost my house because the expense and commute to treatment, court evaluations and costs, AA/NA requirements, Probation, drug testing fees, all amount to over $200 a month - not to mention fuel, time, and loss of work.   

3.  I can't get work in the fields I'm qualified for because I can't pass criminal background checks.

4.  Loss of freedom to visit family out of state or travel period.

5.  Loss of self-esteem and self-worth because I'm tied down by the criminal Injustice system.

 

Marijuana Criminalization is wrong, hurtful, non-productive, destructive, painful, and expensive.

 

I'm a grown adult and have cried several times because of all this.  It's way past time WE the People end laws that harm pot smokers, after all - who are we harming?  What is so horrible if we choose to smoke a joint vs. drinking a bottle of booze?  In my 20+ years experience I've never known anyone to become violent or reckless because of pot.  If a 'pot-head' commits a crime such as theft then it's because they were lazy and didn't want to work for the money to buy their pot, not simply because they enjoyed smoking - and furthermore they had criminal intentions anyway, but not because of pot.  That's my justification anyway - most pot smokers don't Lie, Cheat, and Steal - if they do it's because something else is going on....

 

Sorry if this message was long, I think I feel a tad better.  When done with Drug Court I intend to become fervent in my war against the war on marijuana!

 

Good Day and Lord bless!   

 

 

Good to hear you'll be pushing back on prohibs Full Force soon

Good luck keeping the clowns out of your face.

What a bunch of pathetic jokers they are. This is just one example of what cannabis prohibition, and prohibition in general, has "accomplished". Aside from issues of justice, and fighting - not creating- real crime, and solidarity among citizens, and the direct effect on government finances,  there is a big economic price being paid for the economic marginalization of millions of citizens thru massive numbers of arrests and criminal records for cannabis possession. People's skills are laid to waste over less than nothing - less than nothing because the idea of killer alcohol reigning supreme over cannabis has less than zero validity, it is a downright perverted way of doing things.

What can you say about people who prefer, and use the fist of the law to dictate, that a pregnant woman or mean drunk uses alcohol instead of cannabis? And then refuse to have a serious discussion about it.

The Solution is Simple...

Please circulate this article to EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Take away the money from the War on Drugs, and it will perish.

The NAACP is now calling for an all-out end to the War on Drugs. You can help simply by spreading this message.

DO NOT GIVE ANY COURT MONEY FOR IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR POSSESSION OF A DRUG!

Paix et Amour ou Mort,

King Kohn

They are the criminals

The politicians and judges that make and uphold the law against cannabis are the criminals. Cannabis is defined in the dictionary as a tall Asiatic herb and has been used for thousands of years for food, clothing, shelter, medicine, sacrament etc. It is undoubtably the most useful plant on the planet and the United States government has labeled it the most prohibited by putting it in schedule I of the controlled substance act. A criminal is one who infringes on the right of humanity.  Clearly these politicians and judges are infringing on our right to possess and use this most useful plant. Its un American. sincerely jeff brown

Oh,the irony

This is just too sweet.I love that this guy had the balls to stand up to the court and it's  no surprise that the court would have muzzled him.I tried the same thing once with fines but was refused.I was going to prison for two years less a day and wanted to go back to the pen.Better food and better company but there is no way to have a fine rendered into prison time in BC.They just dropped it.I would never have paid and they didn't want me back in the pen.Or maybe they just loved me in provincial detention.

the judge

I hate that the judge would have stopped him from speaking "if he had known what he was going to say".

Why should a judge prevent this man from explaining his actions even if the judge didn't like it personally. Judges need to rule by law and not personal preferences. Shame on the judge for saying that.

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