Monday, April 10, 2006

Nall Still Running..Maintains Innocence

Alexander City Outlook

Nall still running, maintains innocence

By Patrick McCreless

Loretta Nall was officially recognized as the Libertarian Party's candidate for governor of Alabama Saturday, two days before her court appearance to appeal a 2004 drug conviction.

The announcement was made at the party's annual convention in Montgomery. Although others were nominated at the convention, Nall was the only person who was officially vying for the nomination, she said.

Nall, who is the founder of the Alabama Marijuana Party, appeared in the Tallapoosa County Circuit Court Monday to continue her appeal. The day was a chance for her to accept a plea offer by the state.

However, like her last court appearance in March, her lawyer did not show, so her appeal was postponed for another six months. "Basically, you can't take somebody to trial without your attorney present," Nall said.

Nall said her attorney, who works out of Birmingham, was not notified in time. "Neither he or I got a summons," she said.

The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force arrested Nall in a November 2002 raid on her house where 0.87 grams of marijuana was discovered. She was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia in February 2004. The Alexander City resident has no prior arrest record and maintains her innocence of the charges.

Ever since her arrest and conviction, Nall has been promoting the legalization of marijuana, but does not want that to be the center issue of her campaign. "It's going to be attached to me no matter what I do," she said. She intends to focus more on drug law reform in general.

Besides drug law reform, Nall plans to campaign for legal lottery and casino gambling run by private enterprise, the promotion of alternative fuel sources and tax cuts for private and home school families. She also wants to promote non-compliance with the Patriot and REAL ID Acts.

"They're the two most offensive documents ever signed into law by the United States of America," Nall said. "We don't need the government with their noses up our asses."

Unlike other Libertarian candidates, Nall said, her campaign strategy will not try to pull votes from the Republicans and Democrats. Instead, she wants to focus on those who do not usually vote at all. "I want to let the people who have been disenfranchised ... to let them know that we're here," Nall said.

To date, all of Nall's funding has come from individual donations, many of which are from outside of the state. "I have no interest in large corporate donations," she said. "I want this to be a campaign funded by the people."

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