Thursday, September 30, 2010

So, will these people get probation from Judge Rochester?

The Clay Times Journal has released the Grand jury report from August and 9 out of 11 indictments are for controlled substance violations.

I can't help but wonder if these poor souls will be shown the same favoritism and leniency that was shown to Alex Rochester, the son of Judge John Rochester....the judge who will be presiding over these cases. If I were a betting gal I'd put my money on NO.

I've been hearing numerous reports that Alex Rochester violated his probation a few months ago....but his probation was not revoked and he was not placed in prison. However, there have been no papers filed in the court system to that effect. Of course, if your daddy is the judge then it'd be really easy to keep those papers from making their way into the AlaCourt system. Also odd that the probation office in the Court House caught fire right around the same time the reports about Alex violating probation were coming in. Those reports came from people who saw him in court and from a couple of different lawyers in Clay County.

Grand Jury report given

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 1:16 PM EDT

The following was released by Clay County Circuit Clerk Jeff Colburn regarding results of the August session of the Clay County Grand Jury.

The following indictments were issued. Readers are reminded these people are still presumed innocent unless they plead guilty or are found guilty by a jury in a regular session of court.

Christopher Glenn Ackles, two counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Cedric Bernard Adair, Obstruction of Justice.

Billy Wayne Atchley: Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance, three counts.
Angie Lee Beamon, Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Gerald Bishop, Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

James Bishop, two counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Laura Ann Boyd, two counts of Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Lisa Dawn Brannon, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Use/Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Bradley Ray Brown, Use/Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana First Degree.

Donald Lyn Brown, Possession of a Controlled Substance.

James Harold Bunt II, Theft of Property Second Degree, two charges, and two charges of Burglary, Third Degree.

Jessica Marie Businelle, Burglary Third Degree.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Michael Lapihuska Court Update

UPDATE: Good news. Just talked to Michael and the meeting with the psychiatrist went very well this morning. Without saying exactly what Michael told me I will say that there is renewed hope that things could very well take a turn in the direction of justice in this case.

I just got off the phone with Michael Lapihuska. He told me that the psychiatrist tapped by the DEFENSE for his psychological evaluation called him yesterday and told him that his appointment is this morning at 9:30 a.m. at the Calhoun County jail and that if he didn't show up that he, the psychiatrist, would write a letter to the judge recommending that Michael be sent to jail and that he would see him there. Michael has saved the voice mail message containing the threat and is in the process of forwarding it to me. I will post it here when I get it.

Now, what kind of crap is that exactly? How much hope can one have for a fair hearing when the shrink tapped by the DEFENSE is threatening the client?

Michael also told me that his lawyer told him to stop listening to me and ACC. Not a surprise. Very few lawyers want to fight their case in the court of public opinion. They do not want the public to see just how badly they suck and how little they care for their clients well being. Michael told her that I and ACC have done far more to help him than she has. That ticked her off. Good.

He also told her that he no longer wanted her as his attorney because she has not done any of the things he has requested. He is dead set on going to a jury trial and she has done nothing to prepare for that trial. She wants him to take the plea deal. He isn't going to do that. She said it doesn't matter if he doesn't want her as an attorney....that he can file all the papers he wants but that the judge will not grant his request. I call BS. True, the judge may not grant his request, but she doesn't KNOW that for sure.

Michael said his lawyer also adamantly refused to file a motion to suppress the evidence based on the fact that he was not breaking any laws by walking down the road and the cop therefore had no reason to stop him, much less search him.

Michael said he just received the letter from the circuit clerks office telling him that his case was not happening on Sept. 23....nearly a full week after Sept. 23. ???

NEWSFLASH for attorney Aundrea Mann Snyder...Alabamians for Compassionate Care will continue to work with Michael Lapihuska as long as he requests our services. We don't really care if you don't like it. Do your job according to your clients wishes and we won't have any problems. And we will be outside the court house on the day jury selection begins handing out jury nullification information and holding signs telling all who pass by the real story. And, how about you find a psychiatrist who doesn't seem so intent on jailing the person he is supposed to be helping? That'd be real helpful. We also plan to continue the media barrage concerning Michael. Don't like it? Tough. This man does not belong in jail or on probation and if you are unwilling to do your job then we will do it for you. Where should I send the bill when we are done?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jailed for Medicine

(Michael pictured on left)

The Anniston Star has published a series of letters today about the case of Michael Lapihuska.

Please take a few moments and read Jailed for Medicine. Leave a comment and then write a letter of your own.

Also, Michael's court date, which was set for tomorrow, has been moved to Oct. 8. Please make plans to attend on Oct. 8 with signs calling for jury nullification.

Monday, September 20, 2010


The state's bingo battle is heating up again. Illegal gambling task force commander John Tyson is accusing Victoryland of 'hiding' the machines. From this morning's BHAM News.

Tyson said he believes Victory Land still has the machines and is trying to hide them from the task force. "The statute does not say they're illegal unless you put a wall around them," Tyson said.

VictoryLand attorney J. Mark White declined to say whether the machines still are at VictoryLand. "No citizen is obligated to discuss the private areas of their home and business with anyone," White said.

"I think Mr. Tyson has no respect for the law, no respect for a citizen's right to privacy .¤.¤. If I wanted to hide something from him, I would put it in a law book," White said.

That's the funniest thing I have heard in a while. He zinged the hell out of Tyson! Made my entire Monday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Video & Pics: Free Marc Emery Rally Montgomery, AL Sept. 18, 2010

This may be one of the best pictures....ever.

On Sept. 18, 2010 myself and 20 other dedicated drug policy reform activists from Alabama and Georgia retraced the steps of the historic Civil Rights March up Dexter Ave. to the Alabama State Capitol Building to protest the imprisonment of Canadian Marc Emery in the US Federal penitentiary for selling marijuana seeds over the internet.....from CANADA. The video is below.

We had a very positive encounter with a Montgomery police officer along the way. I was filming and my camera developed some technical problems. While I was attempting to resolve them the marchers continued on up Dexter Ave. When I get the camera fixed I look up to find they had all crossed the street and surrounded a Montgomery Police car, which was parked outside a drug store. I thought, "Oh hell, why are they doing that?" I tend to try and avoid police encounters at all costs and here the group was possibly about to provoke the wrath of one.

The car was unoccupied. When the officer saw them he came out of the store and began talking to them. Everyone had their cameras snapping pictures in case anything happened. But, the officer was very nice. He inquired about what we were doing and why. I was on the opposite side of the street so I didn't catch what all he said to the group.

After a couple minutes everyone crossed back over to where I was and we continued on. the police officer started to leave but instead made a U-turn and pulled up beside me. I walked over to his car and asked him if he needed to see our permit. He said that wouldn't be necessary. Then he asked me why we were doing the Free Marc Emery rally in that particular location. I explained to him that we chose the location for the historical significance and because one of Marc's hero's for peaceful, non-violent, civil disobedience and demonstration against bad laws is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I explained who Marc was and quipped that "Apparently we don't have enough non-violent drug offenders in American prisons so we've had to start importing them." He giggled...which is always a good sign.

Then the officer said, "Yeah, but why here? I mean people are asking me why are people protesting in Montgomery, Alabama for a Canadian? Shouldn't the protest be against the Canadian government for extraditing him? What should I tell them?"

Chris Butts was standing with me and he told officer that it was a world wide rally happening in cities all over the globe. The officer looked surprised. Then the officer asked if marijuana wasn't outlawed around the same time as hemp because of the competition with synthetics like plastic. I told him that was part of it and that today our biggest foes to changing the law are usually the giant pharmaceutical companies. I almost added, "And the prison industrial complex which keeps guys like you employed." But, I didn't because he was being nice and seemed on the surface to have no problem with marijuana or marijuana consumers and because he could have come out swinging his billy club at those who had surrounded his car earlier....but he didn't. He displayed a genuine curiosity about what we were doing, attempted to share some of his own knowledge on the issue and he was very friendly. As he pulled away he said, "I will hang out down here in this area today and make sure no other officers bother you."

Now, how often does that happen? It isn't often that I get to have positive encounters with police officers. When it happens it restores my faith in them a little bit. It makes me feel good when I can walk away from an encounter with the police with a smile on my face, my blood pressure in the normal range, and my hands not in handcuffs. It reinforces that not all of them are bad. That is a good feeling.
So, many thanks to the officer who was so friendly to us and gave us the chance to share in some mutual respect and knowledge exchange.

Many thanks are also in order to everyone who took time out of their weekend to travel to Montgomery and join the march. We had 5 people from north Alabama who drove well over 100 miles each way to be there. Three of them were newcomers who now plan to become involved in the medical marijuana movement here. Four of the attendees came all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. They said they were unable to find a rally there and wanted to be part of one somewhere. That's amazing. It isn't often that something is happening in Montgomery and nothing is happening in Atlanta. I think everyone but me drove over 100 miles each way to attend the march. That's dedication.

A special thanks to Chris Butts who provided the awesome signage and my ride to Montgomery. Without Chris and DJ I would not have made it yesterday due to problems with my truck. They drove a long way out of their way to make sure I could get there. Thanks to Ron Crumpton who brought me home.

And as always thanks to everyone else who came out in the dreadful heat on a college football game day and joined us in protesting the political imprisonment of my close friend and mentor Marc Emery.

I love you guys!

NOTE: Sorry for all the heavy breathing. It was hotter than hell and that was a big hill and I smoke too damn much :)

Here are some more pictures from yesterday.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sorry Hell!

A man in Florida stands up to the bullies tormenting his daughter on the school bus.

Many of you may have no idea how damn close I've come to doing that exact same thing...or the last few years. I, personally, don't see what he has to be sorry for. I think he deserves kudos.


REMINDER: Free Marc Emery Rally Tomorrow in Montgomery

I will be hosting a Free Marc Emery rally in Montgomery tomorrow from 12-3. Please meet me at the fountain on Dexter Ave. at 12 pm and join me and many others in a march to the state capitol building. For more information please GO HERE

The Tragic Case of Michael Lapihuska

I want to inform my readers about the incredibly tragic and maddening case of Michael Lapihuska in Anniston, Alabama. Michael is pictured above facing the camera.

Michael is a former resident of Anniston, AL and a medical marijuana patient. In 2003 he was sentenced to a year in an Alabama prison for 5 grams of marijuana. It was his second possession offense, which automatically made it a felony. After Michael got out of prison he moved to California where he was able to become a legal medical marijuana patient. He uses marijuana to treat PTSD and clinical depression.

Last December Michael traveled back to Alabama to visit with family and friends. One evening while walking down the road he was stopped by a police officer and accused of hitch hiking. The cop demanded that he be allowed to search Michael. Michael complied. During the search the cop found one gram of marijuana in a prescription bottle. Michael explained that he was a medical marijuana patient registered in California and was home visiting. He showed the cop his card. Cop didn't care. Michael was arrested, jailed and is now facing 2-10 years in prison for using the medicine that his doctor recommended.

It will come as no surprise to any of you who read this blog that he is having major trouble with his attorney, court appointed, naturally. She wants him to take a plea deal that would sentence him to 1 year in jail (suspended) and 2 years supervised probation. Michael will not take that deal, because he uses marijuana as medicine, and that is his only medicine. He knows he will fail the first drug screen on probation. The way he sees it, he is going to prison either way so he might as well fight the charges. He has demanded a jury trial.

Even though he has told his attorney that he wants a jury trial from the very beginning, according to him, she has not returned one single phone call. She also hasn't returned my phone call offering help from ACC and medical marijuana lawyers in other states. This week she is out of town on vacation and did not leave anyone in her office in charge of Michael's case. Michael's trial is set for Thursday, Sept. 23.

It gets worse. Michael asked for a mental health evaluation. The psychiatrist who was tapped for that threatened to have Michael's bond revoked. See, Michael rides his bike everywhere he goes. They psychiatrist called Michael at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon and said for Michael to meet him at the Calhoun Co. Jail the following Monday at 8 am. Problem was that Michael was a few days away and could not make the appointment on such a short notice. It would have been impossible for him to get back on his bike within that time frame. He told the psychiatrist that and the psychiatrist threatened to have his bond revoked if he did not show up. That wound up not happening....but good grief when even the doctor who is supposed to be evaluating you threatens you with jail how fair will the psychological hearing be? And why was it being conducted at the jail?

Michael contacted me in the very early part of this year asking for help. Ever since then he has been at almost every ACC meeting. He is basically homeless sleeping wherever he finds himself at the end of a day of riding, or occasionally staying with friends if any are nearby. He also volunteers at soup kitchens along the way. I've come to know him pretty well over the course of the last few months and needless to say I am very concerned about his upcoming trial. He is not a criminal. He is a sick man who uses a natural plant on the recommendation of his physician. He in no way belongs in a dangerous, inhumane, disease ridden, overcrowded Alabama prison. It is NOT a crime to be sick. I fear for him at a jury trial because Michael has an illness that isn't readily apparent. You can't see mental illness like you can cancer. He doesn't look sick so I am not sure a jury will believe it.

We wanted to try and have his attorney use the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the US Constitution which states that states shall recognize the laws and professional licenses of other states. However, since the idiotic 'Defense of Marriage' act was passed a few years ago it can be invoked to get around the Full Faith clause. Even though Montana has set precedent using that clause to defend a very similar case there before they had a medical marijuana law.

We also thought there was a very good chance that we could get it thrown out on the grounds that it was an illegal search. Alabama code states that it is only illegal to hitch hike if one is standing in the road obstructing traffic flow. The police report does not state that he was doing that....only that he was hitch hiking. Therefore the cop had no right to stop him...much less search him.

But, seeing as how his attorney has shown zero concern for him we don't think she will try either of these possible remedies for his case.

The Anniston Star has been extremely helpful to us in getting the word out about Michael's case. They did an incredible article last month. Please go and read
Anniston Man Finds One States medicine is Another's Illicit Drug

Since the article three great LTE's have appeared in support of Michael. Please read them

Cast a vote for Compassion
Un-American to harass sick
Ashamed of Government

More are on the way from ACC members and we hope they will appear before Thursday. Please take a moment and write your own.

Here are the current plans for Michael's upcoming trial.

1. We are going to ask for a continuance, which should be granted, so that suitable representation can be found. If that happens the trial will not be next Thursday.

2. If the trial does happen next Thursday then every member of Alabamians for Compassionate Care and any other interested citizen who can make it plan to protest outside the courthouse. We will be handing out jury nullification information, medical marijuana information, and information about our medical marijuana bill in the Alabama House. We will also have signs calling for jury nullification and informing people that Michael is a registered medical marijuana patient in California, that he has harmed no one etc.

I need readers to do a couple of things.

1. Write a letter to the Anniston Star on Michael's behalf. Send it to
Do it TODAY!

2. If this trial happens next week then I need you to plan to be there. Bring signs that say

"Jury Nullification for Michael Lapihuska"

"Michael Lapihuska is a PATIENT NOT a CRIMINAL"

"Support medical marijuana in Alabama"


The more people we have on hand to get jury nullification information into the hands of potential jurors the better. The more people we have attend the louder our message becomes and the bigger this case becomes.

Winning this case for Michael is much bigger than just helping one man. It would set precedent in Alabama for medical marijuana patients traveling through here. Our medical marijuana bill, which will come back before the house judiciary committee in March 2011 contains a reciprocity clause that would actually keep Michael and other medical marijuana patients out of Alabama courts and jails. It would honor medical marijuana patients from other states.

Please check back here and on our ACC Facebook page for updates about the trial next week. Please send this to everyone you know in Alabama who might be willing to attend or help in some other way. Please tell everyone you know who knows anything about jury nullification that we need their help with this case. And, if you know an attorney who would be willing to take this case for a reduced rate or pro bono then get them in contact with me ASAP. I can be reached at

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My letter in the National Post

The National Post in Canada ran two letters in support of Marc Emery today. One from me and one from Marc's wife Jodie.

While I agree with most of Chris Selley’s column, I take exception to his assertion: “However asinine, the law’s the law.”
I live in Alabama, where it used to be legal to own a slave and illegal to help a slave gain freedom. We also had Jim Crow laws that prevented blacks and poor whites from taking part in the political process. None of those laws were just and, everyone who had the courage to break them were true heroes, as is [marijuana activist] Marc Emery.
Just because something is against the law doesn’t mean it’s bad and just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s good, as former Alabama laws so clearly demonstrate.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Marc Emery clearly has the moral high ground on this issue.

Loretta Nall, Alexander City, Ala.

Read more

My Husband Shouldn't Be in A US Jail
Re: A Notable Defector In The War On Pot, Sept. 10.
Chris Selley claims my husband Marc Emery sold seeds to Americans for profit, but Marc was never selling seeds for personal gain. His purpose was to finance drug policy reform, and he was tremendously successful at it. The Drug Enforcement Administration made clear that they targeted Marc as “the founder of a marijuana legalization group” due to his money being “channelled to marijuana legalization groups active in the U.S. and Canada” and his arrest was “a significant blow to the marijuana legalization movement.”
There are seed sellers in Canada, Europe and even the United States who are not arrested and certainly don’t get five years in U.S. federal prison. Marc never set foot in the States and he paid income tax to Revenue Canada as a “marijuana seed vendor.” Marc should not have been extradited to a foreign country and the excessive, unjust punishment in the U.S. federal prison system he will endure — he should have been dealt with in his home country, where the activities took place.
Marc needs to be brought home to serve his time here in Canada.

Jodie Emery, Vancouver.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Marc Emery sentenced to 5 years

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer

Marijuana seed dealer who spent fortune on pot reform gets 5 years


Canadian marijuana seed dealer and pro-pot activist Marc Emery has been sentenced to a five-year prison term, marking the end of a years-long legal fight once cast by federal authorities as a blow to the marijuana reform movement.

Imposing Emery's sentence Friday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez honored a plea agreement struck earlier this year by Emery to avoid a potential 10-year prison term.

Emery -- a 12-time candidate for elected office in Canada described by federal authorities as a "Prince of Pot" -- spent millions of dollars gained through a mail-order marijuana seed business to advocate for marijuana law reform in Canada and the United States. After a five-year extradition fight, Emery pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug crimes, which he described as "civil disobedience."


Marc Emery to be sentenced today

My very close friend and mentor Marc Emery, Canada's "Prince of Pot" will be sentenced in US Federal Court in Seattle, Washington later this morning. It is expected that the Judge will accept the plea deal and sentence Marc to 5 years in a US Federal prison.

Oddly enough, the former federal prosecutor who prosecuted Marc recently wrote a piece for the Seattle Times admitting that the marijuana laws in this country are unjust, harmful to society, enable the black market, fund violent cartels and gangs, and need to be changed. But, he couldn't quite bring himself to say that he and the US Government were wrong for prosecuting Marc in the first place. In fact, and in a very juvenile fashion unbecoming such a highly educated person who once held a lofty rank in our government, he not only didn't say that he/they were wrong, he called Marc Emery and everyone else in America who consumes marijuana idiots.

Read the piece here Marijuana's True Potency and why the Law Should Change

Here is the letter to the editor I sent in reply.

Dear Editor,

In response to John McKay's recent editorial ("Marijuana's true potency" Sept. 3), How ironic that Mr. McKay says he wants to "discuss marijuana policy responsibly", yet, starts his editorial by calling Marc Emery and millions of Americans 'idiots' for choosing to consume marijuana. Demeaning his audience is no way to begin a responsible discussion.

His assertion that Marc Emery took the 'wrong path' in seeking to end this failed policy is incorrect. Marc's seed sales allowed individuals to grow their own marijuana, which took money away from violent drug cartels and redirected it to peaceful activists to fund changes through the legislative process. The policies Mr. McKay enforced funded the drug cartels.

By McKay's own admission marijuana laws are unjust. Yet, he defends upholding them in his capacity as Federal Prosecutor and the continued prosecution today of these unjust laws by his 'brave colleagues'. His rationale is that all laws, even admittedly unjust, harmful, failed ones, must be obeyed. What hypocrisy and true idiocy!

MLK Jr. once said, "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”. Marc did that. Mr. McKay didn't. While McKay may see marijuana consumers as 'idiots', judging by MLK's standards, McKay is an immoral coward. He should apologize to Marc Emery.

Respectfully submitted for publication,

Loretta Nall

This morning when I checked my email there was one from Marc pointing me to a column in the National Post that was incredibly similar to the above piece. The author, Chris Selley, didn't stoop so low as to call names, but he did try and demean Marc and his heroic efforts to change these unjust laws in a different way.

A notable defector in the war on pot

And here is the letter I wrote in response to that column.

Dear Editor,

While I agree with most of Chris Selley's column (A Notable defector in the war on Pot Sept. 10) I take exception to the following assertion.

Selley stated, "However asinine, the law's the law."

I live in Alabama where it used to be legal to own a slave and illegal to help a slave gain freedom. We also had 'Jim Crow' laws that prevented blacks and poor whites from taking part in the political process. None of those laws were just and, everyone who had the courage to break them were true heroes, as is Marc Emery.

Just because something is against the law doesn't mean it's bad and just because something is legal doesn't mean it's good, as former Alabama laws so clearly demonstrate. Would Mr. Selley have followed either of those laws had he lived in Alabama at the time they were so brutally enforced, simply because they were laws?

Martin Luther king Jr. once said, "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”. Marc Emery clearly has the moral high ground on this issue.

Respectfully Submitted for Publication,
Loretta Nall

Now, all Americans reading this please take a few moments, read both articles, and write an LTE.

Send your letters to:

Seattle Times (200 words or less)

National Post
Submit a Letter to the Editor

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I'm a Great Aunt today!

My nephew Christopher and his wife had their first child today and he is GORGEOUS!

Welcome to the world Korey Denson!! Your Great Aunt Loretta loves you oodles already! Can't wait to meet you and snuggle you and kiss you and spoil you!

It's Personal

The policy of fucking up anyone's life over marijuana is always makes me very angry. However, when it is a kid, and one that I know and have known for's much more personal.

Got a message last night from the child who was my son's best friend since third grade. These kids used to spend every day and nearly every weekend together playing video games. They never got in a speck of trouble...for anything. They were neck in neck to be valedictorians at their high school. My son left to go to another school for his Jr. & Sr. years, so we never got to see which one would win.

Apparently while this kid was home from college for the Labor Day weekend he was arrested for marijuana possession. He is being charged with a felony.

Now, this is his first offense for anything...ever. The amount of marijuana was not enough to trigger a felony charge. It was, as I said, his first offense so the felony can't be based on number of priors. The marijuana was not packaged for resale. So, why the felony charge?

According to what he told me he did not make a statement to police. But, the narcotics pig who attempted to conduct the questioning wrote out a statement and forced/coerced him into signing it. He does not know what it says. He was not allowed to read it. He did not have an attorney present. Since he is just a kid he probably didn't know enough about his rights to assert them.

Someone please explain to me what is gained by fucking up a kids life for a little weed? This kid is just starting out in life. He turned 18 only a few months ago. He is in his first semester in college. And now he is charged with a felony. A felony will bar him from federal student financial aid, which will likely end his college career. A felony that will make him practically unemployable, even though he was one of the brightest kids in his class. A felony that will screw up his life in a royal fashion....for absolutely no justifiable reason.

I am doing everything I can to help him.

Be careful out there kids!