Rich Paul Facing 81 Years in Prison for Cannabis Distribution, Refuses Plea Deal – Trial 4/16 @ 9am

Rich Paul MegaphoneSeveral activists came out to Cheshire “superior” court yesterday morning to perform jury outreach with fliers encouraging jurors to learn about jury nullification – your right as a juror to judge the law itself and vote your conscience.

Hopefully jurors will take the information to heart and use compassion for their peaceful neighbor in the upcoming trial of heroic 420 celebration founder Rich Paul. Rich is facing multiple cannabis distribution charges that could result in 81 years in prison. Rich has been offered a plea deal of a year in jail and has refused. He wants to be the first person acquitted for the peaceful, victimless “crime” of selling some cannabis to consenting adults. Most people would have taken the deal. Rich is standing firm on his beliefs – he has done no harm. No victim, no crime.

Here is a facebook event for the trial which begins Tuesday April 16th at 9am at Cheshire “superior” court at 12 Court St. Jury nullification sigh waving begins at 7:50am. Please come out and support Rich!


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  1. Isn’t 81 years a little hyperbolic? Technically, he could get such a sentence, but you know damn well he’ll never serve more than a few years (yes, I know that’s still an unjust sentence for selling a plant). I realize you’re doing it to make the state look bad, but it just wears down your credibility.

  2. That is what he is facing. That is not hyperbole. Would the sentence be that high? Probably not, but it could be.

  3. Better hope that Rich has a better jury and better defense attorney than the “Trespassive Three” did. No strong constitutional arguments available in this case. This will be a true test for jury nullification.

    Does Rich even have defense counsel, cause this won’t be easy?

  4. There’s plenty of constitutional argument here.

    Art. 15b “An accused person has the following RIGHTS….To present a defense…”
    If he asserts his RIGHT to defend himself and the state is pushing for 81 years as opposed to 1 year for NOT defending himself and taking a plea deal, then it is in direct violation of Art. 18a “All penalties should fit the crime.”

  5. Really? Because that’s how pretty much /any/ news outlet will phrase things when announcing that someone has been charged with a crime. Does it wear down the credibility of NBC or the New York Times when they do it? Or does it only wear down certain individuals’ credibility? If the latter, what defines the difference between the two groups?

    Because, seriously… that’s standard journalistic practice when describing potential prison sentences (or fines, for that matter).

  6. It’s still coercive in intimidating the citizen into waiving his RIGHT. Plea deals are threats upon the liberty of citizens.
    Ultimately, it is also a contractual agreement made under duress. Not a legal, binding contract under trust law nor admissible in a court of law due to it’s factor of duress.

  7. Ahhh, but the potential sentence cannot be raised in front of the jury. Also, plea negotiations are inadmissible.

    So, what specific constitutional argument (like the Free Speech/1st Amendment argument in the Trespassive Three case) can be argued?

  8. It’s the end of prohibition—thank God!

  9. Tips for becoming a stealth juror: If you are called up to perform jury duty in a marijuana case, you will be asked by the prosecutor if you would convict someone for a marijuana offense. Say “Maybe if the prosecutor can make a good case”. During jury deliberations, vote not guilty. Do not give a personal reason for voting not guilty; just say that you don’t think that the prosecution proved its case.

    Your vote will result in a hung jury (mistrial) which will force the prosecutor to offer the defendant a better plea deal, or drop the charges altogether. If enough marijuana cases end in hung juries, prosecutors will not bother to try these cases. This strategy helped end alcohol prohibition.

  10. Greetings from the free bioregion of Cascadia. My sympathy is with Mr. Paul. Thank you for this important post. Without such ongoing coverage I might easily forget how some parts of the world are so unfree as New Hampshire State.

  11. The perpeTRAITORS of prohibition deserve this type of sentence for their crimes against humanity. Keeping Cannabis illegal while tobacco and alcohol are sold at the corner store is Murderously STUPID. The prohibition of Earth’s most widely beneficial plant species is a crime against humanity. It shall NOT stand. Legalization is inevitable. Get the reparations ready, you pigs.

  12. When called for jury duty on a case concerning a drug violation with no overt act of violence, do not convict! If the offender is non-violent, do not send them to prison! Another person in a federal or state prison for drugs is not going to make society any better or our families any safer, in fact, it WILL do the exact opposite.

    * It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict.

    * You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention, ether before or after taking your seat on a jury.

    * You are also not required to give a reason to your fellow jurors on your position when voting—simply state that you find the accused not guilty.

    * Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. It is of no consequence If the Judge or the other jurors disapprove; there is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.

    We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for: Please Vote To Acquit!

  13. I’ll take the 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. As long as it’s legal to possess as much liquor as you want and to get as drunk as you like it’s a violation of that right to prosecute someone for choosing a less dangerous substance on the basis of that substance’s safety.

    I know the knee jerk reaction is that cannabis is illegal for everyone. The response to that is that everyone has a grandfather, but the SCOTUS still struck down voting laws based on the voting status of a person’s grandfather as a de jure violation of the right to equal protection.

    Yes, I do think that criminalizing drinking alcohol would make this a moot point. Let’s see how far that idea gets why don’t we?

  14. You might want to review the new jury nullification information law in New Hampshire, the stunning list of jury nullified cannabis law violations in California (acquittals, not hung jury mistrials), and how a defendant in Montana got to avoid the cost and stress of a trial because a potential juror answered the prosecutor directly that there was no way that the Court would get a guilty verdict from that potential juror, which caused the rest of the jury pool to tell the prosecutor the same. You might also like to review the prosecution of Laura Kriho in Colorado for using that precise strategy.

    I disagree with any strategy that requires secrecy or using half truths.

  15. Yeah… and how does Totalitarian-ville even vaguely compare to New Hampshire?

    Yeah, the State of NH will violate someone’s right to consume a particular plant. And that’s horrible. But the totalitarian governments in that “bioregion” assert that no one even has a right to life. No comparison is possible.

  16. Your analogy is way off. Equal protection deals with the protection of the status of people (as you refer to the SCOTUS case). It does not deal with the equal protection of items (i.e. alcohol vs. weed).

  17. Hogwash. I’m specifically talking about personal status. But of course, just like all prohibitionists, you have your excuses why this absurdity is legal.

  18. While I agree that “people who enjoy marijuana” should receive equal protections to those enjoyed by “people who enjoy alcohol” or “people who enjoy tobacco,” I doubt the courts would agree, because they work for themselves, not us.

    A challenge under the NH Constitution might make more sense. Article 3 is a powerful piece of text, and is rarely used to its full effect. An Article 2 / Article 10 argument could also be made that he was enjoying his fundamental natural rights, and protesting the government’s violation thereof, given that the government has been wholly non-responsive to the public outcry against these draconian laws. It’s not like they can claim that no one has tried to “work within the system” to achieve change.

  19. Article 15 NH “Fully heard” ….if a jury has the right to nullify and a defendant has the right to seek nullification, the sentence “must” be available to the jurors. of course Judges are allowed to jury tamper on a regular basis.

  20. I wasn’t suggesting that the Courts would agree. It’s often decades upon decades that bad interpretations of law remain in place. It took over 32 years to get the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 struck down as unconstitutional. Then it was promptly replaced by the CSA. But eventually the truth will win. That’s the genius in our system…it doesn’t prevent injustices but eventually it does allow us to correct them.

  21. “Live Free or Die”???

  22. Don’t know why you call me a prohibitionist – I believe that marijuana (and all other drugs) should not be illegal. My comments are related to the legal challenge to this. Basing a legal challenge on the 14th Amendment or equal protection argument will fail. The best legal strategy for Rich is jury nullification and not any constitutional argument.

  23. You’re right, it doesn’t compare. I can buy legally recreational marijuana. You cannot.

  24. And…? Yup, NH is violating folks’ rights on that issue.

    And in the area where you live, the government is violating folks’ rights on hundreds (maybe thousands) of issues where NH doesn’t, or does, but to a far lesser extent.

    Hey, prisoners get free meals, every day. I have to pay for my own food. Does that make prison a good deal, in your world?

  25. I agree! Don’t PLEA


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