Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

It’s happened before: The people are speaking up. In court. As jurors. As citizens.

A Missoula District Court could not impanel a jury in a marijuana possession case. Potential jurors refused to say that they would follow the law in convicting a person for possessing a sixteenth of an ounce of the popular weed. One juror wondered why the county was “wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all.” The flummoxed Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul called it “a mutiny.”

The judge said he’d never seen anything like it.

Too bad.

Jury nullification is an old idea, a democratic idea. I wrote about it a few years ago, in reference to the growing movement to recognize it as a principle of law. Voting isn’t the only check citizens have against bad laws. Juries have a right to judge the law as well as the facts in the case, no matter what usurping judges tell them.

The most spectacular instances of jury nullification in American history regarded slavery. Many northern juries revolted against enforcing the Fugitive Slave laws, to the consternation of slave-owners.

The current case didn’t quite get to full nullification, in legal terms. Instead, it approached nullification practically, forcing prosecutors to bargain the case down.

This citizens’ revolt against some of the absurdities in our War on Drugs indicates that we can expect bigger changes in the future.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Ed Williamson says:

    Jury nullification is a weapon that citizens should deploy with more regularity, not only in stupid prosecutions such as this but in bogus firearms prosecutions and, given the opportunity, in eminet domain cases involving developers rather than legitimate government need.

    I’m waiting for a bogus prosecution in my area so that I can stand on the courthouse steps and pass out jury nullification information to all who enter.

  2. John Ken says:

    Just legalize it and forget about prosecutions.

  3. Jay says:

    When my brother was around 11 or 12, and starting (in those days- Junior High School-now called Middle School) (note, if my brother was still alive, he would be PAST 70), there were lectures about ‘the evils of marijuana” and the ” war on drugs, which we are winning”. That was OVER 60 YEARS AGO.

    I agree with John ken- jsut legalize pot, and the other stuff-if someone wants it, they will get it.

    And perhaps we can empty some of the non violent people out of prisons, and put away murderers, etc.

  4. Drik says:

    Nullifrication worked fine when the federal government tried to foist the Fugitive Slave Act on the American people. We need the same approach when they try to stick us for the bill for the bankrupt, inept, liberal government in California.
    We need the state governments to get back in the game, balancing the power of the imperialist federal government and interposing between the people and the unconstitutional activities and pricetags.

  5. Art says:

    For the increasing number of people like you who think that marijuana should be legalized as was alcohol, I presume that Paul Jacobs and the California drug followers will show up at funerals to explain to families how someone under the influence of marijuana is no more dangerous than someone under the influence of alcohol. After all, dead is dead, so why prohibit marijuana, as it no more dangerous than alcohol. If this is your most pressing endorsement of juries rebelling against incompetent prosecutors, you need to be working for the ACLU.

  6. MoreFreedom says:

    To Art, actually marijuana is much safer than alcohol, both for the user and others around him. Even studies have shown that driving under the influence of marijuana is much safer than when drinking alcohol.

    Of course, anyone causing harm to others should be prosecuted for that fact.

    Do you defend the legality of alcohol in preference to pot? If so, perhaps you can explain to the families of those killed by drunk drivers why you support the prohibition of pot, yet support the legality of alcohol? And if you say both should be illegal, perhaps you should review the history of prohibition.

    Finally, ask yourself, since it it took a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol, then under what constitutional authority can congress make pot illegal?

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