Activist Arrested for Plant Possession

By Kat Kanning

(Originally posted on Freekeenenews - NH Free Press)

In an act of civil disobedience, Andrew Carroll, 18, of Manchester intentionally disobeyed drug laws by possessing a small amount of marijuana. Carroll objects to government abuses stemming from the drug war. He stated, “The drug war is an unconstitutional and inhumane breach of individual liberties which claims many victims, and dollars, each year.” Carroll claimed he wanted to “demonstrate the absurdity of putting a human being in jail for a crime with no victim. The point is further demonstrated by the fact that I do not, personally, smoke marijuana, and only intended to possess it.” Carroll was risking a possible year in jail, along with profound repercussions for future job availability, for his disobedience.

 

After announcing his intention to possess marijuana, Carroll arrived at Railroad Square in Keene with around 40 fellow activists. The event was planned for 1:00 on Jan. 10th. By 1:15, Carroll thought that the event was over without arrest, but then at 1:20, two Keene police officers arrived and arrested the nonviolent protester. All 40 activists followed the two officers and their victim to the police car, and then to the station. Carroll was charged with a Class B Misdemeanor and released. He is scheduled to appear in Keene District Court on March 3rd. He does not plan to pay any fines stemming from the arrest.

 

Andrew Carroll moved to New Hampshire from California recently with the Free State Project.

 

Drug War Statistics

 

According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 253,300 inmates for drug offenses in 2005. That means states spent approximately $17,110,415 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,245,301,475 per year.

 

“States spent $29.8 billion in 1998 for adult corrections including incarceration, probation and parole. Eighty-one percent of this amount ($24.1 billion) was spent on substance-involved offenders. Of the $24.1 billion, $21.4 billion went to run and build prisons to house substance-involved offenders, $1.1 billion for parole and $695 million for probation for substance-involved offenders. An additional $899 million was spent on state aid to localities for substance-involved offenders.” (Source: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)

 

(stats from http://drugwarfacts.org)

 

People Arrested for Drug Law Offenses this Year: 63,670

 

Arrests for drug law violations in 2009 are expected to exceed the 1,841,182 arrests of 2007. Law enforcement made more arrests for drug abuse violations (an estimated 1.8 million arrests, or 13.0 percent of the total number of arrests) than for any other offense in 2007. Someone is arrested for violating a drug law every 17 seconds. (Source: Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation)

 

People Arrested for Cannabis Law Offenses this Year: 30,179

 

Police arrested an estimated 872,720 persons for cannabis violations in 2007, the highest annual total ever recorded in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent, 775,137 Americans were charged with possession only. An American is now arrested for violating cannabis laws every 38 seconds. (Source: Uniform Crime Reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation)

 

(stats from http://drugsense.org)