Kentucky Supreme Court To Hear Harrelson's Case

Kentucky Supreme Court To Hear Harrelson's Case
Posted by FoM on September 04, 1999 at 09:57:45 PT
NORML's Weekly Update News
Source: NORML
Sept. 2, 1999, Frankfort, KY: Actor Woody Harrelson's Kentucky industrial hemp challenge will reach the state Supreme Court at 11 a.m., on Oct. 14, 1999 in Louisville.
  The Kentucky Supreme Court will review a decision by the state Circuit Court of Appeals which earlier denied review of a June 1996 order by the trial court to dismiss the case against Harrelson and declare the legality of hemp prohibition in the state of Kentucky.   In a highly publicized event, Harrelson planted four industrial hemp seeds in June of 1996, and was cited by state officials for marijuana possession. The Lee County Court dismissed the charge, finding the state law outlawing marijuana was overly broad by including industrial hemp. The dismissal was appealed by the government in November and the state Court of Appeals, in a purely procedural ruling, said the prosecutor could not appeal the dismissal. Both sides have asked the state Supreme Court to make a decision on the merits regarding the validity of hemp prohibition.   "It's unlikely the court will go that far," said Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director. "If anything the state supreme court will send the case back to the court of appeal for further review."  Harrelson argued that the statute outlawing marijuana possession was unconstitutional because it does not differentiate between marijuana and industrial hemp.   "The express purpose of these laws has been to prevent the people from ingesting what has been deemed a dangerous psychoactive substance," Dean said. "Pointing out that industrial hemp is incapable of producing a psychoactive effect, Harrelson is arguing that hemp has been inappropriately lumped in with the drug marijuana, the intended object of prohibition."  For more information, please contact Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director at (202) 483-8751 or Burl McCoy, Esq., attorney for Woody Harrelson at (606) 254-6363. Legalization Effort Grows In Pacific NW-8/27/99
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