|Press Release: UPDATE
COURT TV TO COVER SUPERBOWL POT TRIAL
See http://hempmuseum.org for details
Contact: Michael Walz: 602-254-8861
Email: [email protected]
Challenging the constitutionality of
Arizona cannabis laws, Richard M. Davis, fifty-seven, of
Los Angeles, California, a hemp activist, curator of the USA Hemp Museum,
and founder of the World Cannabis Foundation, will act as his own
attorney in a trial scheduled to begin next week. Davis, who
held a valid Arizona Cannabis Dealer's License at the time, was arrested
at the 1997 Superbowl in Arizona and charged with three counts of sales
of cannabis and one count of possession for sale. Davis has a
Traveling Hemp Museum which he has set up many times in strategic locations
to educate the public about the history and uses of cannabis and hemp.
Davis has a website at http://hempmuseum.org
which displays some of the hemp exhibits as well as the chronology of his
Davis, who will represent himself with the assistance of Michael Walz,
an Arizona criminal attorney, has entered a motion to dismiss all charges
against him. He cites the Constitution of Arizona, the US Constitution,
and the UN Charter on his Constitutional Challenge. A hearing on
the constitutional challenge and other motions related to this case took
place on Wednesday, August 6 in Superior Court in Mesa, Arizona,
before Judge Brian Ishikawa. Judge Ishikawa granted the prosecutor's
motion to drop the charge of possession and took Davis' motion of the constitutional
challenge "under advisement."
After five firm trial date postponements his arrest in January, 1997, and
Davis' refusal to accept any prosecution deals which would result
in his probation, jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday,
August 11th. Court TV has obtained permission to cover the
hearing and the trial.
Davis, upon the invitation of Arizona State University, spent the fourteen
days prior to the Superbowl set up with his museum on the campus.
He had a license from the University to sell products. On the Saturday
prior to SuperBowl, Davis set up his Hemp Museum on the ASU campus and
was arrested by officers from the city of Tempe on the charge of three
counts of sales and one count of possession. A plainclothes officer
purchased the souvenir Superbowl educational packet of a bud of cannabis
which was affixed with the SuperHerb label and Required Arizona Luxury
Tax stamps. This officer returned the following day with another
plainclothes officer and purchased two more educational packets.
Davis wonders why they did not arrest him after the first purchase.
Davis waived the right to apreliminary hearing and was arraigned and
pleaded not guilty in August, 1996. In December 1996, the State,
represented by prosecutor Davis Flader, sought to suppress evidence that
Davis complied with the Luxury Tax Law. This was upheld by
Judge Ishikawa. Flader was also able to obtain the permission
of the Court to deny Davis the right to present character witnesses on
his behalf. In July of 1997, Mr. Flader entered a motion to drop the
charges of possession from the indictment of Davis.
Mr. Davis, the son of a Methodist minister, was born in Arizona.
Davis holds a degree in Biology. He attended the School of Public Health
at UCLA after being discharged from the Air Force. Davis has
notified the Court that he will testify on his own behalf as an expert
on the subject of cannabis. Davis wants his day in Court.
He calls the laws on cannabis
an "illegal and confusing mess. He hopes his Constitutional Challenge will
allow him to be heard in a higher court, if necessary. Davis hopes this
case will change or clarify the law. Citing the Arizona Declaration of
Rights, he says "a frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles is
essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free