Trial Of The Century  
Written by Lyn Wilson
Press Release: UPDATE 
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 case.  
          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 government."

Richard "HEMP" Davis
The Traveling U.S.A. HEMP Museum
Technical Comments to: [email protected]