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Marijuana Activist Since 1960s Facing California Pot Charges

December 22nd, 2017
Categories: Past News

Link: https://www.snopes.com/2017/12/21/marijuana-activist-since-1960s-facing-california-pot-charges/

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California’s famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

Beal has been promoting marijuana’s medical benefits for decades. Recreational sales of marijuana become legal in California on Jan. 1, and medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1996. But it’s still illegal to transport large quantities of the drug or to take it out of state.

It’s not uncommon for traffickers to think they can now transport pot risk-free, said Deputy District Attorney Colleen Murray, who is prosecuting the case.

Defense attorney Tom Ballanco said it’s not clear if his two clients thought they were acting legally.

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