Washington Man Chooses Jail Over Fine For Marijuana

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Photo: Dana Goes to Jail!
Dana Walker: “I am a keen patron of irony and I LOVE the fact that I am going to reclaim my freedom by going to jail”

​A Washington state man on Friday chose jail over paying a marijuana possession fine, as a way of protesting the laws against cannabis.

Dana Walker of Olympia was reportedly led away in handcuffs after telling Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary R. Tabor, “As to the matter now before us I have no intention of making any more payments and I am requesting as long a jail sentence as the law allows for my refusal.”
Walker set up a Facebook event for his Friday court appearance, inviting the public to witness his statement to the judge, reports The Weed Blog.
“Have you ever wanted to go into a courtroom and honestly tell the judge and prosecutor what you think of their marijuana laws?” Walker asked on the Facebook page, “Dana Goes to Jail!”
“I have a golden opportunity to do just that and I plan to take full advantage,” he said. “Those of you who personally know me know I am fully capable of turning righteous indignation into an entertaining show, and I plan to pull out all stops on this one.
“I owe Thurston County over $3,000 for a marijuana charge from back in 1997,” he said. “I am currently unemployed, I am not a fan of hot weather, and I wouldn’t mind at all spending a few weeks in jail just for the opportunity to tell a court where they can stick their laws.


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Photo: Dana Walker
Dana Walker: “Since I will no longer pay your fines and since I no longer fear your jails then — as far as marijuana goes — you no longer have any power over me”

​”If everyone throws a few shovels full of dirt into the cogs of the Machine then the Machine can’t function,” Walker explained. “If even a relatively insignificant number of criminal defendants demanded full jury trials and court-appointed attorneys and then refused to pay any fines then the entire prison-industrial complex would implode.
“I am also fulfilling a psychological need to take back control of my life,” Walker said. “I highly resent the fact that I have been forced by circumstance to kiss their evil asses for over a decade and I will now have my say. I am a keen patron of irony and I LOVE the fact that I am going to reclaim my freedom by going to jail.”
When the time came in the court room, Walker was able to get his entire statement read into the record.
“I am an active and contributing member of my community and I have earned the respect and admiration of large numbers of the people in my community,” Walker said in his statement to the judge, “and I hate to admit it as it goes against my ‘outlaw’ image, but I even obey the traffic laws.
“In spite of all this I now have four felony convictions and three misdemeanor convictions, all for marijuana; I have spent over six years of my life incarcerated in a federal prison and four years on federal probation over marijuana, and Thurston County now wants me to pay a fine of $2,010 for marijuana plus $1,754 in interest on that fine that was accrued as I sat in a federal prison all those years,” Walker said.
“Since I have been smoking marijuana on a regular basis for over 40 years now and suffered no ill effects of any kind whatsoever that I am aware of, since I consider this state’s marijuana laws to be an unacceptable, unconstitutional, and outrageous infringement upon my personal liberty, since I love smoking marijuana and I intend to continue smoking marijuana at any time that I darned well please, and since making someone like me into a criminal over marijuana is insane and stupid; then today I am placing the State of Washington on notice that from this point forward I will not only never again pay the state to prosecute me for marijuana but that I intend to make it as expensive to prosecute me for marijuana as I possibly can — and since I have been in the system for a long time I know how to do that,” Walker told the judge.
“I would also like to point out that the feds had me under their thumb for over 10 years and they did not break me — and as of a few days ago I am no longer under that thumb,” Walker said. “And so today I am celebrating and reclaiming my freedom by informing the state that since I will no longer pay your fines and since I no longer fear your jails then — as far as marijuana goes — you no longer have any power over me and that in fact the stick is now in my hand.”
“If I had known what you were going to say, I wouldn’t have let you make the statement,” Judge Tabor told Walker. “Once you got started I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt you.”
Walker was then handcuffed and led away. His sentencing is scheduled for next week.
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