Yesterday afternoon, in a rare display of logic, reason and courage, a group of 12 Oklahoman men and women stood up to our state's overzealous fun police and acquitted Stephen Holman and Robert Cox of all charges related to a 2015 "drug paraphernalia" raid of the Friendly Market in Norman.
Norman City Councilman Stephen Tyler Holman and Friendly Market owner Robert Cox greeted cheering supporters on the courthouse steps Monday night after a jury acquitted acquitted both men on all counts.
A jury of four women and eight men deliberated five hours before acquitting the men of one felony count of acquiring proceeds from drug activity and twelve counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
"You would think common sense would prevail," said Brecken Wagner, an attorney for Holman.
Dude. You live and practice law in Oklahoma. Why would you think common sense would prevail? This state is where common sense goes for a bender before killing itself in a motel along Meridian.
The prosecutor said Cox ignored repeated advice from attorneys and local law enforcement to stop selling "bongs" and other drug paraphernalia.
The bulk of The Friendly Market's sales came not from the local art or other items the store carried, but from glass pipes, Crowe said...
The defense contends the pipes police confiscated from the store are legal and that prosecutors failed to show that Holman and Cox intended their customers to use them to smoke marijuana....
Max Montrose, a cannabis expert hired by the defense, testified Monday that glass pipes can be used to smoke a variety of legal substances, including tobacco, mullein and coltsfoot.
"There are hundreds of legal herbs that can be used by smoking," he testified.
I know they needed to present alternative uses of glass pipes from a legal angle, but let's be honest here –nobody buys glass pipes, bongs and Volcanos from places like Friendly Market (or Amazon) to smoke coltsfoot. They use the glass to smoke marijuana – a drug that's legal (in some capacity) in more than half of our states, and will probably be legalized here in 2018. Congrats to the jury for understanding that and still finding them not guilty.
On that note, I have a question for our TLO legal scholars: Is this a classic example of jury nullification? If you interpret the law the way it's written, Holman and Cox are probably guilty of some victimless crime... Right? Did the jury acquit them because the law is stupid, and adults should have the freedom to buy pipes to smoke products that are for some reason illegal? Does that present some sort of hope for the state? I look forward to your answers in the comments.