Libertarians call for pardon of medical marijuana dealer

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina passed a resolution calling for the governor to pardon Todd Stimson, who was convicted of marijuana trafficking, at its annual state convention in Durham April 11-12.

Simpson openly ran a medicinal marijuana operation in Henderson County, had a business license and paid taxes on the plants he purchased. He was sentenced to up to 39 months in prison.

The resolution notes that Stimson “is a peaceful, honest family man, and has helped many in North Carolina and victimized no one” and that “no public safety interest is met by sending peaceful, honest people to prison.”

Stimson was arrested despite the fact that he’s paid for a business privilege license for the art of healing from the state Department of Revenue, has articles of incorporation from the N.C. Secretary of State explaining his business and its educational and scientific goals, and has paid for tax stamps on the plants he’s purchased.

But according the state revenue department, buying stamps only fulfills an unauthorized substance tax obligation. The website explains that people who buy stamps will still be violating North Carolina criminal statutes for possessing drugs.

Stimson noted that state government and local police benefited from the tax stamps he bought for his plants.

The LPNC has opposed the “war on drugs” since its founding. The party platform says: While we do not advocate the use of recreational drugs, it has become obvious that the enforcement of drug prohibition is more harmful to society than the legal use of recreational drugs could ever be.

The platform also calls for the immediate legalization of marijuana production and use for medical and recreational purposes.

Read more on the Stimson case here, here and here.

Executive Committee

The party elected its executive committee. The members are: Chair J.J. Summerell (Greensboro), Vice Chair Brian Irving (Wake), Treasurer Alex Vuchnich (Mecklenburg), and Secretary Windy McKinney (Haywood).

At-large members are: Timothy Lee Cole (Mecklenburg), Chris Dooley (Rowan), Jessica Leigh Dunlap (Haywood), Tom Hohman (Union), Lonnie Holcomb (Wake), Jeremy Hussey (Randolph), Brian Lewis (Wake), Ken Penkowski (Wake), and Erik Raudsep (Durham).

The convention also passed a resolution congratulating the Duke University Blue Devils for winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball championship.

Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark tells delegates to the 2015 NC Libertarian convention that the key to electoral success is to "Show Up. Be Nice. Win."
Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark tells delegates to the 2015 NC Libertarian convention that the key to electoral success is to “Show Up. Be Nice. Win.”

Libertarian Party National Chair Nicholas Sarwark, the keynote speaker, played hooky from the proceedings on Sunday to sojourn into downtown Raleigh for a 40-minute appearance on C-SPAN. The party delayed reconvening the convention to watch the last 15 minutes of the C-SPAN show on the big screen in the meeting room.

The inspirational combination of that interview, Nick’s address to the convention Saturday afternoon, and the dynamic presentation of our banquet speaker, political analyst John Davis, was palpable.

Nearly everyone present spontaneously upped their financial pledge and several folks who had not planned to do so were inspired to run for at-large seats on the executive committee. As a result, for the first time in a long time we have a full-house on the EC.

One delegate announced his decision to run for the state House seat in 2016.

RESOLUTION TO PARDON TODD STIMSON

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina supports ending cannabis prohibition and prohibitions against harmless people self medicating, and;

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina recognizes that no public safety interest is met by sending peaceful, honest people to prison, and;

WHEREAS, Todd Stimson, although recently convicted in Hendersonville of marijuana trafficking, is a peaceful, honest family man, and has helped many in NC and victimized no one,

THEREFORE, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina calls on Governor Pat McCrory to pardon Todd Stimson of all charges in this matter.

Done in Convention, April 12, 2015, Durham, North Carolina