175 votes

Yahoo! News: New Hampshire Jury Nullifies its First Felony Marijuana Case

A major victory is scored for jury nullification with the acquittal of felony marijuana charges – and it’s all thanks to a “straight-laced little old lady” juror and participant of the Free State Project.

Doug Darrell beat the odds and walked home from his trial as a free man on Friday, a major win for the state’s new jury nullification law. Facing felony drug cultivation charges for growing marijuana plants behind his house, the 59-year-old Rastafarian saw all of the charges against him dropped after jurors in his trial successfully convinced their peers to nullify the case on the grounds that Darrell was simply trying to obey the customs of his religion.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

3 articles on jury nullification in NH

Over the weekend, the main paper in NH, the Union Leader, put out 3 articles about jury nullification and this case. All 3 are fair articles with good info.

September 23. 2012 12:12AM
Lawyers: 'Nullify' to be common refrain in criminal court cases

September 22. 2012 10:12PM
Juror says religion not a factor in nullification decision

September 22. 2012 10:12PM
Some lawmakers see marijuana case aiding push toward legalization

Rep. Mark Warden, R-Goffstown, who cosponsored both the legalization and decriminalization bills last session, called the jury nullification verdict “a fantastic outcome.”

Warden expects the acquittal of 59-year-old Douglas Darrell will be cited whenever the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, of which he is a member, debates marijuana bills in the future.

“This shows we need to start being more open-minded and start reflecting the ideas of our constituents,” he said.

Warden said the case points up a “disconnect” between the Legislature and the general public. “The people of New Hampshire ... don’t think growing your own marijuana plants is that big a deal, yet we continue to put blinders on year after year and keep it a criminal offense.”

Defense attorney Mark Sisti, who successfully raised the right of jury nullification in Darrell’s case, said the verdict creates “a whole new paradigm.”

“The laws prohibiting marijuana that were created in the ’30s and ’40s have to be scrutinized again,” he said.

That’s what happened during Prohibition, when jurors refused to convict bootleggers, Sisti said: “People decided not to be hypocrites anymore.”

Jury nullification also thrived during the Civil War, when Northern juries declined to convict those accused of harboring runaway slaves, he said.

Sisti thinks the general public likewise is ahead of lawmakers when it comes to marijuana laws. “In all honesty, what are we doing?” he asked. “We’re prosecuting people for having plants that are naturally occurring.”

Sisti said some polls show at least half of New Hampshire residents support decriminalizing marijuana possession. And he predicted, “I think you’ll see that reflected in jury verdicts.”

Live Free or Die!

Great Victory!!!!!!

Jury nullification is a great tool to stop the mushrooming of governments.

This video shows how the two parties are working together.


Protect your assets and profit from the greatest wealth transfer in history.



For The Power of The Republic!


big bump

Good Job New Hampshire Jury!

Hey I'm donating to RandPAC to support the Kentucky Hemp Commission. If anyone would like to join me here is the link. http://www.randpacusa.com/donate_hemp.aspx?pid=0913b

The Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.

Colorado Jury Nullification,

Colorado Jury Nullification, not guilty!!:) plus there have been some interesting jury results that have resulted in charges dropped or reduced or simply found not guilty! A friend of mine was able to speak to the defendant in court as well as a juror:) http://www.csindy.com/IndyBlog/archives/2012/06/29/bob-crous...

plus a lil more good news, http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_21548398/colorad...

Gary Johnson 2012 Legalize Freedom Colorado, Wolverines!!!!!!! www.garyjohnson2012.com

Ron Paul 2016

It's a felony to let a plant grow?

Shouldn't the warmakers be arresting Mother Nature?

Freedom is my Worship Word!

The War on Drugs is just as ridiculous as witch trials

It gets even more stupid than prohibiting nature. In some jurisdictions it is considered to be in possession when a controlled substance is in the bloodstream, but some chemicals like DMT and morphine are in our bloodstreams at all times, so they made it a felony to simply exist.

It's obvious to me

"Nullification" means making null and void a law that has no Constitutional authorization, if I understand accurately. And there simply is no clause in the Constitution granting authority to the Government to do violence to people who have done no harm.

The Constitution doesn't "grant us rights." The Rights are inherent, just by the act of being born human. The Constitution grants the government something like nine enumerated powers, and that's ALL!

Restore the Constitution or we'll see another holocaust!

Or, you could just simply up and Be Free, and let the Government go to their own perdition in their own time! :-)

Freedom is my Worship Word!


Such a wonderful word....

C_T_CZ's picture


Way to go NH!

Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof

FSP is Having an Impact

Makes me want to move to NH....

You should join us in New Hampshire

Have you seen the 101 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire?

Or the Ron Paul endorsement?

Live Free or Die!

Move it to a warmer location

Move it to a warmer location and I'll join. ;)

Jury Nullification... one of the most important concepts

Though I wish that the jury had set the man free on the basis of it being a victimless crime (rather than on the basis of religious belief), I am so excited to see jury nullification in any form!

I believe that the concept of "jury nullification" is one of THE most important concepts for liberty lovers to know and educate other people on (IMO the other top two would be "state nullification" and "End the Fed")

In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, and our posterity"

www.FailGov.org | www.facebook.com/FailGov | www.twitter.com/FailGov_org

A suggested change

s/victimless crime/unconstitutional law/

Freedom is my Worship Word!

The New Hampshire approach

We have a multi-sided approach to this issue in NH.

We added jury nullification to the GOP Platform in NH.
We reformed the related law.
We have jury nullification billboards.
We hand out jury nullification tri-folds to prospective jurors. http://freekeene.com/2011/11/25/new-jury-outreach-flier-for-...
We serve on juries.
We take charges to trial and request a jury trial.
We have Facebook groups and blog about jury nullification.

All of us don't do all of these things. That's why it is important we don't hate on others for taking a different approach to the same liberty issue. The multi-sided approach works well.

Live Free or Die!

metalhed19's picture

This is awesome, go "Little

This is awesome, go "Little Old Lady" :) Maybe someone in the future will nullify someone getting punished for using gold or silver as legal tender.

*Wisconsin Constitution* Article I, Section 25 "The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security,defense,hunting,recreation or any other law-abiding purpose"

reedr3v's picture

this self-described "little old lady" is an example

of effective activism for all of us.

One other aspect of this story to note: the perversion of the mission of the National Guard.

While a victory, work still remains

It's stupid that the way they justified this was "because he was following his religious beliefs". What makes religious beliefs special? Why can't I grow marijuana because I want to grow it?

Do I have to change my religious beliefs to get the same rights as this guy?

Unfortunately Yes

But the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be happy to accept your application.

Church of the...

Why would I want to join any organization that has "monster" in its name?

Freedom is my Worship Word!

Because of it's noodley

Because of it's noodley appendages.

I believe his beliefs are

I believe his beliefs are special because that is how the defendants presented the case. The key, like many comments have pointed out, is nullification: They felt it was wrong to put a man in jail for a victimless crime for doing something he believes in. THAT is the key.

Attn: Christians: I posted a comment below pointing out that there is scripture in the bible that condones marijuana use (http://www.holyhemp.org/). It can be argued that Christian's use only plants when available because of scripture.

I don't know how an Atheist or other belief system could do it, but the nullification is the key because it cuts through the prison industrial complex bs.

saying that just softens the blow to the state

you are correct, however



Hopefully this is just the beginning...

Proud to be a NH resident.

Formerly from Massachusetts I am proud to be now a resident of this state. We are now working on electing a new governor that will sign into law, if approved by our legislators, medical marijuana laws and also fight against Obamacare. Ovide Lamontagne recently got nominated on our republican ticket and I urge my NH neighbors to help me in getting this good man, and other liberty minded people, elected to many of our NH public offices. I have often thought about leaving the U.S. due to everything that has been happening in this country recently, but these tidbits of good news that I keep hearing coming from this state gives me hope and a reason to stay and help in the fight for our freedoms. I would like to extend my dearest welcome to all of the Free State Project people, and anyone else for that matter, to the great state of NH. Live Free or Die.

It is better to look dumb and not be, than to look smart and not be.

Nullify all victimless

Nullify all victimless "crimes."

Also, Marijuana use is condoned in the bible. Free all Christians:

Genesis 1:29. The New American Standard Translation.
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you."

Notice, the only condition placed on the use of this God-given plant is that it be received with gratitude. 1 Tim 4:4 "For everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude." If you would like to see grateful people, you will find them wherever marijuana has reduced pain, cured blindness, whose tumors have disappeared, whose depression is vanquished, or have just gathered in happiness to share each other's loving company. Jesus said; "by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another", (John 13:35). Jesus says it is OK to gather in large, loving groups.

More: http://www.holyhemp.org/

Cannabis was also a major

Cannabis was also a major ingredient in the holy annointing oil.


Blessings )o(

Only 5 replies to this post contain the word "Nullification"

Don't miss the power of our ability to nullify any unjust law, or unfair prosecution or any unjust punishment. It's about our rights and tool to change the system. Each of us individually have the right to nullify any jury we sit on. And we have a responsibility to educate our family, friends, neighbors and business associates.

Power to the people!

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.