Veteran Cannabis Activist Dana Beal Busted—Yet Again

Here’s what got him popped.
Veteran Cannabis Activist Dana Beal Busted—Yet Again

Dana Beal, a longtime fixture in New York City’s cannabis activist scene, is once again back in the slammer.

In this new misadventure, Beal was popped this past weekend by sheriff’s deputies in Northern California’s Trinity County. He was apparently pulled over near the town of Hayfork and is currently being held in the jail at county seat Weaverville.

Sheriff’s representative Jill Lynn told the New York Daily News, “It was a traffic stop where the K9 alerted to the odor of narcotics.”

She said the vehicle had been swerving and driving about 15 miles under the speed limit and a search turned up 22 pounds of pot. 

High Times’ sources indicate the bust was on Highway 36, near the Humboldt-Trinity county line. This connects with Route 299, the main road that links Humboldt County on the coast to Insterstate 5 in the Central Valley, over the rugged Trinity Alps. 

The quantity Beal was caught with usually results in an “own recognizance” release in Trinity County, meaning no bail. But this time, bail has reportedly been set at a steep $75,000—possibly due to Beal’s notoriety and past record.

Beal is said to face two charges: misdemeanor possession of cannabis for sale and felony attempt to transport marijuana across state lines. His driver was also charged, identified as Michigan resident James Statzer.

Beal and Statzer have been arrested together before—most recently, a year ago this week in Oregon, after a state trooper stopped them for driving outside the line and over the speed limit. A search turned up 55 pounds of marijuana. In June, the Clackamas County district attorney declined to prosecute the case, citing irregularities in the search. 

Before that, the pair were convicted of transporting more than a hundred pounds after being pulled over in Nebraska in 2009. Beal also faced marijuana trafficking charges in Wisconsin in 2011. He served three years on these charges, suffering a heart attack in prison.

Following his release in 2014, Beal had returned to public advocacy, particularly around expanding New York’s medical marijuana program. In his previous arrests, Beal had claimed that he was providing for AIDS and cancer patients. He has also been a crusader for Ibogaine, a psychedelic he believes has the power to break heroin addiction.

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