April 12, 2017
The debate over whether or not to use “no mens rae” when facing a Cannabis charge in a Court of Law has been brought to the forefront with Thorne Peters who is facing charges for Marijuana and paraphernalia possession which begins on July 31, 2017 in a Memphis, TN Court of Law.
There is always two sides to every story and multiple opinions, therefore I will attempt to present both opinions that I have been offered, as far as the use of no “mens rae” in a Court of Law.
In the first scenario Thorne Peters feels that no “mens rae” or having no guilty mind at the time the charge was incurred, is of itself enough to render a not guilty verdict if given the chance in a trial by jury.
In the second scenario Rev. Mary Thomas Spears differs in opinion as she states that no “mens rae” plead as a defense from the beginning of a trial is not in anyone’s best interest because this plea is meant to establish the fact the the defendant did not, in fact, know that they were guilty of a crime at the time. It does not mean that you feel you were not guilty at the time because of your beliefs.
In a Facebook message today, Thorne Peters sent the following to me:
Judge Neil Gorsuch, of Denver, Colorado, a Supreme Court Justice nominee, (now confirmed) defends the lawful right of people using drugs and cannabis, as well as a variety of consensual acts currently prohibited.
In his 2006 book, “Assisted Suicide and the Right to Euthanasia”, Gorsuch claims that people have the right to die, kill themselves or join suicide pacts. He also supports the rights of citizens to use drugs, commit prostitution and even sell their body parts.
“If a person has the right to die, they also have the right to use drugs.”
Gorsuch claims the legal standard of “mens rea” (the guilty mind) does not apply to consensual acts.
In Memphis, since February 2015, CANNABIS Proactivist THORNE PETERS, known as “THE KINGPIN”, has been using a “no mens rea” defense against Possession for sales of CANNABIS charges . . . a case that has been set off for trial on two different occasions and is currently reset for trial in Division 1 on July 31, 2017 . . . 29 months after the arrest.
Judge Paula Skahan explained to Peters that “no mens rea” is a matter for the jury to decide. Peters claims the State is reluctant to go to trial because there are no legal grounds to proceed because he had “no mens rea.”
“When I make my case to the jury at THE TRIAL OF THE MILLENNIUM, I will prove my rights are being violated and we will have the legal mantra to end CANNABIS Prohibition. “NO MENS REA!”
Peters notoriously ran a “420 Friendly Nightclub” in Millington, TN which was closed as a Public Nuisance in 2009. He spent 19 months in jail fighting drug trafficking charges that were dropped. Peters was arrested for toking POT from an apple at the courthouse on 4/20/2011. In 2014, he spent a year dealing POT on Facebook; making YouTube videos that he posted to the walls of the local authorities seeking to be arrested. “The only way to make our case is to make the jury understand there is no mens rea. We must follow the law; not seek to change it.”
Once again Peters will represent himself, only this time he claims his case will represent all of CANNABIS Universe.
“A case for NO MENS REA cannot be defeated in court, because we have no accuser and we have consent. Like it was in the JIM CROW south, we are being violated by political policies enforced with criminal codes that oppress us.”
We will be following this trial till its conclusion, so stay tuned.
“It is not against the LAW to grow deal and toke POT! It is against an unjust Political Policy known as PROHIBITION, which is as UNCONSTITUTIONAL as JIM CROW!”~ THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!
“ILLEGAL v. UNLAWFUL” . . . a distinction with the greatest difference. LINK
JUDGE PAULA SKAHAN (TN),
“….As far as “Mens Rae”, those are issues for a trial in front of a jury…”
Now comes a differing opinion from Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears and the group of “Americans for Cannabis” which is also a repeal organization.
Mary Thomas-Spears shared Constitutional Cannabis‘s post to the group: Kentucky for Cannabis™.
From another educational page of mine here on FB… –
First Lesson to remember in Law is – That despite what you believe all the words mean… That those words are translated back to their Latin Definitions by the Courts = like Doctors
The Judges, Lawyers,… Use Latin Words and Terms to communicate and do their business!
“Where being a good Catholic boy pays off!” ~ Gatewood Galbraith
So your first lesson is? They do not want you to know what they are saying as they hide the true meanings of the words… While they taught you to read a Webster’s Dictionary….
They use Black’s Law Dictionary or West Business Law for the most part.
It is very important to note that both of these Dictionaries quote Cannon Law.
As the Law is an extension of the Law of G-d handed down or Canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and or Mosaic Law.
Just as Government is the extension of, incorporation or Corporation, Corpse = Dead Body of the Administration or Ministry established by the Church for Control and Profit = why the Church is Tax Exempt and why Courtrooms look like churches with pews…
Any questions??? About any of this?
I have a question for you Mary. I see a number of cannabis activist’s promoting a #NoMensRea (No Guilty Mind) To be used as a cannabis defense when charged with cannabis possession in a court of law. I have not seen any documentation or court cases, or defendants having their cannabis case dismissed by using the plea #NoMensRea? I don’t think activist’s should be promoting this defense when courts may be most likely to ignore this defense? Would you please be able to clear up this possible misconception and set us straight on this defense?
TY! Bernard Lucas for asking a question that I have asked myself, as it is a good question!
The question is #NoMensRea ?
No!!! I do not promote the use of this defense
I am not an Attorney so you can not construe this as Legal Advise as I share my understanding from research and experience only.
Making that your Defense is like making an Insanity Defense in my opinion.
Which is nearly impossible for most conscious people to pull off…
Why? It has to be proven or established to at least what? Cast doubt upon a Jury…
I can see more than one problem with this defense in any Court in any case where it may be proven that the defendant was aware of the Laws in Question? Or the Charges brought before them… Or where they did anything covertly = any attempt to hide what they was doing… Or was not out open and upfront with their actions on….
Why? Because all the Prosecution has to prove at this point is, were you aware of the Law(s) and did you knowingly intend to break the Law = you intended to commit harm upon the State or Feds… As they are claiming to be the victim at this point.
It opens a can of worms that is hard to keep alive in the Courtroom without addressing their unconstitutional over reach… Like their claiming to be the victim!
Common Law Mens Rea
“Excellent answer Mary. Just as I had thought about it from my research. Kentucky for Cannabis™ and all Americans For Cannabis groups, pages etc. Will not be promoting anything like this defense. Which may send a defendant the wrong message.”
In another post on Facebook Mary states the following in response to a discussion with Thorne Peters,
I CHALLENGE ANYONE ATTACKING ME AND DEFENDING #ThornePeters to document ONE CASE where his Motion for #NoMansRae has ever worked in a Courtroom when filed in the ORDER of Process in which he had ADVISED OTHERS to FILE it .
As I have already stated – IN MY OPINION- THE PROPER ORDER OF LEGAL PROCESS IS,
One friend wrote – “Her point is you have to be Arrested first!” That isn’t my point at all but it is true. No and Yes! Yes, you must first be arrested,
HE IS OUT OF ORDER IN THAT you have to first be willing TO ACCEPT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT YOU KNOW, = the current LAW WHICH YOU CHOSE TO BREAK. You know you chose to break an Unconstitutional Act of Congress! An Unconstitutional Act that is an Evil Lie! = ADMIT YOUR GUILT = START BY FILING A PLEA OF GUILTY BUT INNOCENT BASED ON A MOTION OF “LESSOR of EVILS” as YOUR DEFENSE IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH #NoMansRea. Otherwise you are pleading insanity in these cases. I am just saying that they know that you knew you were choosing to break the law = commit evil according to them! The next comment I have later added for clarity fact is – Unless you follow the Order of Process given above how will you be able to prove your case? Because unless you first admit you knowingly broke an Unconstitutional Law, how will you ever get to introduce the evidence that it is in fact, an unconstitutional, evil law? You can’t.
Mens rea, or “guilty” intent, deals with what the defendant needs to have been thinking at the time he or she committed the actus reus* for criminal liability to attach. In order to be guilty of most crimes, the defendant must have had the mens rea required for the crime he was committing at the time he committed the criminal act. As with the actus reus, there is no single mens rea that is required for all crimes. Rather, it will be different for each specific crime. LINK
*(ac·tus re·us /ˌaktəs ˈrēəs,ˈrāəs/ noun / Law noun: actus reus / action or conduct that is a constituent element of a crime, as opposed to the mental state of the accused)
The state of mind that the prosecution, to secure a conviction, must prove that a defendant had when committing a crime.
In conclusion, first of all I do not think it is in anyone’s best interest to go into a Court of Law as a defendant and a defense attorney! It is not a great idea to represent yourself in any circumstance, especially in trial. Secondly, I would never try to use No mens rae because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the statutes will deem me guilty as charged if I tried to say I did not know marijuana was illegal! I definitely know that Marijuana is illegal – according to the statutes which the Government now have in place to regulate commerce – it makes it an offense to the Government that I was using, possessing or giving away Marijuana. And I KNOW this.
Rather, if I were to pursue a trial by jury I would make a guilty plea and then use a “lesser of two evils” defense. Because of the fact that I have a disability for which Marijuana is “the lesser of two evils” versus a strong pharmaceutical pain reliever, I may be able to convince the jury to nullify my verdict. Mind you that this is just an example but I think it explains the concept.
It will be interesting to see how the trial proceeds in July. I think it goes without saying that we all wish #ThornePeters the best of luck in his endeavor! I hope that when it’s over Thorne can walk out of the Courtroom a free man and we can all get together and light up a big fat joint and celebrate the fact that we no longer have to feel guilty for breaking the Law to smoke a damn joint!
Notes, Links, and definitions of interest:
Mens rea (/ˈmɛnz ˈriːə/; Latin for “guilty mind”) is the mental element of a crime. It is a necessary element of many crimes. The standard common law test of criminal liability is expressed in the Latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, i.e. “the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty”. In jurisdictions with due process, there must be both actus reus (“guilty act”) and mens rea for a defendant to be guilty of a crime (see concurrence). As a general rule, someone who acted without mental fault is not liable in criminal law. Exceptions are known as strict liability crimes.