Anonymous donor saves farm of activist

June 25, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Terrapin Station -- the 80-acre farm owned by Westminster marijuana-rights activist Pamela Snowhite Davis -- was rescued from the auction block yesterday when an anonymous donor wired $175,000 to the local bank that held a line of credit secured by the property.

"The individual or individuals who came up with the money are not going into this as an investment," said Westminster attorney Charles O. Fisher Jr., who handled the transaction.

"But he, she or they are not interested in seeing any more injustice done to Pam Davis or her family."

Mr. Fisher also is president of Hollow Corp., a company hired by the donors to funnel the $175,000 to Taneytown Bank and Trust Co. and collect repayment from Davis and her husband, Daniel.

The arrangement means that Davis -- a self-proclaimed "old hippie" -- and her husband will make monthly payments to Hollow Corp., the attorney said yesterday. The two-year revolving loan -- which the bank declined to renew in February -- was secured by Terrapin Station.

"The only thing they asked of me was to keep it [the identity] confidential," Davis, 48, said yesterday, fighting back tears. "I am really touched."

The payment to the bank was the second bit of good news for Davis this week. On Wednesday, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams released her from state prison, where she was serving two years of a five-year sentence for a felony drug conviction involving less than an ounce of marijuana. Judge Williams said justice was not served by keeping Davis incarcerated while she appeals her conviction and freed her on $10,000 unsecured bail.

"The bottom line is, I paid an incredible price for exercising what our founding fathers gave us, freedom of speech," she said.

Davis was an unknown Westminster businesswoman until May 1992, when the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force raided Terrapin Station after a police officer, dressed as a United Parcel Service employee, delivered a package from California addressed to the farm. The package contained 1.5 ounces of marijuana.

In the raid, officers found less than an ounce of pot in Davis' night stand, some pro-marijuana literature and a bong, or water pipe.

Since the raid, she has sued the task force and used her Westminster counter-culture store as a forum for espousing her pro-marijuana and anti-drug-war beliefs.

In November, on the day before she was to represent herself at a jury trial on the UPS charges, task force members raided her store. They found several pounds of sterilized marijuana seeds, and charged her with maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute it.

In March, prosecutors presented the pot, the bong and the literature seized in the UPS raid to a Carroll jury, which convicted her of maintaining a common nuisance, a felony, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr., who presided over the trial, imposed a five-year sentence in the case April 28 and suspended all but two years. He told Davis her lack of remorse and defiance of the system played a role in the sentence.

She was acquitted in the seeds case June 10.

Beck twice denied an appeal bond for Davis in the UPS case until her attorneys -- Stephen P. Bourexis and Judith S. Stainbrook of Westminster and William H. "Billy" Murphy Jr. of Baltimore -- filed for one in Anne Arundel County, where Davis was incarcerated.

"This is America, but where am I?" Davis said yesterday. "Are there constitutional protections here? I mean, I had to go outside Carroll County to be afforded the benefits of our due process system."

Davis spent her first days of freedom since April eating at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, visiting her husband at Carroll County General Hospital, talking on the phone all night and getting her hair done.

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