Activist will pay $5,000 to settle back rent suit

April 19, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

Returning to a place she has branded as "evil," marijuana rights activist Pamela Snowhite Davis came to Carroll County yesterday and settled a $40,000 civil lawsuit filed by the owners of the Westminster shopping center where she once ran her counterculture shop, Liberation.

Davis, 49, will pay the Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the Westminster Shopping Center, $5,000 when she and her estranged husband, Daniel, sell their Silver Run farm.

The money, which roughly corresponds to the rent Davis failed to pay for Liberation last year between May -- when she was sent to prison on felony drug charges involving less than an ounce of marijuana -- and August, when she closed the store.

"This is a business transaction, and we're glad to have it behind us," said Stephan A. Timchula, a Westminster attorney who represents the shopping center.

The Davises and Mr. Timchula signed the settlement papers yesterday afternoon outside the Westminster courthouse where a Carroll jury found Pamela Davis guilty of maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia a year ago.

To Pamela Davis, the shopping center's lawsuit was merely the latest in several court actions that had changed her from an obscure businesswoman with no criminal record to an activist with a felony drug conviction.

She could not be reached for comment later yesterday.

The suit, filed by the shopping center in December, sought more than $9,000 in back rent and fees. Davis closed Liberation in August after she and the shopping center failed to reach an agreement that would have kept the store open through Labor Day.

In addition to the back rent, the suit claimed Davis owes more than $25,000 to cover rent that would have been paid between December and March 1995, when the lease expires. The suit also sought more than $5,000 in legal fees.

Davis was a little-known businesswoman until May 1992, when the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force raided her farm, 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.

She was convicted by a Carroll jury and sentenced to two years in prison, one of the harshest terms ever meted out in Carroll for less than an ounce of marijuana. She was released after serving 56 days when an Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge set a $10,000 appeal bond. Her appeal is pending before the Court of Special Appeals.

Davis left Carroll County in January and has opened a new counterculture store, Marijuana Mama's Baltimore Hemporium, on West Read Street in Baltimore.

Davis said in a recent interview that she moved to Baltimore to get away from what she regarded as constant hassles from prosecutors and the drug task force, and to capitalize on the open-minded nature of Baltimore's Mount Vernon area, where she opened her new shop.

In a recent interview, Davis said that when she gets close to Carroll County, "I can feel the evil. There's something evil out there."

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