Last drug charge against Davis to be dropped Action will clear her of all counts stemming from 1992 raid on farm

September 26, 1995|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,SUN STAFF

Pamela Snowhite Davis, whose conviction for possessing marijuana and views on legalization brought her national exposure, will not be tried on the remaining charge against her, Carroll County prosecutors said yesterday.

The decision to drop a misdemeanor drug possession count means Ms. Davis will be clear of all charges that stemmed from a 1992 raid on her Silver Run farm.

"The objective of any prosecutor should be to see that justice is done, not just seek convictions," said State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes. "As a result of this case, directly or indirectly, she has lost her farm and business in Westminster, and has since moved out of Carroll County. I deem all those occurrences sufficient punishment for what occurred."

Ms. Davis, 50, was convicted in 1993 of maintaining a common nuisance and possession of marijuana paraphernalia after county drug task force officers -- dressed as United Parcel Service workers -- raided her Silver Run home in May 1992 and seized magazines, business records and about three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana.

Six months later, her counter-culture shop, Liberation, in a Westminster shopping center, was raided, and police seized several pounds of marijuana seeds.

The Court of Special Appeals ruled twice in her favor, first overturning the felony nuisance conviction, then, ruling that pro-marijuana literature and ticket stubs from Grateful Dead concerts could not be used against her.

"The best word I can use to describe her philosophy regarding drugs and legalizing marijuana is deplorable," Mr. Barnes said. "However, I can't punish her, nor can the courts punish her, for exercising her First Amendment rights."

He said prosecutors decided to drop the charge Thursday after reviewing the most recent Court of Special Appeals decision.

Motions to drop the charge will be heard formally in court Oct. 3, he said.

The state's attorney also said state sentencing guidelines recommend probation before judgment in misdemeanor drug possession cases such as Ms. Davis' in which the defendant has no prior convictions.

Ms. Davis served 56 days of a six-year prison sentence before being released to pursue her appeal, Mr. Barnes said. She is living in the Baltimore area and could not be reached for comment.

Her attorney, Daniel F. Goldstein of Baltimore, did not return calls.

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