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IN THE NEWS

BACK IN 2014.

Winston-Salem Journal

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Marijuana advocate brings his Cannabus to Burke Street in Winston-Salem

April 20, 2018

Weed smokers weren’t getting high  Friday on Burke Street, the lingering smell of pot was absent, and  people didn’t suffer from the munchies.

But  people heard about the purported benefits of marijuana from an advocate  of its legal use who parked his recreational vehicle, Cannabus 2, in  the 1000 block of Burke Street.

Jim  Stevens, a native of New Mexico, came to Winston-Salem on Friday with  dozens of T-shirts with pictures of marijuana plants with him. He wants  federal law to allow people to use marijuana legally some day.

He didn’t bring any marijuana, he said, and people didn’t gather around him to smoke it.

“I’m not stupid,” Stevens said with a smile. “But I want cannabis and hemp to be legal throughout the nation.”

Stevens  said that his visit to the city coincided Friday with 420: National  Weed Day, which marijuana users worldwide celebrate the use of one of  the world’s oldest and most controversial plants. Observers typically  smoke marijuana at 4:20 p.m. on April 20.

“It  4:20 somewhere every day,” Stevens said of the unofficial holiday. “You  can smoke yourself straight and you will not have a buzz, or you can  smoke yourself to sleep.”


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“This supposed to be a Christian nation,” Stevens said. “If you oppose legalizing cannabis, then you are saying that the Bible is a lie, and God stuttered his words.”

 Stevens, 59, said he started smoking marijuana when he was 14. Since then, he has smoked pot off and on for 45 years.

Dustin  Kielbiewicz, of Lewisville, a pedestrian on Burke Street, stopped and  talked with Stevens. Kielbiewicz said he agreed with Stevens’ views.

“State and federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana violates my civil rights,” Kielbiewicz said.

Stevens  said he plans to keep his vehicle parked on Burke through 10 p.m.  today, and then move it to a local Walmart parking lot on Sunday.

About  100 pedestrians stopped and talked with Stevens on Friday. Some donated  money to his cause, he said. Stevens also encouraged people to sign his  online petition.

A native of Farmington, N.M., Stevens has driven to 30 states over five years, he said.

“When I started this, people were ignorant about cannabis,” Stevens said. “Now, people are more educated.”The medical use of marijuana is legal in  29 states and in the District of Columbia, and the recreational use of  marijuana is legal in nine states and in the District of Columbia. In  North Carolina, medical and recreational uses of marijuana are illegal  in most instances.

In 2014,  authorities raided his home in Farmington, N.M., Stevens said. He was  charged with two counts of selling marijuana, but a judge ruled that he  was incompetent to stand trial, Stevens said.

“This  supposed to be a Christian nation,” Stevens said. “If you oppose  legalizing cannabis, then you are saying that the Bible is a lie, and  God stuttered his words.”

Stevens  pointed to the biblical verse, Exodus 30:23, which says, “Take the  finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling  cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane.”

Stevens  said he and other advocates of legal marijuana use believe that verse  shows that God wants people to consume the herbs of the earth.

Chris Small of Wallburg said he laughed when he saw the multicolored Cannabus 2 parked on Burke Street.

“It’s kind of funny,” Small said. “Jim Stevens appears to be completely harmless.”

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“Jim Stevens appears to be completely harmless.”

Peace, Love, and Cannabis for ALL!

SPRINGFIELD MO. 2014.

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#1. THIS STARTED BACK IN 2014 ENDS 2015.

 

'420 Jim,' driver of the 'CannaBus,' is inviting an audience to his Springfield jury trial

, DZHU@NEWS-LEADER.COMPublished 4:27 p.m. CT April 7, 2017 | Updated 10:51 p.m. CT April 7, 2017636161142333958692-420-Jim.jpg

(Photo: Steve Gutsch)

CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

James Stevens, who goes by the moniker "420 Jim," is expected to be tried by jury for allegedly illegally camping in downtown Springfield in his recreational vehicle, called the "CannaBus."

The chief city prosecutor says Stevens' case is the only municipal court jury trial scheduled in 2017 so far. Online court records show Stevens' trial date has been set for Oct. 2.

Stevens passed through Springfield in November while on a cross-country mission to educate people and gather signatures for a petition about marijuana law reform.

Stevens previously told the News-Leader he wants lawmakers to make marijuana legal across all 50 states, destroy all criminal records related to marijuana offenses and to release everyone imprisoned on charges related to marijuana.

During his short stay, Stevens was slapped with tickets for multiple municipal offenses.

Stevens aired his grievances to City Council at the meeting on Nov. 28.

"This is the worst city out of the 29 states (I've driven through)," Stevens told council members after brandishing a fistful of papers. "You're holding me hostage on two tickets."

In addition to camping, Springfield police also ticketed Stevens for having a broken taillight on his marijuana motif-decorated RV.

Stevens asked for city leaders to drop his charges.

Stevens complained that if the charges were not dropped, he would have to stay in the Springfield area until his court dates, which were set at that time for December and January.

"I called your mayor's office before I came to your city ... as a courtesy to let you know who I am and what I'm doing in your city. I was told I was welcome to your city and was assured I would have no trouble. But trouble is all I've got from your city," Stevens told council members.

Stevens didn't let the tickets keep him in Springfield for long. He left the city in the CannaBus shortly after he spoke to council.

Carl Yendes, chief prosecutor for the city, told the News-Leader Friday the taillight charge was dropped in December and Stevens requested a jury trial for the camping charge a few months later.

Yendes said Stevens' trial is the only jury trial that city prosecutors have set so far this year.

Most municipal court cases are resolved in plea agreements, Yendes said, and the majority of the cases that go to trial are tried by judges, not juries.

"(A jury trial) is a more difficult process for both sides," Yendes said. "Defendants have the right to request it."

Yendes said penalties for a municipal violation could be up to a $1,000 fine or up to 180 days in jail.

For Stevens' case, city prosecutors will not be seeking a jail sentence, Yendes said. That also means Stevens will not be entitled to a public defender.


PART 2.


 

After the worst buzzkill ever, ‘420 Jim’ rolls out of Missouri in his ‘CannaBus’

BY MAX LONDBERG

OCTOBER 24, 2017 04:37 PM

James Stevens, aka “420 Jim,” was cited in Springfield for illegal camping. After fighting the charge for a year, it was dropped this week. JAMES STEVENS VIA FACEBOOK

When a traveling marijuana activist who goes by “420 Jim” came to Springfield, Mo., in his “CannaBus,” he didn’t feel the love.

In fact, he called the city the worst he’d been to out of more than a hundred around the country in his journey to normalize marijuana. After he was slapped with two fines, he decided to fight the city in court. And by Monday, after a year of legal stratagems on his part, both charges had been dropped.

He emerged victorious and left the city in his CannaBus.

The conflict began last November, when 420 Jim, whose real name is James Stevens, stopped in Springfield.

He was promptly ticketed for two infractions — illegal camping and having a broken taillight on his RV, which is heavily decorated with drawings of marijuana leaves and other pro-weed markings.

420 Jim and his “CannaBus”James Stevens via Facebook

“You’re holding me hostage on two tickets,” 420 Jim told Springfield City Council members, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

Rather than conceding, 420 Jim fought against the charge. The broken taillight charge was dropped, and he demanded a jury trial for the camping charge.

Though municipal charges often don’t go to a jury, defendants have the right to request them, Springfield Chief Prosecutor Carl Yendes told the News-Leader.

420 Jim created a Facebook event page, inviting residents of Springfield to his trial.

“Please come one come all and watch me stand up for my rights!” he wrote. “I was doing a petition in the afternoon in there (sic) city and was charged with Camping in public after even calling city hall three days before informing them what I was doing.”

Yenes told the News-Leader that a jury trial would be more burdensome for both parties. He added that city prosecutors would not seek jail time for 420 Jim’s alleged violation, but that penalties included up to a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

On Monday, as 420 Jim continued to signal that he would pursue a trial, he was back in town to meet with Yendes. Afterward, his illegal camping charge was dismissed.

“He had some additional facts and video of the situation,” Yendes told the News-Leader. He declined to go into more details as to why the charge was dropped.

420 Jim has now left the city, but he told the News-Leader it won’t be his last visit in his pursuit to strip the stigma some attach to marijuana.

“I’ll be back in Springfield, just not over the next couple days,” he said. “Hopefully the police department and city officials will treat me better next time.”

EFFINGHAM IL.

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2016


 

Cannabis Activist “420Jim” Stops By Effingham

Effingham, IL / Effingham RadioNovember 02, 2016 11:44 am

The “Cannabus” has once again stopped in downtown Effingham with its owner James Stevens, who calls himself 420Jim. It’s all part of his ongoing mission to raise awareness and push for the legalization of cannabis, along with having all criminal records associated with the drug expunged.

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420Jim poses in front of the "Cannabus" outside B & R Beverage in Effingham.

420Jim poses in front of the “Cannabus” outside B & R Beverage in Effingham.

420Jim, who is originally from New Mexico, started his pro-pot crusade in 2014 after he was arrested on cannabis related charges. Since then, he has traveled around the nation trying to drum up support for his online petition requesting that Congress make cannabis legal and expunge all pot-related crimes. He’s been to 29 states and has been on the road for two and half years.

However even with recent pot victories in states like Colorado, Jim is skeptical on the future of cannabis. Especially with next week’s general election looming.

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But he’s not giving up anytime soon. In fact recently, Jim was invited to attend 34th Annual Vietnam Veteran’s Reunion to advocate for legal pot there. Jim said that it was a memorable experience for him.

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Jim has recently started up a new online petition and plans to continue to travel and advocate for legal cannabis

ASHEVILLE

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Asheville 2015

 November 24, 2015 , , Rod Kight

Ashley and 420Jim in front of the Cannabus.

420Jim holds his Mount Rushmore Special Use Permit for the cannabis rally he held this summer.

Ashley and I had a nice surprise on our way to the office this morning. The Cannabus, owned by Jim Stevens, a/k/a “420 Jim”, was parked in downtown Asheville. Jim and his dog are taking the Cannabus around the country to get signatures for a PETITION that he’s taking to Washington, DC on April 20, 2016. He travels city to city, calls ahead to the authorities, and takes donations. Among his accomplishments, Jim was the first person to host a cannabis rally at Mount Rushmore. If you’re in Asheville today you should stop by and see Jim. He’s a nice guy with a good message. And he’s fully committed to cannabis reform. He could use your support and your signature.

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