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Marijuana Activist Paul Stanford Ends Witch hunt, Pleads Guilty

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Longtime marijuana activist Paul Stanford today pleaded guilty in Salem to one count of Oregon personal income-tax evasion. Stanford agreed to a sentence of 18 months’ probation and 160 hours of community service, putting an end to this round of harassment from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office.

Stanford previously had stated he would be cleared of any wrong doing, but told The Associated Press that he instead took a “sweetheart deal” from prosecutors and accepted a misdemeanor charge of personal income tax evasion.

The charge stems from Stanford’s failure to file a 2009 tax return. He was also accused of failing to file his 2008 return when he was indicted earlier this year. Officials discovered Stanford hadn’t filed income taxes while targeting his organization for violating state and federal charity laws.

Both Stanford and the accountant, Paul Henry, say that authorities understood Stanford faced difficulties due to an alleged theft of years’ worth of his clinics financial records. Stanford was on the verge of filing his tax returns, and authorities knew it, say Stanford and his accountant. But in January this year, they say, the Oregon Department of Justice suddenly grew hostile toward them for reasons unknown.

Stanford said he suspected his arrest was political payback for his years of organizing for cannabis legalization in Oregon. Attorney General John Kroger, who publicly opposes legalizing marijuana, stated firmly “paying taxes is not optional.” Kroger’s office prosecuted the case after Stanford was arrested in March.

The organization, founded in 1999, operates offices in nine states. It has helped more than 150,000 patients obtain state permits for medical marijuana. You can visit his site here.

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6 Comments

  1. John Denton on

    Nothing like some harassment to bring out voters already turned off by the misguided fervor of the law, here selling off the basic human right to access to a relatively harmless weed, in exchange for jobs programs for law enforcement, prosecutors, and the prison industry.

    Oregon still faces an uphill challenge to collect 90k valid voter signatures to get the OCTA measure on the ballot. Petitioners are needed.

  2. This is nothing more than “a storm in a teacup” – lots of people don’t file on time and get nothing more than an aggressive phone call from IRS.

    >”But in January this year, they say, the Oregon Department of Justice suddenly grew hostile toward them for reasons unknown.”

    As we know, Paul Stanford is a Chief Petitioner of OCTA 2012. This deliberate action on the part of the IRS is nothing more than an attempt to damage Paul’s reputation amongst voters in Oregon state, and by extension to try to damage the success of OCTA 2012.

    OK, payback time. We are now going to DOUBLE – NAY – TRIPLE – OUR EFFORTS TO PROMOTE OCTA 2012.

    Keep Oregon Green!!!

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/january142011/octa-stanford_bk.php

  3. Myself and all my friends in the cannabis community are completely disgusted at this political harassment of Paul Stanford.

    Where others often bicker over small points, Paul has been steadfastly ongoing in his work to bring about cannabis legalization in Oregon State – and the feds know this.

    Please help to bring this on in Oregon state. Please support OCTA 2012.

    http://www.cannabistaxact.org/

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