Activist Dana Beal sentenced, suffers heart attack

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Dana BealLongtime activist Dana Beal has suffered a heart attack while in a Wisconsin jail awaiting transfer to a state prison to begin serving a two-and-a-half year term for marijuana trafficking. Beal was stricken on the morning of Sept. 27, and at last report was hospitalized in stable condition at the intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison.

Last week, Beal was sentenced to prison in Wisconsin after pleading guilty to trafficking 180 pounds in a bust that ensued after his 1997 Chevy van got pulled over for expired tags and no tail light. He also got 2 ½ years probation, to be served after his prison term. He got credit for 267 days already served.

Beal's prison term came despite courtroom testimonials from his supporters, including "Guru of Ganja" Ed Rosenthal and Wisconsin medical marijuana patient Jacki Rickert. But it was less than the four years the prosecution asked for and well below the 15-year maximum allowable under Wisconsin law.

Beal was already on probation after being busted with another 100-pound-plus load in Nebraska in 2009. The previous year, the New York City-based activist saw more than $100,000 in cash seized in Illinois, although he avoided any convictions in that case. He also has previous drug convictions from 1971, 1987, 1993 and 2006.

Beal has a long and controversial a career as an activist, first with the Yippies in the early 1970s, then as a founding organizer of the Global Marijuana March, and in recent years, as a crusader for the purported addiction-treating powers of ibogaine with his group Cures Not Wars. (Drug War Chronicle, Sept. 28)

Photo: Beal leading Global Marijuana March in NYC, 1994 (



Beal gets probation in Wisconsin

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After suffering his heart attack, it appears Beal had the rest of his sentence in Wisconsin voided. He remains on probation, and also faces other charges in Nebraska. (AlterNet, Oct. 31; Toke of the Town, Oct. 27)

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Oct 31st, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Beal found guilty in Nebraska

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 Saunders County District Judge Mary Gilbride in Nebraska found Dana Beal guilty Sept. 5, rejecting his defense that the 155 pounds of cannabis was intended for medicinal use for AIDS patients in New York. Neither New York nor Nebraska have medical marijuana laws.

Beal will be sentenced on Nov. 19. The marijuana delivery charge is a felony, punishable by five to 50 years in prison. Two others arrested in the van, James Statzer and Christopher Ryan, were sentenced to 36 to 48 months and 24 to 36 months, respectively, in prison. Beal intends to appeal the verdict. (Omaha World Herald, Sept. 7) 


Comment by Bill Weinberg on Sep 13th, 2012 at 12:56 am

Online petition to free Dana Beal

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An appeal to the Obama administration to "Free Dana and all Pot Prisoners Now!" On the We The People page of the White House website!


Comment by Bill Weinberg on Nov 16th, 2012 at 12:41 am

Dana Beal gets 4-6 years

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KETV in Omaha reports that a Saunders County district court judge sentenced Dana Beal to 4-6 years in prison Dec. 10. He may be eligible for parloe in a year.

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Dec 11th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Dana Beal released

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After three years in jail in Wisconsin and Nebraska on pot-trafficking charges, longtime activist Dana Beal was freed on parole in Nebraska on Feb. 12. Attorney Noah Potter told The Villager that Beal is currently in Omaha. Potter is trying to find a place for Beal to live in New York City that is acceptable to authorities. His former residence at 9 Bleecker St., the longtime Yippie headquarters, was recently vacated due to an ongoing dispute over mortgage payments. “They don’t want him to stay with a Mexican cartel,” Potter explained. “They want him to stay in a nice, stable environment.”

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Feb 13th, 2014 at 11:55 pm

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