Minnesota Supreme Court will not hear Rastafarian drug paraphernalia case: Rastas win

Categories: Drugs, Law
holy-smoke-rastafarians-toke-for-a-higher-power.jpg
Brian Garrity
Father and son Jamison and Jordan Arend at home.
At the end of September, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an unprecedented decision: Three judges ruled that Jordan Arend, a 16-year-old Rastafarian who'd been arrested with a Rasta-colored pipe, was not guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia. The grounds? His Rasta religion.

See Also: Holy Smoke: Rastafarians toke for a higher power

That decision, and the father and son Rastafarians at its core, were the subject of our October cover story, Holy Smoke. The story left off in suspense: The Arends had won at the Court of Appeals, but the Ramsey County Attorney's Office planned to keep fighting, and appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Now, the state's highest court has weighed in: The Supremes have denied review of the case. In other words, the Court of Appeals decision is the final word. The Rastas win.

"A lot of people were surprised," says Michael Kemp, the Arends' lawyer. "I think because of two reasons. One, the unprecedented nature of the Court of Appeals decision, and two, it's the sort of case that's more interesting to take."

The Supreme Court is not required to explain its decision to accept or deny a case, and it didn't here.

The Court of Appeals opinion is unpublished, which means that it doesn't set a new legal precedent, but can still be cited in court under certain circumstances. Whether or not it comes up in future cases, one thing is sure now: Jordan Arend is off the hook for a petty misdemeanor.

Here's the full Court of Appeals opinion, which is an interesting read:

JJMA Opinion


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99 comments
fataldragon22
fataldragon22

The son looks like he has been living in a trash can in a back alley somewhere

Aimee Jackson
Aimee Jackson

The MN Supreme Court probably didn't want to waste time or tax dollars on something so trivial. Much more important things for our State Court to be dealing with. Also, those chairs are awesome. The wood paneling. Seriously, you couldn't have created a better set if you tried.

Chad Liljegren
Chad Liljegren

I am glad that they won. But that dude is an idiot.

Eddie Lyndberg
Eddie Lyndberg

True, but you look really ridiculous if you're not.

Hunter Graham
Hunter Graham

not nasty for blacks? mange is a skin disease caused by mites, not a hairstyle. there are plenty of people with dreds that do not have mange.

really
really

Have fun being a loser your whole life, kid. 

James Sheppard
James Sheppard

I think the Supreme Court didn't want all the publicity about Marijuana!!!!

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Bit by bit, "Individual rights” and “Individual Responsibilities” will be restored to the individual! Ya, I know you statist types love that big government has control over every aspect of a person’s life; so this burns. Oh, BTW, Medical Marijuana will be legal in MN by the end of 2014. A bi-partisan bill will be dropped in the first days of the 2014 session. Here is the House bill - https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?f=HF1818&y=2013&ssn=0&b=house Senate bill - https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?f=SF1641&y=2013&ssn=0&b=senate

SosMpls
SosMpls

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office needs to get a life. How much money was wasted on this non-violent non-crime while real criminals roam the streets of St. Paul? 

Carnell Zabolocky
Carnell Zabolocky

Without a doubt, THE nastiest thing a Caucasian can do to his hair. In animals we call it MANGE. MANGE. When I see this on the street I put the window down and cry out...."NASTY!!!!!!"

Brittany Nicholas
Brittany Nicholas

Everyone here had the worst patwah i've ever seen. It's not even patwah, its just typing in a jamaican accent.

Kris Kowalski
Kris Kowalski

@ Katie Bob Marley was half white! The Universe is Blind to color we are all children of Jah.

Paige Katherine
Paige Katherine

It is possible for a white person to be a Rasta, for we are all children of Jah.

Paige Katherine
Paige Katherine

Miss Tremaine... you do realize thats a super Babylonian way of thinking?

Kelsey Callahan
Kelsey Callahan

All these people saying how of you're white you can't be a Rasta. Bob Marley was half white! The universe is blind to skin color. Its not the body religion pertains to. Its the soul.

Matt Touchette
Matt Touchette

Jane, this seems to have been more of a political move than a logical or legal one.

Matt Touchette
Matt Touchette

Both the judge in the initial trial and the appellate judges seemed to think he's legit, and they had all of the facts and heard the testimony directly. While people can get it wrong, and judges are not perfect, it's still a pretty strong argument that the kid is legitimate.

Dtj Mc'Real
Dtj Mc'Real

get out of the trailer court.. no 16 year old should be smoking pot daily, find a hobbie like skateboarding

cantwealljusgetalong
cantwealljusgetalong

cuz you're doing so much with yours? anonymously calling people losers? save your judgments for the mirror. And I sincerely hope you get that sand out of your vagina.

really
really

Agree, nothing scrubbier than a white boy with dreadlocks. what horrible parents. 

bellcdxx
bellcdxx

Mange n.

Any of several chronic skin diseases of mammals caused by parasitic mites and characterized by skin lesions, itching, and loss of hair.

Idiot n.

1. a foolish or stupid person

2. you

HariRama
HariRama

Seems your personality is nastier than any dreadlocks.

spatel8881
spatel8881

What does being 1/4 Jamaican have anything to do with not knowing any black Rastafarians? Religions should not have anything to do with skin color. I know Christians of different colors. I have a friend who is a black Rastafarian who is from West Africa. You are trying to be a smart ass but instead you're making yourself seem ignorant and that my friend is not the Rastafarian way. 

P.S. Not everyone from Jamaica is Rastafarian. 

slugdub
slugdub

Except Bob Marley who's dad was white?


What a dope.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Please, if you want to post on here, learn to construct a proper English sentence and learn basic capitalization and punctuation. You should have learned all that by the 5th grade.

slugdub
slugdub

Lion of Judah to the right. Do I win? 

really
really

@cantwealljusgetalong I am a fucking rockstar, and I am a goddamn saint compared to this hopeless burnout. this dirty punk will never succeed, never excel, never live beyond the fringes of society. these are the facts. he is a loser. he is the kind of kid you don't want in your neighborhood, or even in your kid's school. he has his parents to blame, but the fact remains his path in life is set, and that path is a very rough, very stoney path indeed.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MNjoe its the interweb, nobody must conform with anyone or anything


you are a sleazy conformist

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16 topcommenter

@really


What does it feel like to be on the wrong side of history, to be part of an ever shrinking minority, to be a parasitic prohibitionist, a freeloader, a lonely, barbarous Puritan?

mohanlon3
mohanlon3

@really@cantwealljusgetalongI know plenty of stoners who own their own business, employ others, and have a fine life.  Your comments are ignorant and sound like you watch a little too much SNL where folks like these guys live IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER...

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@digitalprotocol  Sounds like DigitalAnal needs to get the meds checked again.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@MNjoe so you are only perpetuating every broken system of power and every corrupt institution by conforming to what others expect.


this is the interweb, you can create new rules and standards to live by. get creative and open your mind. 


pointing out writing errors is so 2011, wise up or go to sleep. you sound to old to have a valid opinion on anything

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@digitalprotocol @MNjoe And you're a homophobic racist POS - I'll take sleazy conformist anyday.  As you conservatives love to say - Learn English.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@slugdub i dont need to follow traditional values to make my point. 


its clear you are either this dumb boy, his father, or one of there loser friends fuck off and die while i smoke this bleezy

slugdub
slugdub

@digitalprotocol If they want us to read it then they should take the time to look it over. They get 5 minutes to edit. Otherwise it's wasting our time.

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