Hemp activist and founder of the U.S. Hemp Company, Arlin Trout, was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after being found guilty of conspiring to possess more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
Trout accused the prosecution of utilizing paid informers and snitches to frame him and labeled himself a political prisoner who is being targeted for his beliefs. Arlin’s wife, Cathy, will now be left to run the successful clothing business and raise the Trout’s six children on her own.
Prior to his sentencing, Trout gave an impassioned speech to U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum. “I was charged and convicted of conspiring to sell a plant that grows wild in this region and [that] once provided legal jobs for Minnesota. This plant is the oldest, safest source of food, fuel, fiber and medicine on Earth and has infinite industrial and medicinal value to society.
“… Fear and ignorance guided by greed and blind ambition created the prohibition of hemp. I am morally and intellectually compelled to resist these forces. When the American people find out what hemp is and why it’s really illegal, may they deal with this government as harshly as it has dealt with me.
Although Trout’s supporters applauded Arlin’s bold speech, Judge Rosenbaum was unmoved and sentenced Trout to the maximum sentence recommended under the U.S. sentencing guidelines.
When asked if she felt that her husband’s speech may have increased the length of his sentence, Cathy Trout responded, “Why not stand up for your rights? One day in jail is too long. You can’t be expected to admit you’re wrong when you don’t believe you are. You’ve got to live with yourself. Besides, the extra time isn’t going to destroy the fact that I love him and his children love him, and no matter how long he’s in [prison], that won’t change.”
Despite Trout’s incarceration, he is reportedly planning to run as the United States vice presidential candidate for the 10-year-old Grassroots Party.
For more information on this case, please contact either Cathy Trout of U.S. Hemp at (602) 983-7065 or The Grassroots Party of Minnesota at (612) 722-4GRP
Additional text relating to Trout’s trial is available on the Internet at: http://www.visi.com/~grp/