Ending a court case that may seem laughably unnecessary in this age of growing drug reform, jurors in Norman, Oklahoma last week declared City Councilman Stephen Tyler Holman and local store owner Robert Cox not guilty of selling glass pipes for illicit drug purposes. Prosecutors had charged the defendants with knowingly profiting from drug activity, which is a felony, as well as twelve counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Max Montrose, President and co-founder of the Trichome Institute, was flown in from Colorado by the defense on three separate occasions during the trial. Montrose told Ganjapreneur that he was there to provide expert testimony regarding the many legal uses of glass pipes; these uses — apparently unbeknownst to prosecutors in Oklahoma — include the smoking of many federally legal medicinal herbs, and even tobacco.
Montrose, whose testimony was used to counter “expert” law enforcement witnesses, even provided some demonstrations to the court.
“I am so proud to have helped save these really great gentlemen from going to jail for a long time over something so stupid,” Montrose said.
The defendants were first arrested following a 2015 raid on Cox’s store, The Friendly Market, during which police confiscated thousands of dollars in cash and glassware. There followed a series of trials related to the raid, none of which have resulted in a conviction.
“So far, 24 jurors have heard this case at three trials, and only one juror has said ‘guilty’ out of 24,” Holman said in a statement made following his acquittal last Monday.
“I think it’s absolutely crystal clear that the residents of Cleveland County don’t support [District Attorney Greg Mashburn] in this venture. I don’t know why he would continue,” Holman said. “If they want to continue spending $7,800 per day in trial over this, I think the residents of Cleveland County may take issue with that come election time.”