Raw Milk Co-Op Farmer Acquitted Through Jury Nullification

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Last week a Minnesota man charged with violating the state’s restrictions on raw milk sales was acquitted in what he and his supporters called a victory for consumer freedom. Alvin Schlangen is a peaceful farmer who connects people with the food sources that meet their high standards for health by providing private access under lawful ownership of farm animals. the member owners pay the Amish farm family for labor to milk the leased 100% grass-fed cows, manage the pasture, store the feed, etc. This co op is a sustainable farming effort where the value of food supports the cost incurred, without government subsidies or harm to the environment. The balance of food options are purchased by the club, for the members. The group has multiple farm sources providing real food to member families- very efficiently, with lots of volunteer effort.

Over the past two years, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has illegally raided Alvin's van, warehouse, and farm resulting in the multiple charges that were decided upon in court last week. Technically, Alvin was guilty of breaking the laws in question, even though the laws are totally ridiculous and unjust. Luckily this jury was informed about the process of jury nullification, and their legal right to rule in favor of the accused for breaking unjust laws.

According to Iloilo Jones, director of the Fully Informed Jury Association "Minnesota has long had highly visible FIJA Activists volunteering their time and efforts to educate every potential juror in Minnesota about the right of the people to veto bad laws through the use of the Juror Veto, or, as it is commonly called, Jury Nullification. As laws become more and more invasive, punitive, and draconian, prison populations become more and more peopled by harmless, productive people, who have harmed no other person. Jurors can stop the enforcement of bad laws. Jurors have stopped bad laws since freedom of religion was defended by jurors, and by later jurors who refused to enforce slavery. We, the owners of all government, retain the peaceful, lawful right to refuse to enforce bad laws made by some judge or politician. Courageous jurors have always stood firm — for the human rights of their families and neighbors — by refusing to sanction bad laws. The right of the People to drink the milk of their choice, and to feed their children healthy foods, is a human right."

This news comes just weeks after a jury in New Hampshire dropped felony marijuana cultivation charges against a Rastafarian man because they believed that punishing him for the offense would be unjust. Hopefully what we are seeing is a trend, and as more people become informed about jury nullification there will be less nonviolent people put in cages for breaking unjust laws.

Reprinted with permission from Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance.

J.G. Vibes [send him mail] is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio. He is also an artist with an established record label and event promotion company that hosts politically charged electronic dance music events. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com.

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