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1997 | Court finds statute "overbroad" after Harrelson charges are dismissed

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

On January 23, 1997, Judge Ralph E. McClanahan handed down the following judgment in the case of Woody Harrelson:

After reviewing the statutes and memoranda of the parties this Court finds that the definition of marijuana contained in KRS 218A.010 (12) is constitutionally defective due to its overbroad application by including non-hallucinogenic plant parts. ... We believe the enactment of (this statute) is an arbitrary exercise of power by the General Assembly over the lives and property of free men.

"I applaud Judge McClanahan for his ruling. Hemp was once the number one cash crop in Kentucky and Kentucky was the number on hemp producer in the country. Thanks to Judge McClanahan's decision, I am confident that day will come again for Kentucky farmers. Not only is this a great day for the hemp industry and the farmers of Kentucky, but it ultimately will prove historic for the farmers, the economy and the environment of the rest of the country."

- Woody Harrelson

Click the links below to learn more about the Harrelson and Cockrel trials:

1996 | Woody Harrelson speaks at Simpsonville Elementary

1996 | Woody Harrelson arrested for planting hemp in Kentucky

1996 | Donna Cockrel investigated after Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1996 | Kentucky Hemp Museum & Library launches mobile exhibit

1996 | Woody Harrelson launches hemp essay contest

1996 | School trys to revoke Donna Cockrel's teaching certificate

1996 | Woody Harrelson defends Donna Cockrel

1996 | Woody Harrelson announces hemp essay winners

1996 | Charges dismissed against Woody Harrelson for Kentucky hemp planting

1997 | Kentucky Hemp Museum takes Harrelson, Cockrel and essay winner to movie premiere

1997 | Parents protest against Woody Harrelson's scheduled second visit

1997 | Court finds statute "overbroad" after Harrelson charges are dismissed

1997 | Woody Harrelson makes second visit to Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Parents want Donna Cockrel fired after second Woody Harrelson hemp presentation

1997 | School Evaluation Claims Donna Cockrel Fails to Meet Performance Requirements

1997 | Kentucky General Assembly Hears Testimony On Hemp

1997 | Donna Cockrel is fired from Simpsonville Elementary

1997 | Woody Harrelson issues statement regarding Donna Cockrel's termination

1998 | Cockrel files suit against Shelby County schools

1998 | Farmers sue to overturn ban on hemp

2000 | Kentucky Supreme Court rules no distinction between hemp and marijuana

2000 | Woody Harrelson acquitted of hemp charges

2001 | Court reverses decision in Donna Cockrel vs. Shelby County schools

2003 | Donna Cockrel receives $70,000 settlement



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