Dana Beal pleads guilty, but med defense not up in smoke

Dana Beal at a rally for medical marijuana in New York last year.
BY PAUL DeRIENZO  |  Dana Beal, the patriarch of Village potheads, appeared before Judge Mary Gilibride in Saunders County, Nebraska, this week for a perfunctory bench trial — at which he pleaded guilty to possession of about 150 pounds of pot.
The Yippie activist is a longtime resident of 9 Bleecker St. and the organizer of the annual Million Marijuana March for pot legalization.
It was the second appearance before a judge in a year for Beal.
About a year ago, he was sentenced to five years in jail — with two and a half years of that under probation — after he admitted possessing another 160 pounds of pot in Wisconsin. He has about 18 months still left on that jail term.
But because Beal had been already arrested in 2009 in Nebraska, he faced bail-jumping charges as well as pot charges and was extradited to Saunders County.
Beal will be formally sentenced in Nebraska on Nov. 19. He faces one to 20 years.
In both arrests, Beal was driving low-cost pot cross-country from California, according to him, to supply medical marijuana buyers’ clubs.
Prosecutors are asking for what attorney Glenn Shapiro calls a “heavy-handed” prison sentence. Meanwhile, Shapiro, who is representing Beal in Nebraska, is asking for a sentence of time served, which would send Beal back to Wisconsin to finish his term there.
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