By Amy Woods
Citizen Staff Writer
marijuana cigarette, on the steps of Old City Hall
Saturday, Ron, "The Noodleman" Carter staged his first
campaign rally in his eccentric bid for Key West
Carter was promptly arrested
without incident by Key West police
on misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana.
He was later released on notice to appear in court.
The planned campaign tactic drew about two dozen bare-footed,
bare-chested and/or tie-dye-clad supporters of Carter,
a Mallory Pier Sunset Celebration vendor who lives in his van.
Shortly after the clock tower struck noon, Carter ascended the steps
of the historic government building on Greene Street and read aloud a
prepared campaign speech.
Then he slipped a marijuana cigarette from his pocket,
lit up and began smoking.
Key West police officer Cleve Acree, who
was standing by as the events unfolded,
walked quietly to the top of the steps, took
the burning substance from Carter's hand and led him
through a chanting crowd to the police car.
"Noodleman, Noodleman, Noodleman,"
the crowd cheered as Acree handcuffed the bald-headed,
mustachioed Key Wester, who has gained local notoriety
by selling noodles at the Sunset Celebration.
"Today, as a demonstration of
my disapproval of these laws, I am
illegally and purposefully smoking a
joint of marijuana in public."
- Ron 'Noodleman' Carter
Police said the cigarette in question tested positive
Asked if he realized he could be thrown in
jail, Carter replied, "there's
no way they'll
throw me in jail for this."
But 21 years ago, Carter was thrown in jail for
admittedly selling marijuana that he stuffed in matchboxes
and pawned off for $5.
Today, as he nears 50 years of age, Carter is campaigning as
Key West's "pot-smoking, non-voilent
radical hippie city commissioner".
Among the items on his platform: the
establishment of a clothing-
optional beach, the legalization of prostitution
and a call
on the police department to
Carter also says that there are too many
"stupid laws" on the books
Hall, and is urging his consituents to break them.
"Today, as a demonstration of my disapproval of these laws,
illegally and purposefully smoking a joint of marijuana in public,"
Carter said. "It is the duty of all good citizens of
conscience to do the same."