U.S.

A Woman May Go to Prison for a Justified Self-Defense Shooting after a Weed Conviction

(File photo: Steve Dipaola/Reuters)
Krissy Noble may face up to six years in prison.

A  young, then-pregnant woman, who was justified in killing the intruder who attacked her, is now facing prison time over the incident — all because of a previous marijuana conviction.

Krissy Noble, 21, shot and killed Dylan Stancoff using her husband’s gun on December 7 after he broke into her Fort Smith, Ark., home and attacked her, according to ABC News. Stancoff had reportedly tackled Noble, covered her mouth with a hand that she said smelled of chemicals, and then started hitting her in the face. She was able to break free and shoot Stancoff three times before running to a neighbor’s house for help. Noble was eleven weeks pregnant at the time.

According to the police report, Noble had “feared not only for her safety but for the safety of her baby, and felt that she had no other option in this situation.” Authorities at the Sebastian County Prosecutor’s Office later determined that the shooting was in fact justified — but Noble may be facing up to six years in prison over it anyway.

See, in 2017, Noble had pleaded guilty to felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Apparently, in 2016, Noble had been riding in a car with some friends when they got pulled over. No one would claim the contraband that the police found in the car, so everyone who was in the vehicle got hit with the same charges. Noble received a five-year suspended sentence and was therefore not permitted to use or possess a firearm — making her potentially life-saving move in December a felony. She’s now being charged with felony gun-possession by a convicted felon, and for allegedly being in the possession of firearms between November 7 and December 7, according to prosecutor Daniel Shue. Shue also stated that a petition to revoke Noble’s suspended sentence has been filed.

Noble turned herself in on Thursday and was released on a $2,500 bond. She told KHBS in Fort Smith that she’s very concerned about the impact that prison time would have on her newborn son.

“He’s not gonna know what happened to his mom,” Noble said.

Honestly, this situation is not only very sad — it’s also very ridiculous. Noble did what she had to do in a terrible situation, and her actions very well may have saved both her and her son’s lives. There’s no way she should be being charged for doing what she did.

Let me be clear: These laws need to change. Absolutely no one should ever be stripped of the right to protect herself just because she had been around some weed in the past. Seriously, what else was Noble supposed to do? Just allow this man to murder her? Did her and her son deserve to die, all because she had been in the same car as some weed in the past? I don’t think anyone with a soul could possibly argue that this is the case — and yet the law is seeking to punish her.

Presumably, the argument for stripping felons of their Second Amendment rights is that felons are dangerous people — and that allowing them to have guns puts the rest of society in danger. But this simply isn’t true. Not all felons are dangerous people, especially when something as small as being in the same location as a particular kind of plant is enough to make you a felon. When it comes to violent criminals, I completely agree with this kind of prohibition, but when we’re talking about nonviolent offenders, it seems to make little sense.

There are so many things wrong with what happened to Noble. In fact, I’d argue that her initial felony charge should not have been a crime in the first place. Adults in this country should have the freedom to decide what they choose to put in their own bodies, and that includes marijuana. Personally, I’d argue that this means that all drugs should be legal, but prohibition laws are especially baffling when it comes to marijuana in particular. After all, unlike alcohol, marijuana can’t kill you — and it also has some legitimate medical purposes. There is absolutely no reason that anyone should ever be punished or have their freedoms stripped from them because of their association with a plant.

Unfortunately, we seem to be a long way from realizing these simple realities. Even though several states have done the right thing and legalized marijuana, there are still plenty of dumb laws left on the books. In fact, since marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, people with medical-marijuana cards — that is, people using marijuana for legitimate medical purposes — are also forbidden from owning firearms. This is completely absurd, especially considering the fact that a 2016 study from the Netherlands found that it was alcohol use that increased aggression in its participants, whereas marijuana use actually decreased it.

Noble is in a terrible situation simply because she decided to save her own life — and because she’d previously committed a “crime” that didn’t even have a victim. I hope that the courts have mercy on her and keep Noble with her son where she belongs — and that our government can remove the kinds of senseless drug laws that have been keeping people from their freedoms and their families for far too long.

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