Saturday, June 19, 2004

1,000-mile walker back home in Ky.

'Free stater' hoped to reach Northeast

By Beverley Wang
The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. - A 20-year-old man who left his home and job last month to walk 1,000 miles from Corbin, Ky. to the "free state" of New Hampshire has ended his journey, for now.

Randall Wolfe, a volunteer recruiter for the Free State Project, left Kentucky on May 23 but was injured and robbed at a rest stop in West Virginia, said a spokesman for the group that hopes to attract thousands to New Hampshire to create a society with fewer laws and smaller government.

"He injured his foot from walking and when he tried to go to sleep in a rest area he got robbed in the night," said James Maynard.

Wolfe is now back home recuperating but plans to try again at a later date.

"He's going to be coming up with a more traditional way to travel," Maynard said.

Wolfe left home in late May with $300, a new pair of Nikes and a few changes of clothes, after taking a month's leave from his job as a Taco Bell manager trainee. Maynard said all Wolfe's possessions, including a cellular phone, were stolen.

Before leaving home, Wolfe told a reporter that he was dedicating his life to the decriminalizing of marijuana, which he said he began smoking at the age of 10. He has been arrested twice for possession.

"If it takes the rest of my life, it takes the rest of my life," he said.

Among its goals, the Free State Project, which was started by a Yale graduate student, aims to eliminate "victimless crimes" such as prostitution and personal drug use. Other Free Staters advocate home schooling, lowering property taxes and protecting Second Amendment rights.

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