The Trout Underground vs. Tom Stienstra

I don’t often take a break from my weekly drivel of trip reports and gear reviews to talk about the news, but this is just too good to pass up. Tom Chandler of the Trout Underground has long been one of my favorite reads, and I find myself stopping whatever I’m doing when a new article from him pops up in my RSS reader. Lately, Tom has been busy as he defends the every blogger’s right to freedom of speech.

The story is almost unbelievable. Here’s the short version:

Mr. Chandler and several other media outlets report the arrest of local newspaper writer for cultivating cannabis. Newspaper man sues the blogger for defamation because the blog post is sitting at number 1 on Google. Judge sees through the newspaper man’s shenanigans and upholds the First Amendment. Big newspaper man (who should have known better than to try and infringe on someone else’s right to report factual information) loses lawsuit.

Tom Chandler
Image borrowed from the Trout Underground


Tom Chandler shares the entertaining journey here in the three posts below.

1. How it all started: Outdoor Writer Tom Stienstra Busted for Marijuana Cultivation in Weed (Or, Ooops!) Learn more at

2. The persecution of the First Amendment: The Lawsuit Post

3. Victory: Free Speech Wins – SF Chronicle Writer Tom Stienstra Loses Lawsuit against Trout Underground





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