April 21, 2012

Marijuana Activists See First Amendment Rights Violated At Boulder Campus

April 21, 2012
colorado cannabis amendment 64

colorado cannabisThe Annual 420 Protest At Boulder Campus Is A Constitutional Right

Marijuana prohibition is a political issue. Therefore, protesting marijuana prohibition is protected by the First Amendment. Marijuana activists have the right to assemble and vocally, as well as symbolically, protest failed marijuana policies. Protesting on a college campus should provide even more First Amendment protection, because as the Supreme Court once stated, college campuses are the ‘marketplace of ideas.’

Apparently the people in charge of UC Boulder don’t feel the same way as the United States Supreme Court. UC Boulder officials did everything that they could to quell free speech on campus on 4/20. Not only did the campus refuse to allow non-students on campus, but according to the Huffington Post, the university ‘spread smelly fertilizer on the Norlin Quad and declared it off-limits.’ Since when did closing a publicly funded area and defiling it with fish funk become OK in America? I thought this was 2012?

One thing that I was happy to read about in the same article was some defiant students flexing their rights. ‘At the University of Colorado, three students were arrested for trespassing when they walked onto the Norlin Quad, sat down and refused to leave, campus police said. Eleven others, including two students, were ticketed for trespassing, and one was ticketed for marijuana possession on campus, police said.’ My hat goes off to all of those involved, and if you want to get your story out and blast the ‘man’ for what happened, please send me an e-mail! Below is the account of a High Times affiliate, which first appeared at marijuana.com:

Boulder has long been the site for pot smokers desirous of lighting up en masse at the University of Colorado at 4:20pm on April 20. This year, however, the school was determined to shut down the outdoor gathering. HIGH TIMES headed to Boulder to investigate.

Traffic signs warning motorists that University of Colorado at Boulder was closed for April 20th (4/20) and that trespassing would not be permitted lined US-36 – the road between Denver and Boulder.

Once near CU’s campus, protesters could be seen holding signs and chanting. A group of roughly 200 protesters passed police officers on ATVs and motorcycles as well as local news media.

After taking a loop around 13th Street – just opposite the campus – protesters turned towards CU and headed in droves into a tunnel leading to a campus entrance. Once there, they either had to show officials their valid student ID or disperse.

Campus police and local authorities were stationed at each entrance of the campus, keeping the famed site of past Boulder smokeouts clear. Most were stern but reasonable. Only those with student IDs were allowed to enter the campus while the media and members of the public were forced to stand on the outskirts looking in.

HIGH TIMES Managing Editor Jen Bernstein managed to convince a CU student to loan her a student ID card and walk her into the campus. Here is her account of what occurred:

“To actually get on campus I needed to convince two University of Colorado Boulder students to go along with my plan to sneak on using one of their student IDs. One girl accompanied me as we walked through the police checkpoint to head to the lawn where upwards of 25,000 people would normally be congregating to participate in the 420 celebration. It was easy for me to flash the ID to the cop, and once on campus, amid the special warnings alerting “violators” would be “subject to criminal prosecution” I continued towards the Norlin Library and handed off the ID to be returned. In short, I got stubbed in!

When I say there was no one on campus protesting or exercising their right to assemble, I mean there were more cops onhand kicking the dirt than there were students. It’s a sad day when we just sit back and not put up a fight when our rights are at stake. However, while standing and watching the hundred or so CU student onlookers who positioned themselves by the library, it wasn’t until 4:20pm that finally one protestor charged the field which had been cordoned off with caution tape. Four cops took down the man and led him away in cuffs.”


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