CSU: Pro-Pot Flyer Flap Overblown

CSU: Pro-Pot Flyer Flap Overblown
Posted by CN Staff on September 28, 2006 at 06:30:26 PT
By Kevin Duggan
Source: Coloradoan
Colorado -- A freedom-of-speech issue on the campus of Colorado State University appeared to go up in smoke Wednesday as university officials allowed flyers promoting passage of a pro-marijuana initiative to be posted in residence halls.CSU officials said a flap over the flyers was a misunderstanding. But proponents of Amendment 44, a measure on the November ballot that would legalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for individuals 21 and older, claimed the university attempted to ban the flyers because they promote drug use.
"Clearly this (flyer) is not promoting marijuana; it's promoting a marijuana law," said Mason Tvert, campaign director for Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER, which is campaigning in support of Amendment 44. "Based on the contents of the speech, they decided to prohibit it." The controversy began Tuesday when students sought permission from CSU housing officials to have the flyers, which feature a logo with the words "Yes on 44" superimposed over a large, green marijuana leaf, posted in residence halls.The flyer also contains information about the dangers of alcohol abuse and the need to register to vote by Oct. 10.Seth Anthony of Campus Libertarians said students were told the marijuana leaf would have to go. The students contacted SAFER organizers in Denver, who in turn contacted the American Civil Liberties Union to complain about the university restricting free speech.University officials said Wednesday housing staff members did not ban the flyers; they only asked the students to modify them so their focus was on the political campaign rather than marijuana.School policy prohibits the promotion of illegal drug used CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Moellenberg said. The political message of the flyer was not the issue.“We encourage students to be involved in the political process and to participate in political campaigns,” Moellenberg said. “We do not restrict political activity or students’ rights to express their views.”The flyer that initially was shown to housing officials was different than those presented to the media and passed out on campus Wednesday, CSU official said. Although school officials did not have a copy of the flyer, they said the marijuana leaf was more prominent.Anthony insisted the flyers were the same.“They were very clear on what they objected to and what they wanted changed on the flyer,” he said. “We’re not willing to change our message. We have a right to free speech, and we shouldn’t have to invoke lawyers in order to exercise that right.”Amy Parsons, associate legal counsel for CSU, said the university “never has and never will” restrict free speech.Activity in the Lory Student Center Plaza, which on Wednesday included an anti-abortion group displaying graphic pictures of aborted fetuses, is evidence of the university’s commitment to free speech, Parsons said.In a prepared statement distributed by SAFER, ACLU staff attorney Taylor Pendergast said the issue appeared to be resolved.“The ACLU of Colorado is concerned with any restraint on free speech and especially restraint on speech related to state ballot issues, which goes to the core of the First Amendment and Article II Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution,” Pendergast stated.“CSU should be commended for responding quickly and appropriately to resolve any misunderstanding about the students’ right to post these flyers.” Note: School officials claim dorm issue a misunderstanding; SAFER says school tried to ban posting initiative info.Source: Coloradoan (CO)Author: Kevin DugganCopyright: 2006 The Fort Collins ColoradoanPublished: Thursday, September 28, 2006Website: KevinDuggan Related Articles & Web Sites:Safer Choice Colorado Top Lawman Debates Pot Initiative Booster Tvert: Reach for Your Beer' Debate on Pot Issue
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on September 28, 2006 at 08:21:05 PT
CO book a Leap Speaker for your event
Oct 26 06 SAFER Initiative Event 06:00 PM Norm Stamper Denver Colorado USA 
LEAP speaker and advisory board member Norm Stamper speaks to an audience at a NORML sponsored event in conjunction with SAFER initiative. The event takes place in Boettcher Hall at the University of Denver. This event is open to the public. To those that are good at writing letters to the eds a request that the CO newspapers be asked --- What does the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition think of Prop 44 the Safer question. Bring a Leap speaker to CO and find out what prior Judges, State Police, Local Police, Corrections Officers. Have to say about the current Drug laws and what can be done to change them.Contact Mike Smithson Speakers Bureau Coordinator Law Enforcement Against Prohibition speakers 131 Flint Path, Syracuse, NY 13219 Cell: 315-243-5844 fax: 315-488-3630 Blog:
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on September 28, 2006 at 07:48:49 PT
I will get in trouble with Mapinc. if whole articles are posted without proper copyright info. Please post a link and a lead in so we know what the article is about. That is always allowed. Thank you.
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Comment #4 posted by paul armentano on September 28, 2006 at 07:32:14 PT
County Commissioners Back Amendment 44 high on pot initiativeWed 09/27/2006 08:01PM MSTThe hot-button issues of legalizing marijuana and recognizing the 
rights of same-sex partners drew the unanimous support of Pitkin 
County commissioners on Wednesday.With virtually no comments during its regular meeting, the 
commissioners unanimously passed resolutions on six state ballot 
issues coming before voters Nov. 7, including Amendment 44, which 
legalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. The 
commissioners had debated the question at length at a work session 
earlier this month, said chair Mick Ireland. At that time there was 
some hesitation about what kind of message the board's endorsement 
would send to kids."But we're not convinced that legalizing something for adults 
necessarily means that children will follow," said Ireland.The commissioners' resolution supporting Amendment 44 says "it 
strikes an appropriate balance between public safety and individual 
choice that persons 21 years of age or older who can legally possess 
and consume alcohol should be able to choose to legally possess and 
consume small quantities of marijuana in non-public places."That's basically the argument of the group that successfully 
petitioned to put the initiative on the ballot. Safer Alternative For 
Enjoyable Recreation, or SAFER, argues that marijuana should be 
treated the same as alcohol, and that booze is actually much more 
harmful than pot.But the "overriding issue" for the commissioners, said Ireland, "is 
the massive diversion of resources" used in enforcing existing drug 
laws. He and the other commissioners are concerned that the state's 
prison system -- which houses many petty drug offenders -- severely 
taxes the prison system."The consequences (of keeping pot completely illegal) are worse than 
the benefits," said Commissioner Jack Hatfield.Commissioner Patti Clapper, who said she is neither condoning drug 
use nor smoking, said that she supported the resolution because 
having pot use on one's record can be such a hassle later in life.Denver voters passed a similar initiative last year, and 
decriminalization efforts are or have been on ballots in 11 states. 
Even if Amendment 44 passes, however, adult possession of marijuana 
would be illegal under federal law.The commissioners also supported Referendum I, which would establish 
legal domestic partnerships. Its purpose is to give same-sex couples 
the same rights and protections as married couples -- such as 
inheritance rights, joint insurance coverage, and hospital visitation 
-- "all the benefits of marriage except the expensive wedding 
ceremony," said Ireland.Another ballot measure, Amendment 43, would change the Colorado 
constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. 
The commissioners passed a resolution in opposition to that.Other statewide issues that the commissioners took a stand on were:
* opposition to Amendment 38, which would essentially make it easier 
to put initiatives and referendums on the state ballot;
* opposition to Amendment 40, which would put term limits on 
appellate judges and state Supreme Court justices;
* support of Amendment 42, which would raise the minimum wage to 
$6.85 per hour.The Aspen City Council took a position last month in favor of 
Referendum I supporting same-sex partnerships, and opposed Amendment 
38, the citizen petition initiative. At a recent council meeting, 
elected officials affirmed their opposition to term limits for judges.lutz
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on September 28, 2006 at 07:12:50 PT
Mason Tvert & Co.
fast thinking, cool moves …..
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on September 28, 2006 at 07:06:18 PT
re: students were told the marijuana leaf 
"..students were told the marijuana leaf would have to go...well its staying and the laws are changing...
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on September 28, 2006 at 06:55:44 PT
Now or Never
This is great! The university obviously knew that they were indeed trying to ban free speech but they were quickly called out on it and put back in their place. Now is the time to use our freedom of speech before we are all labeled "enemy combatants" by the neo-con terrorists. I just heard on the radio that Bush is on Capital Hill bullying the Senate right now.Are You an Enemy Combatant?'S TIME TO TAKE TO THE STREETS...October 5th, 2006 - Mass Day of Resistance: THE WORD. IT'S NOW OR NEVER...Barrett Thanks Nass, Invites Nass to 9/11 Lecture: to talk on 9/11 belief:'s Planned 9/11 Lecture Brings Backlash: 11 AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM: News: Mike Berger/Matthew Rothschild Debate: Fetzer on Hannity & Colmes - Video Download: Film! Loose Change 2nd Edition in Bordeaux,France: Deception Dollar:
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