Former PSU Professor's Actions Under Investion

Former PSU Professor's Actions Under Investion
Posted by FoM on April 14, 2000 at 15:18:27 PT
By Fred Cichon, Daily Collegian PSU
Source: U-WIRE
Although former Pennsylvania State University professor Julian Heicklen claims police did not stop him from lighting a marijuana cigarette in public last week, officials say he has the wrong impression of local law enforcement. Heicklen said two police officers observed him lighting a marijuana cigarette in front of the University Gates on College Avenue, where he does the same thing every Thursday. 
One officer was across the street in front of Moyer Jewelers, 100 E. College Ave, and another officer was sitting in a parked patrol car, Heicklen said. Heicklen said he did not know if the officers were with the State College Police Department or Penn State Police Services. Heicklen said he did his "usual thing" by giving a speech, lighting a marijuana cigarette and announcing both the action and his right to smoke marijuana is infringed upon by law enforcement. "It looked like they were stationed there to watch me," Heicklen said of the police. "They were looking at me the whole time." The two officers left the scene at about 1 p.m., Heicklen said. Officers driving by the University Gates see the protesters smoking yet do not approach them, Heicklen said. But State College police have a different side to tell in regard to his weekly protests. Sgt. John Wilson of the State College police said he thinks Heicklen's story is inaccurate. "That must be a misperception on his part," Wilson said. He added the officers most likely had no reason to believe Heicklen was smoking marijuana. Penn State police are responsible for University Park, starting on the campus side of College Avenue, Wilson said. "We would take some action," Wilson said. State College police can arrest Heicklen, but they would most likely notify Penn State police instead, Wilson said. "It depends on which side of the street he is on or if we receive a complaint," said Dwight Smith, Penn State police supervisor. "We don't go down there every Thursday." Penn State police would confiscate any drugs, conduct a field or lab test and file charges later on, Smith said. "We don't normally physically arrest people," Smith said. However, Heicklen views the lack of police intervention as a possible victory on his part. Because Heicklen has been arrested for similar crimes in the past, he said he thinks the police are just fed up with citing him. "They've had enough," Heicklen said. "They keep arresting me. The cases are thrown out and I sue them. They've learned." Heicklen filed two lawsuits Feb. 16 in connection with his arrest June 22, 1998. One suit charges the borough of Bellefonte and Bellefonte Police Chief Gary Shaw and Officer David McGarvey for false arrest. Heicklen said officers field tested hand rolled cigarettes for tetrahydrocannabinol after arresting him. The test, Heicklen charges, is not an essential qualification for the illegal use of marijuana. The second suit is against District Justice Daniel Hoffman and Centre County after placing an excessive amount of bail for release, Heicklen said. Regardless of the number of cases, however, Wilson said there is no policy enabling Heicklen and his protesters to smoke marijuana to avoid court procedures. "I'm not trying to get arrested," Heicklen said. "I've been arrested enough times." (U-WIRE) University Park, Pa. Published: April 12, 2000(C) 2000 Daily Collegian via U-WIRE  Copyright  2000 At Home Corporation. Related Articles & Web Sites:Dr. Julian Heicklen, Freedom Fighter Weedwhacker Freedom Forum Freedom-Fighter Charges Thrown Out Of Court're Very Welcome by Diane Fornbacher
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Comment #3 posted by military officer guy on April 16, 2000 at 12:21:52 PT
out of fear...
how true, dddd...that's the only reason i don't speak out, one i would go to jail if the military thought i was smoking, and two, i would be labled a pot head, and an outcast...please keep rambling on dddd, your words are o so sweet, and true...we can win this war...we have to do what ever we personally can to help the cause...if it means grabbing a few buds/buddies and doing something like a group protest that would be awesome...
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Comment #2 posted by mungojelly on April 15, 2000 at 07:01:28 PT:
that's a good idea if we're brave enough
That's a good idea, if we're brave enough -- are we brave enough? Richard Cowan had an even more interesting idea: everyone should smoke legal handrolled herbal cigarettes in public, ones that smell as much like marijuana as possible. Then if the police arrested us they'd just be wasting their time & embarrassing themselves. IMHO the right to smoke marijuana in public is no big deal -- I'd be perfectly happy smoking in private or in the shadows, if there was a safe/cheap/reliable/legal way to purchase weed -- but arresting people for peacefully walking down the street with a joint is just horrible publicity for the Drug War. 
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on April 15, 2000 at 04:42:09 PT
Good idea????
Perhaps this would be an interesting way to bring this issue out in the open.Light up a single reefer in a public area,and pretend everything is normal. Obviously reactions of law enforcement would vary greatly according to the locale,but the publicization factor,(call the local press),would be good in bringing the issue to the public forefront.. I like the idea of arranging a 60's style type of "smoke-in",where a group of people meet in a park,and start passing around a reefer or two,and wait for the law to arrive.It would be embarrassing for the cops who had to take that call.A group of people,,peacefully sitting around smoking marijuana.......Yes it's a nutty idea,which I'm sure has been tried,,and it wouldn't be easy to find people who had the fortitude to participate,because it would involve some sort of minor bust,,,but the Ghandi-esque peaceful passive resistance mode,,could eventually annoy law enforcement and the courts into increasing public visibility of the absurdity of marijuana prohibition..........with my luck though,I'd end up in the graybar hotel along with everyone else for a couple of years. I must agree with anyone who thinks this would be a somewhat stupid and abstract approach,but I think people who want things to change are going to have to start doing more things like this. Obviously,I am a retired hippie from the 60's,but If I wasnt so afraid of going to some brutal penal institution,I would seriously consider coming out of retirement. I think this is the main reason more people dont want to make waves,and speak out about marijuana prohibition,or reform of drug laws.They dont want to have to face the villification,and demonization involved,when they speak out in favor of legalization.(not to mention;incarceration.) I have many friends who agree that the drug war is ridiculous,but they cant say anything because they dont want to lose their jobs or families.We live in a world of fear.Fear of the monstrous image that has been conjured up concerning "illegal drugs".If you are labeled "pro drugs",you can easily be stereotypified by many people as a result of the ONDCP/PDFA propaganda campaign,which has caused the term "drugs" to be seen in two ways;illegal drugs,which are all bad,and legal drugs,which are all O.K. because they have been deemed "not bad". I know my ramblings are somewhat incoherent,and I apologize,but at least I'm rambling.......dddd
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