Pro-Marijuana Group Sues MBTA on Ad Refusal 

Pro-Marijuana Group Sues MBTA on Ad Refusal 
Posted by FoM on May 18, 2000 at 16:19:58 PT
By Greg Sukiennik, Associated Press
Source: Boston Globe
A group that wants the penalties for marijuana possession reduced sued the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority on Thursday for refusing to put its ads in buses, trains and stations. The group claims in the suit filed in U.S. District Court that the transit authority violated free speech laws by refusing three ads that raise questions about marijuana laws. 
The Greenfield-based group claims the refusals by government-funded MBTA amount to government censorship. The ads, which were to cost the group $25,000, question current marijuana policy. ''I've got three great kids,'' reads one ad. ''I don't want them to smoke pot ... But I know jail is a lot more dangerous than smoking pot.'' The transit authority's advertising contract has a content policy, and MBTA has enforced it before, spokesman Brian Pedro said. ''We have an obligation to our riders,'' he said. ''In a subway car you can't change the channel.'' The lawsuit charges that the MBTA rejected the ads because they conflict with the transit authority's position on drugs. It cited a memo sent by the MBTA to Change the Climate, accusing the group of promoting marijuana use and seeking to legalize the drug. The group's attorney, Harvey Schwartz, acknowledged Change the Climate wants marijuana laws changed. However, the right to say laws should be changed is protected by the First Amendment, he said. ''This organization is not saying `smoke marijuana.' It is not saying `break the law.' It is saying `let's change the law,''' Schwartz said. The transit authority rejected the ads in January, after six months of discussions, said Schwartz. ''The MBTA is a public entity,'' he said. ''It can't pick and choose which political beliefs it will support and not support.'' Schwartz said the MBTA has lost in court for refusing ads at least three times, including one that promoted condom use. The group is seeking an injunction forcing the MBTA to take the ads, as well as unspecified punitive damages. Sarah Wunch of the ACLU, which is assisting in the suit, said that is because the MBTA is still refusing advertising. ''Our patience is gone with the T,'' Wunch said. ''How many times can you bring the same lawsuit? They don't seem to care. They're paying attorney's fees with taxpayer dollars.'' Boston (AP) Published: May 18, 2000 Copyright 2000 Boston Globe Electronic Publishing, Inc. Change The Climate & Drug Policy Information
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on May 20, 2000 at 03:20:13 PT
I like the email links..dddd
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Comment #6 posted by CongressmanSuet on May 19, 2000 at 18:16:12 PT:
 Yes, certainly I am...
A Congressman, and all my e-mail links are real.....
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Comment #5 posted by observer on May 19, 2000 at 15:37:56 PT
Anti-Prison is not Pro-Marijuana...
Note the use of the "pro-marijuana" epithet in the headline (all that many people ever see). Wanting to not throw adults in jail for using marijuana is not "pro" marijuana. But propagandists need to tell this falsehood to make it seem like anyone who questions the law is a dangerous radical, a deranged looney and out to pump dope into the veins of Our Children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Not wanting to throw witches in jail is not to be "pro-witch". Not jailing people who spit on the sidewalk is not the same as being "pro-sidewalk-spitting". But since propagandists need to demonize any disagreement with prohibition, suggesting that adults not be jailed for using cannabis is portrayed as being "pro-drugs". Another prohibitionist propaganda untruth.
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on May 18, 2000 at 23:37:21 PT
by the way
Are you really a congressman?
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on May 18, 2000 at 23:19:10 PT
I agree
CongressmanSuet is quite right in saying that we must try to use the media in any way possible as an implement for a positive message.The only problem is that we are the nice people who will play fair,and by the rules.This is how we are naturally,but on the other side,we are facing a monsterous,crooked propaganda empire,that is like the national bully. There are no rules except for the ones they make. I agree that it is best to look towards the positive,and try to approach everything that way,but this is way beyond Mr Whipple sayin' "dont squeeze the Chamin'",and our constitution is rapidly becoming more and more only good for Charmin'. Keep on Keepin' on....Peace....dddd
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Comment #2 posted by CongressmanSuet on May 18, 2000 at 19:18:17 PT:
Yeah, dddd, we can look at this as another problem
.... or we can look at this as something VERY positive.In my 5yr sojourn on the Internet, I have read hundreds, probably thousands of articles about the WosD, and in all that time, I have only come upon a handfull of stuff regarding political advertising of a positive nature towards Cannabis. Sure, we have all seen the New Republic ads, but there has been very little positive public advertising for the way of sanity and dignity. I welcome anything I see utilising the media in a positive way. This could be a very effective tool, now lets find a way to implement it. I mean, its only fair[im getting nauseus here, nothing about this whole thing could be considered fair]] that we be allowed to promote the only sensible way to solve the great "drug" problem this country is suffering.
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on May 18, 2000 at 18:50:38 PT
Here we go
 I predict we will be seeing more and more of this type thing.The WoD has successfully crippled our constitution,and now it is going to attempt to stifle any anti WoD ads,articles,etc. This particular article brings up a major issue;will the federal WoD overlords,be able to get away with stifling any or all critical advertisements that go against the partys' line? Just watch,if they dont succeed in passing the anti-meth trojan horse,you will see new bills introduced to outlaw anything that speaks against the WoDs'. George Orwell would say;"told ya so"......dddd
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