Pubdate: Tue, 20 Aug 2002
Source: Portland Press Herald (ME)
Copyright: 2002 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


STARKS - About two dozen people face court dates following a four-day 
marijuana festival in this Somerset County town, authorities said.

A 17-year-old youth who attended Hempstock was treated at Franklin Memorial 
Hospital in Farmington for an overdose of ecstasy and LSD, Maine State 
Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

The criminal charges range from "traffic violations to the selling of 
ecstasy" McCausland said.

The festival, which began Thursday and ended Sunday, is an annual 
celebration that has been held for about a decade at a farm off Route 43.

This year, the town refused Maine Vocals, a pro-marijuana group, a mass 
gathering permit.

Since Hempstock doesn't have a permit, the number of people at the 
gathering could not exceed 750 for more than six continual hours.

Organizers got around the local ordinance by limiting the number of people 
attending and asking people to leave the farm for a brief time.

Last week, a judge told Don Christen, the founder of Maine Vocals, that he 
would spend 25 days in jail and pay a fine of $1,000 for each day that the 
festival violates the ordinance.

Adding to the complications was the fact that Christen was barred from 
attending the festival himself.

He was charged with disorderly conduct charges at last year's festival and 
bail conditions bar him from attending this year.

Police watched over the festival around the clock this year.

Officers from the Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement and agents from the 
Maine Drug Enforcement Agency were also present.
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