Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jun 2004
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2004 Associated Press
Cited: Ohio Hempfest
Bookmark: (Students - United States)
Bookmark: (Students for Sensible Drug Policy)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Popular)


COLUMBUS - Ohio Hempfest, an annual pro-marijuana event at Ohio State 
University, will go on this weekend as planned, a judge ruled Friday. The 
event's organizers were notified Tuesday that the university was canceling 
the event, which draws thousands of people. University officials said 
organizers did not follow the rules and they were concerned about public 
safety. The festival's organizer, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, then 
asked U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley to overturn the 
university's decision to cancel the event.

Hempfest organizers said they were being unfairly targeted and that the 
university violated their First Amendment rights.

"The big news is that the student group sued the university in federal 
court and won," said Sean Luse, an event organizer.

University officials are disappointed by the decision, said William Hall, 
the school's vice president of student affairs.

Hempfest has been held on Ohio State's campus since 1996. The 12-hour event 
Saturday includes speakers, bands, literature tables and vendors.

Luse said the festival's sponsor asked to reserve space on the South Oval 
in October and the request was approved in April.

But the university told Luse in an e-mail that Hempfest was canceled, 
saying the group did not give 10 days' notice and did not have written 
permission from its faculty sponsor. Those conditions were placed on the 
group after students smoked marijuana in an academic building following 
another event the group hosted in November. 
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