MN: Macalester Cancels Today's Planned 'Marijuana Festival'

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Buzzby, Apr 21, 2006.

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    Macalester Cancels Today's Planned 'Marijuana Festival'
    Matt Peiken | Pioneer Press | 04/20/2006

    A festival this afternoon at Macalester College for the reformation of marijuana laws has quickly gone up in smoke.

    College administrators early this morning canceled CHEEBAdanza, a student-organized event, citing public confusion about the nature of the festival and the potential that the public could see the school as condoning illegal activity.

    The cancellation comes a day after a Pioneer Press article about the event. Alumni and others contacted the college, playing a role in the school's decision, said Jim Hoppe, associate dean of students. Hoppe pointed to the student-made flier for the festival, rather than the Pioneer Press article, as the source of the confusion.

    The poster touts CHEEBAdanza as "the Twin Cities premier marijuana festival" and features an illustration of two squirrels passing a joint between then while sitting next to a marijuana plant.

    "It's one thing to say there's a rally, and it's another to bill this as the 'premiere marijuana festival,' " Hoppe said Thursday morning, adding that he hadn't seen the green flier until the day before.

    "It would be a double standard to support one thing and have people come to campus thinking another," he said. "Given the publicity that went out, it wouldn't be possible to have an event the students had hoped."

    Spencer Edelman, a Macalester senior, festival co-founder and charter member of the school's CHEEBA Club (Creating a Harmless Environment to Enjoy Buds Appropriately), says the cancellation cuts into the school's credibility as a home for free speech.

    "I'm just pretty bummed out," Edelman said in an e-mail. "We had worked so closely with them in planning the event. Nothing we were doing should have crept up on them. I don't know what people are going to do who show up and expect free pig and sweet music and fire dancers, but I'm sure we'll look like jerks."

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