Tuesday, May 02, 2006

First they came for the pot smokers....

I don't know what disgusts me more about this. That people think it's a good idea to prevent access to a field that is normally available for public use, simply to prevent their fellow Americans from assembling to commit a peaceful act of civil disobedience or that the police department's snitch program is so bloody successful because apparently there are so many young people willing to sell out civil rights for $50 bucks.

That the field was shut down specifically to prevent the 420 event from occurring is indisputable and not a word of protest over the abridgment of political speech can be heard outside of the reform community. One imagines if the same tactic was used to prevent an anti-drug or a pro-war demonstration the clamor would be deafening. That the police are using their resources to send in an undercover cameraperson in order to post pictures of the attendees on-line and then solicit informants at $50 a pop smacks of Big Brotherism, not to mention being a criminal waste of funds.

I remember when college kids were concerned about unwarranted government encroachment on their privacy. This would not have happened in the 60s and $50 was a lot more money back then. Sadly, it appears to no longer be so. Many students have already been turned in for the money.

I find it especially egregious that only marijuana smokers were targeted. If the college is truly worried about its reputation, as it says in justification for this slap in the face to civil liberties, then they should be targeting the alcohol abusers that are legend in that school. As Mason Tvert, campaign director for Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation ( SAFER ), said, "Could you imagine if CU police officers took the time to photograph this many students drinking at every tailgate or fraternity party and then offered rewards for identifying them?"

Really. To my knowledge no violence or vandalism has been reported as a result of the 420 celebration, which has occurred in previous years without incident. The same cannot be said for alcohol addled sports fans known to riot and rampage after sporting events. If the college is worried about illegal activity and the safety of their community they should start there.


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