Saturday, November 27, 2010

12 NV Students Suspended for Pro Legalization Signs

Last week, 12 students at Carson Valley Middle School in northern Nevada were suspended after putting up signs advocating for the legalization of marijuana.
Carson Valley Middle School Principal Robert Been said the signs, including ones reading "Legalize Weed" and "Free the Weed," violated a policy requiring all signs to be approved by staff before being displayed.

The group hung nearly 30 signs at the Gardnerville school, about 50 miles south of Reno, after three classmates were taken into custody on suspicion of smoking marijuana next to campus on Nov. 9. Most signs urged authorities to "free" the trio.
This makes me wonder, if the students had put up anti-legalization signs without having them approved first, would they still have been suspended? I'm willing to bet the answer to that question is no.

This case is similar to Morse v. Fredrick, also known as the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case that went all the way to the supreme court. SSDP filed an amicus brief in that case and in the end, it was ruled that students cannot be punished for practicing free speech concerning drug policies at school, including marijuana legalization,  but can be for encouraging the use of drugs.
Thankfully the Supreme Court agreed with the arguments SSDP set forth in our brief, limiting punishable speech to that which expressly promotes drug use.  In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts states: “[T]his is plainly not a case about political debate over the criminalization of drug use or possession.”  In a concurring opinion, Justices Alito and Kennedy joined with the majority, with the understanding that the ruling “provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as ‘the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.”
I think the administrators at Carson Valley Middle School need to play Bong Hits for Jesus - The Game!

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