Newsbrief: Albuquerque Cops Block 4-20 Event by Closing Park 4/30/04

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12. Newsbrief: Albuquerque Cops Block 4-20 Event by Closing Park

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have found a unique way to block a pro-marijuana event: Simply close down the park where the event is scheduled. That's what happened for the second year in a row, the Albuquerque Tribune reported last week. Roosevelt Park in the city's Southeast Heights neighborhood had been the traditional venue for the annual celebration of marijuana culture, with 4-20 events in previous years drawing as many as 400 people, the newspaper reported.

But for the last two years, Albuquerque police have taken it upon themselves to quash the celebrations by closing the park. This year on April 20, instead of a scene of celebration at Roosevelt Park, there was only an empty park surrounded by police cars and cops on horseback. "It's not in the best interest of public safety to have a designated area for an open display of breaking the law," Albuquerque police Lt. Larry Sonntag said.

As 4:20pm approached on 4/20, only a handful of University of New Mexico students gathered on the street across from the park, one of them holding a sign portraying a marijuana leaf and the word "Freedom." Ben Tucker, 25, was one of them. "It's a good day to rob a bank; all the cops are here at the park worried somebody might smoke some weed," Tucker told the Tribune.

The park closure didn't sit well with some neighbors, either. "I'd like to cross the street and have lunch under the trees. If they want to prevent people from smoking pot, they can have a police presence. But this is ridiculous," said Cora Kammer, 25, an Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute student who lives across the street from the park. "They don't need to keep citizens from enjoying a public park."

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Issue #335, 4/30/04 Announcing: "The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" -- New Compendium by Sheriff Masters Features David Borden and Numerous Other Thinkers on Drug Policy | Peruvian Coca Growers' "March of Protest and Sacrifice" Reaches Lima as Government Seeks to Elevate Alternative Leadership | Like a Phoenix from the Ashes: Vancouver's "Pot Block" Rebounds from Weekend Arson Fire | There You Go Again, Joe: CASA Report Uses Suspect Science to Hype Teen Marijuana Menace | NORML 2004: Stroup to Retire, Lobbying the Hill, Initiative Excitement, Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Drug Czar, Media Campaign Well-Positioned to Influence November Elections | Newsbrief: FBI Was Looking for Dope, Not Terrorists, 9/11 Commission Says | Atlantic City Announces Needle Exchange Plans | Newsbrief: European Union Blocks Cannabis Exhibition | Newsbrief: New Web Site Compiles Judicial Opposition to Drug War | Newsbrief: Canadian Couple Appalled at Being Treated Like, Well, New Yorkers | Newsbrief: Albuquerque Cops Block 4-20 Event by Closing Park | Newsbrief: Colorado Drug Task Force Sued Over Methamphetamine "Decontamination" Public Stripping | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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