Marijuana: University of Colorado Posts Pics of Students at Pot Rally, Offers Reward for Naming Them 5/5/06

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University of Colorado police last weekend posted photos of more than 150 people at an April 20 pot rally and are offering a $50 reward to people who come forward to identify those in the photos. Editor's Note: We post the link only so you can see what the Boulder campus cops are up to -- not to encourage people to help them -- the offer has already been very well publicized in the community and we think whatever damage is going to be done is going to be done regardless. The university had blocked students from congregating at Farrand Field, the traditional site of the annual event, and said it sought to identify students so it could charge them with trespassing, but almost all of the photos showed people smoking something that could have been marijuana.

snitched out
About 2,500 people attended the event, which started at 4:20pm, but campus police said only about half of them were using marijuana.

Marijuana has been a hot issue on the Boulder campus since last year, when the group Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) won the first of what has become a string of successful non-binding campus initiatives asking colleges to treat marijuana offenses no more harshly than alcohol offenses. SAFER also won a surprise vote to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana in Denver and is gathering signatures for a statewide legalization initiative now.

People identified face possible criminal charges and may also face campus penalties, campus police spokesman Lt. Tim McGraw told the Colorado Daily. Those identified as smoking marijuana could also face pot charges, he said.

"It's pretty hard to tell the smokers from the spectators," said interim CU spokesperson Barrie Hartman. "We're going after the trespassers." The university barred the annual celebration this year because of political pressure, he said. "It's the legislature and those alumni who think we should crack down on those who do this," said Hartman. "We feel some pressure there. The legislature can find all kinds of reasons to not approve money for us."

The initial response to the campus cops' call to ID those in the photos indicates that the University of Colorado has at least its fair share of snitches -- motivated either by misplaced civic duty or by mercenary greed. The department reported hundreds of calls offering assistance in nailing the miscreants. Fifty dollars buys a lot of beer.

But at least one Colorado activist called the action a waste of time and money and said it amounted to treating college students like child molesters. "I think this is unbelievable," SAFER's Mason Tvert told the Daily Coloradan. "They're using money to turn this campus into a culture of informants. If they asked students to call in every time they saw a student drinking, it would be an incredible mess."

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Issue #434 -- 5/5/06

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Editorial: Oh, Mexico (Oh, the Embarrassment) | Feature: Mexico Moves to Decriminalize Drug Possession -- No, Wait, Nevermind | Feature: Harm Reductionists Gather in Vancouver | Feature: Building an International Drug Users' Movement -- Activists Form Coalition, Issue Declaration | Offer: Important New Legalization Video Available | Feedback: Do You Read Drug War Chronicle? | Law Enforcement: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | The Movement: Annual DEA Event Generates Counter-Conference Next Week in Montreal | Celebrity Bust: Token Arrest as Radio Talker Rush Limbaugh Cuts a Deal on Pain Pill Charges | The Government: Drug Czar Under Attack From Right, Left | Marijuana: University of Colorado Posts Pics of Students at Pot Rally, Offers Reward for Naming Them | Military Matters: Angry West Point Cadets "Riot" After Drug Search | Europe: Scottish First Minister Slams Police for Drug Legalization Suggestion | Europe: Germany Plans to Provide Free Heroin to Long-Term Addicts | CounterPunch on Suppression of Marijuana Research, Gay City News on FDA and Medical Marijuana | Weekly: This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Program Manager, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Washington, DC | Summer Internship: Americans for Safe Access, Oakland, CA | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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