Is the ACLU one toke over the line?

Break out those crappy Phish albums, friends. It’s time to celebrate Humboldt County’s highest holiday, the 4/20 homage to peace, love and unemployed smelly people.

The Humboldt hajj is now officially under way—but it looks like the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union might’ve been sneaking pipe hits a little ahead of schedule.

The Redwood ACLU issued a bizarre press release Saturday accusing the Arcata Police Department of a “pre-emptive declaration of war” against “peaceful protesters” who typically gather each year at Redwood Park to blaze a nug or two of the county’s most famous agricultural product.

The story goes that the APD, led by Tom Chapman, is allegedly planning vehicle barricades around Redwood Park to block public access to the park today—“even though no permits have been filed to require such an action,” the press release stated.

Give us a moment here—thankfully we’re not lawyers or cops—but it seems to us novices that if permits had been filed, if the city had granted thousands of ganja groupies permission to assemble at the park, only then would action by the APD violate First Amendment rights of assembly. But by the ACLU’s own account, no such permits exist.

So what exactly is the constitutional right our “local civil rights leaders” are trying to protect? And how is an annual spliff-smoking festival a “protest”?

We don’t doubt that 4/20 revelers are largely harmless individuals who get a laugh or two each year out of thumbing their nose at the man, and patting themselves on the back for their meaningful and inspiring counter-cultural lifestyles.

But the fact remains that people are gathering by the shit-ton today for the purpose of becoming inebriated. What if a couple thousand people got together in an unregulated public setting for the sole purpose of getting drunk instead?

The ACLU’s hysterics notwithstanding, we would expect police to take seriously the obvious health and safety challenges such an event would present.


39 Responses

  1. I don’t get it either. There is no constitutional right to smoke weed. If a bunch of people gather without a permit for the express purpose of breaking the law, how is that a protected act?

  2. I think that’s why the ACLU is calling this a protest instead of a party. Protest sounds like a political act.

  3. The crowd is expected to be larger than normal this year, due to the rumor that Raggedy Man Pete is going to make a guest appearance, extolling the virtues of the “crucial green”.

  4. AHem . . . wasn’t the U.S. Constitution written on hemp?

    Oh, bugs, your sense of humor is just fine.

    I have delegated the daily task of counting dachsund puppies to my 13 year old.

  5. Cute doxies! Any side views…er, or maybe rear views?

  6. Don’t you mean larger than NORML, Lodgepole?

  7. Tazers would bring simple and quick relief to the 4/20 stone-fest in Arcata. The ACLU commies should recieve a few jolts just to give them something proper to complain about.

  8. Funny. They’re talking about this at Eric’s today too. Nobody like the ACLU anymore? Or is it just because it looks like they’re trying to create an incident here, kind of like those late night 800# lawyer ads?

    Pretty interesting scene in Arcata today.

  9. Sorry about the delay. We took some time off today to “protest” the important civil rights holiday.

  10. What’s all this 4-20 protest talk anyway?

  11. “Your honor, man….I know a lot of cats who’d call you a pig…”

  12. I always knew Bonnie toked. Wow, the whole board chambers are foggy.

  13. funny how the county’s largest industry is associated with “unemployment”……..

    it’s just the economy, who cares?

  14. You ever been to one a these shindigs Theo? You think your major industrial growers attend? It’s the dime and quarter crowd, and yeah, I consider them unemployed.

  15. i consider them people. dont you think you should ask people what they do for a living before you ASSume that they are unemployed?

    i guess its just easier to stereotype. that way you dont need to use your brain to sort things out.

  16. Theo, the great humanist. Your lack of critical thinking skills is showing through. The original post posited “people.” That exact word. You took issue with “unemployed.” 9:48 responded ably to “unemployed.” No one but you has raised an issue regarding the humanity or lack thereof of the “unemployed” “people.” Funny, though, how no one has challenged “smelly.”

  17. Well, if they are employed during the working week, it’s not where I sit. What, pray tell, does Theo posit is the employer of choice for the 4/20 crowd?

  18. My kid and I miss the dachsund puppies this morning, humbugs, but the dreadlocks are cool.

  19. spliff vs spleef?

  20. 8:00,
    people who ASSUME things about large groups of people are often dissapointed that reality doesnt match up with their stereotypes. if just ONE person had a job there, you would be wrong.

  21. the irony is THICK here…..the biggest money making industry on the north coast is associated with UNEMPLOYMENT???? that makes NO SENSE!!!!

    show me the money baby….

  22. I’m still waiting to see evidence on how the ACLU’s statement is so far over the line. There were barricades leading up to Redwood Park on Sunday, and there was the bathroom in Redwood Lodge being closed off from public access. Neither of these are really necessary, and its about time someone stood up against hippie profiling around here.

  23. Dear Bug – seems like theotherme and 12:41 have a “bug” up their arses. Perhaps they should go over to the “dark” blog and get it out of their systems…I mean they are way too goddamn serious (albeit with a dumb platform) to be blogging here.

  24. You’re right 12:50, its perfectly appropriate to threaten the local ACLU with electrocution for expressing opinions different than your own.

  25. Let me spell it out for you, 12:41. A couple thousand people showed up at the park for the purpose of breaking the law. They do not have a constitutional right to violate laws regarding the possession and use of marijuana. Therefore, ergo, thus, in sum, the ACLU has no constitutional right to protect, and their histrionic press release was obviously just showboating. There was no hippie profiling. There was a modest attempt at law enforcement aimed at a group of people who volunteered to participate in it by going to the park to break the law. Nobody gives a shit about your stupid pot smoking. But your sense of martyrdom and entitlement are so fucking old.

  26. Who’s threatening anyone with electrocution? You poor reefer chiefers sure are determined to look like victims in this, aren’t you?

  27. One toke over the line sweet jesus…one toke over the line….sitting downtown at the railway station…one toke over the line.

    I think the dope has the refer sheifers a little paranoid about electrocution.

  28. Don’t tell nobody, but next year me and all of my frends are going to meet at 5:19 a.m. at the newly fixedup boat launch in Fields Landing to celebrate our meth culture.

  29. I am not sure if said this, but next year me and all of my frends are going to meet at 5:19 a.m. at the newly fixedup boat launch in Fields Landing to celebrate our meth culture.

  30. Did you guys hear about the meth party next year?


  32. I don’t know, King Salmon Daddy, but back to the Arcata Park thing – aren’t the barricades up for any event up there? Because the road is so narrow, the parking lot so small, getting turned around up there is a hassle and with alot of people and kids walking around, seems to me that’s always been the case, but I haven’t been up there in a while…. jus’ wonderin’ – maybe the ACLU hasn’t been up there either.

  33. Geez, at 4:20 today, I took two aspirin. I guess my medicine isn’t groovy enough to warrant a celebration.

  34. The ACLU protected Rush Limbaugh’s right to abuse the medical system for the purposes of drug-use. Good enough for me.

  35. 420 has nothing to do with medicine. from wikipedia:

    4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a term used in North America as a discreet way to refer to the consumption of cannabis and, by extension, a way to identify oneself with the drug subculture around cannabis. Phrases such as “420 friendly” sometimes appear in roommate advertisements, indicating that the current occupants are tolerant of cannabis users.[2]

    Origins and observances
    Although many diverse theories exist to explain the origin of the term, one central root of the phrase stems from a group of teenagers at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California in 1971; the teens would meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke cannabis at the Louis Pasteur statue.[3][4] Many North American cannabis users continue to observe 4:20 as a time to smoke communally. By extension April 20 (“4/20” in U.S. dating shorthand) has evolved into a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis.[7][8][9] In some locations this celebration coincides with Earth Week.[10][11][12]

  36. talk about lack of critical thinking skills, u use wikipedia as a reference source. Also there are several definitions of medicine so depending on which one u use could in fact be about medicine.

  37. Bonnie needs to quit inhaling the smoke that is all around her….or maybe not?

  38. humred…..the founders of 420 were students, not medical patients.

    hows that for critical thinking? or do you really think that the kids at arcata park are sick and need medicine?

  39. Ohhhh…so, that’s why the houses in Arcata are considered “420 Friendly”. I get it. It’s just a bunch of high schoolers watching Judge Judy and getting high after school. Well, then what is all the fuss about?

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