Marijuana Magazines are Protected Speech
Date of Action: May- June 2013
Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, ACLU
Description of Artwork: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed in May a number of bills into law that placed restrictions on the legal pot marketplace in the state, to take effect beginning July 1st. Included was a provision that required vendors to treat marijuana-themed magazines like pornography and place them out of view from the customers.
The Incident: The Colorado State Department of Revenue has blocked the governor's proposed restrictions on the sale of marijuana-themed magazines and in fact requested that a federal judge declare such restrictions unconstitutional. Joyce Meskis of the Tattered Cover Bookstore brought up the reason of free speech, saying, "Clearly, this is speech protected by the Constitution. It has been sold, borrowed and read by people who have had rightful access to this material for years and years. To limit this speech now would be a travesty.”
Results of Incident: Media Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed two lawsuits in federal court against Colorado on behalf of magazine vendors. A federal judge in June struck down the provision.