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Extravaganja organizers back down from stmts. that smoking marijuana was allowed on Amherst common
The Republican ^

Posted on 04/19/2011 4:55:37 PM PDT by matt04

AMHERST – Organizers of the 20th annual Extravaganja on the Town Common admitted Tuesday that they were wrong when they told the public police had agreed not to cite anyone caught smoking marijuana.

Emily Butler, a spokesperson for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Cannabis Reform Coalition, said there had been “a simple miscommunication with the police” and “we didn’t mean to mislead anybody.”

“We should not have led them to believe that smoking would be tolerated,” Butler said in an email. “The current (coalition) officers will make sure that this miscommunication does not occur in future years.”

In the days leading up to the event, area publications reported statements from coalition officers saying participants could smoke without consequences, as long as they stayed on the common. The group’s Facebook page, website and newsletter reported the same.

Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone said that was not true.

“We never made any kind of agreement that said police weren’t going to enforce the laws,” Livingstone said Tuesday.

When asked why the police hadn’t corrected the group’s statements before the event, he said, “I don’t know.”


“Violations that officers saw, they took action on,” said Livingstone. “The police presence that was there this year was the same that has been there for the past 19 years."

There were officers patrolling the area around the common and plainclothes officers in the crowd, he said.

Coalition treasurer Adam Freed said the confusion came from the fact that it was difficult to monitor every statement made by every member of the group, most of whom are new and unfamiliar with the CRC’s messages and policies.

“We are working kind of like with a blank slate,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going on and that’s why the wrong things were said.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: amherst; extravaganja; marijuana
Either the statements were incorrect or the public's reaction was not exactly favorable to the selective enforcement of the law.
1 posted on 04/19/2011 4:55:41 PM PDT by matt04
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To: matt04

See their official April newsletter posted at the bottom of the article, pgs. 1 and 4.

2 posted on 04/19/2011 4:59:25 PM PDT by matt04
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To: matt04

“We don’t know what’s going on” - smoking pot? Naaaaaaah.

3 posted on 04/19/2011 5:04:04 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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