Marijuana-magazines-as-porn law target of new lawsuit -- from booksellers and ACLU

Categories: Marijuana, News

Photos, document below.
Last week, we told you about a lawsuit filed by several pot publications over a portion of a newly signed law that essentially treats marijuana magazines like porn.

Now, this portion of the statute has attracted another suit, which tackles the issue from a different angle.

The plaintiffs this time around include major booksellers in Colorado, such as the Tattered Cover -- and the complaint is being handled by the ACLU of Colorado. See the suit and get more details below.

As we've reported, the law originally known as House Bill 13-1317 calls for "a requirement that magazines whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses are only sold in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present."

Thumbnail image for david lane on today.JPG
Attorney David Lane is challenging the new law.
In other words, a convenience store wanting to stock weed-oriented publications won't be able to do so in standard racks easily accessible to customers. Rather, issues will be next to porn mags, with their covers presumably shielded to protect children -- and customers will have to ask clerks to grab copies for them.

Constitutional complaints quickly arose over this edict, but it remained in the final version of the bill. Immediately after it passed, attorney David Lane sent an e-mail on the subject to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. It reads in part, "My own personal belief is that this is a blatant First Amendment violation. It has apparently passed muster with the House and Senate and the governor will be signing it shortly. Please inform Governor Hickenlooper that if this is signed into law, he can expect a First Amendment law suit filed promptly."

Lane was as good as his word. The complaint was filed last week on behalf of Trans-High Corporation, parent company of High Times magazine, and two Colorado publications, The Daily Doobie and The Hemp Connoisseur, also known as THC Magazine.

High Times is among the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit against the new law.
The lawsuit is on view below in its entirety, but this passage provides a neat synopsis of its arguments:
Plaintiffs bring this action for the constitutional injuries they are sustaining, and imminently will sustain, upon Defendants' unjustified and over-broad restrictions on Plaintiffs' First Amendment rights. The Defendants, acting under color of state law, have placed undue and burdensome restrictions on the placement and display of Plaintiffs' marijuana-based publications, based on their content, in violation of Constitutional law.
The new complaint makes similar points. An introductory passage reads in part, "Because magazines (as well as other forms of communications) devoted primarily (or even exclusively) to marijuana or marijuana businesses are not within a recognized category of unprotected speech, such as obscenity, defamation, fighting words, incitement, or true threats, the government's content-based restriction on the plaintiffs' rights to make available, allow for perusal, distribute, and sell non-commercial truthful information cannot pass constitutional muster."

Why are the booksellers joining the fight?

Continue for more about the latest lawsuit against the marijuana-magazines-as-porn law, including photos and documents.

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My Voice Nation Help

SMART Colorado's influence on the implementation of A64 is going to cost the taxpayers BIG defending all their nonsense.....You can thank our Governor Chicken-looper and 'Player's Club' Mayor for endorsing this crew of worshiping pedophiles....

Aaron Harmon
Aaron Harmon

Who in the hell reads those stupid rags anymore? Get a life.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Lawsuit will FAIL!

No one is prohibiting the Publication, Distribution or Sale of these COMMERCIAL magazines.

The trivial regulation to keep them away from CHILDREN is merely a legally acceptable requirement on time, manner and place ... same as currently implemented with Pornography / Sex mags and videos.

Blayne McMillan
Blayne McMillan

If it's an age-restricted product, what's the big deal about keeping it behind a counter?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Blayne McMillan  ... EXACTLY !!

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