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Drug charges involve interesting choice of community service

Three Colorado college students were arrested for trespassing and possession of marijuana, but charges against the three students were dropped after the students performed community service. What kind of community service was performed? The three volunteered to perform community service by working for Colorado's pro-legalization of marijuana Amendment 64 that will be voted upon in November.

The three students, that are 21, 24 and 25-years old respectively, were arrested while having a sit-in at one of the college facilities, and the students then held a "marijuana smoke-out." It was agreed that the trespassing and drug charges would be dropped after the students performed community service.

A novel legal argument was made in this case. The attorney for the three students argued that the preventing them of performing community services in this manner would have in turn violated the students' free speech and 1st Amendment rights.

Amendment 64 would essentially allow for use of marijuana in Colorado for individuals over 21 in much the same manner that alcohol is currently regulated. As such, it is a political issue that involves various participants working together.

Though the prosecutor did agree to drop the drug charges, apparently he didn't have any say in what kind of community service would be performed. "I wasn't particularly happy with their choice of community services, because it politicizes a low-level criminal case," the prosecutor was quoted as saying.

Whether one agrees with the decision the students made in this matter, the charges against the students were dropped. It appears that the courts also viewed this as a low-level criminal type case, and so court officials wanted to give the students the option of putting the matter behind them.

Source: Denver Post, "Boulder DA drops 4/20 charges after CU students volunteer for pot legalization campaign," by Mitchell Byars, Sep. 20, 2012

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