Pot group’s ban in Tippecanoe Co. gets its (420) Day in court – Indiana News

Pot group’s ban in Tippecanoe Co. gets its (420) Day in court –  Indiana News

Tippecanoe County commissioners appeal, argue in federal court that Indy-based pro-pot group shouldn’t be allowed to rally on courthouse steps. And, yeah, oral arguments came on Weed Day …

Was it an inside joke that April 20 featured the next round of Higher Fellowship’s challenge of a Tippecanoe County policy – one seemingly hanging by a thread – that allows commissioners to pick and choose who gets to use courthouse grounds for rallies, displays, protests and assorted events?

Or was the timing of oral arguments so they rode shotgun on 420 Day – already circled in green on marijuana fans’ calendars as Weed Day – just an unconscious, next-case-up slip by clerks scheduling oral arguments in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals?

Irony aside …

Either way, Thursday gave the county another shot at defending 18-year-old rules that a federal judge knocked down in December. Then, U.S. District Judge Philip Simon issued a preliminary injunction, siding with the Indianapolis-based group fighting for the legalization of marijuana and ruling that a “closed forum” policy Tippecanoe County created in 1999 for its courthouse “stretches the concept of ‘government speech’ to its breaking point.”

And either way, Thursday was a reminder that commissioners are still no closer to a back-up plan if the appeals court agrees that the county’s policy plays loose with the First Amendment.

“As it stands now, we have no policy, basically,” said Tom Murtaugh, one of three Tippecanoe County commissioners. “Since the judge ruled, we’ve been using the no-policy method, by…

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