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ACLU Sues to End Ban on Anti-Drug-Law Ads


— February 18, 2004

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the transit authority in the nation’s capital Wednesday, saying its refusal to display paid advertisements that criticize anti-marijuana laws violated free speech rights.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority acted unconstitutionally when it declined last week to run the ads at subway and bus stops.

The ads were sponsored by the ACLU and three groups joining the lawsuit: Change the Climate, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, which support the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“The government does not want the public to know how badly our drug policy has failed, so it is trying to silence Americans who oppose the war on drugs,” said Graham Boyd, director of the ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project. “Fortunately, the First Amendment clearly prohibits this kind of blatant viewpoint-based censorship.”

Details here from the AP. The ACLU’s press release regarding the lawsuit is here.


The American Civil Liberties Union sued the transit authority in the nation’s capital Wednesday, saying its refusal to display paid advertisements that criticize anti-marijuana laws violated free speech rights.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority acted unconstitutionally when it declined last week to run the ads at subway and bus stops.

The ads were sponsored by the ACLU and three groups joining the lawsuit: Change the Climate, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, which support the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“The government does not want the public to know how badly our drug policy has failed, so it is trying to silence Americans who oppose the war on drugs,” said Graham Boyd, director of the ACLU Drug Policy Litigation Project. “Fortunately, the First Amendment clearly prohibits this kind of blatant viewpoint-based censorship.”

Details here from the AP. The ACLU’s press release regarding the lawsuit is here.

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