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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Pot on Trial

Last September at the 18th annual Boston Freedom Rally, an annual rally to support the reform of marijuana laws held on the Boston Common, sixty-plus people were arrested for simple possession of marijuana. This in itself is not surprising, and because everyone detained was released with little fuss, the incident was only a passing blip on the radar of local news. Everyone, that is, except two men who have turned their arrests into a platform to launch a legal challenge to the massachusetts statute criminalizing possession of marijuana in what could go down as a turning point in the history of American jurisprudence.

Rick Cusick, who is the Associate Publisher of High Times magazine, and Keith Stroup, president and founder of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), will shortly go to trial for possession, the evidence against being the butt of a smoked marijuana joint and the testimony of the police officer who arrested them. Oddly enough, their legal defense, led by Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson and attorney Matthew Fineberg, agrees to the charge that Cusick and Stroup violated the letter of the law. The defense is instead using a unique two-pronged strategy to question whether the law that Cusick and Stroup are accused of breaking is a crime.

About the Contributor
Ben Whelan served for the following positions at The Mass Media for the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2009; 2009-2010. News Editor: Spring 2008; Fall 2008 Sports Editor: 2006-2007