'Prank' Fliers Draw Businesses' Ire

  'Prank' Fliers Draw Businesses' Ire

Posted by CN Staff on March 05, 2003 at 12:01:33 PT
By James Baetke -- The Daily Iowan 
Source: Daily Iowan 

Fliers drawing attention to a local business' products associated with marijuana brewed anger among some business owners Tuesday after the names and logos of their establishments appeared on the signs, which were plastered around campus and downtown.The fliers, promoting the headshop in the rear of the Den, 207 E. Washington St., prompted store manager Daniel Cope to call all off-duty employees and order them to tear down the leaflets.
"I'm really upset right now," he said.He denied that the shop was involved with the incident, and he would not speculate about whether the fliers were an attempt to draw attention to the store's "tobacco shop."The fliers read, "Stashman says, 'Go to the Den, it'll be alrighty then,' " and were complete with marijuana smiley faces and other catch phrases.The store's "tobacco shop," located in the rear of the establishment, was temporarily shut down after the fliers were posted, which declare the Den to be the UI's "official headshop" and welcome newly inaugurated UI President David Skorton. The venue, which sells glass pipes and bongs, was later reopened in the afternoon.The incident comes just a week after federal authorities charged nine people in four grand jury indictments brought in Iowa under "Operation Headhunter," part of a national crackdown on trafficking in products associated with illegal drug use, including bongs and marijuana pipes. Authorities said they seized more than $2 million worth of illegal drug paraphernalia in Iowa in the operation.The Drug Enforcement Administration raided four Iowa businesses in Iowa City, Des Moines, and Ames in 2001 for selling products similar to those found at the Den, charging the then-owner of Iowa City's defunct Hemp Cat with knowingly and intentionally selling drug paraphernalia, including bongs and pipes.The fliers, which made their way into UI residence halls, detail the Den's merchandise as "bongs, pipes, scales, and 'friendly' supplies for all your use and distribution needs." And although Cope admits the store does sell glass-blown pipes in its tobacco shop, the business "follows all the rules," he said.Iowa law states that shops selling equipment or products intended to be used with drugs could face simple misdemeanor charges, said Johnson County Attorney J. Patrick White. The fliers' language, however, is likely protected under the First Amendment, he added.But some local businesses weren't happy about the appropriation of their names. U.S. Bank's logo is used in the flier to describe the shop's location, which is across the street. Referring to the proximity, the flier read: "Grab some cash, smoke some stash."Bank President Bill Berger was dismayed by the flier and said his company was not involved."We have not authorized our logo to be used," he said, adding that he is deciding what next to do and noting that he will not tolerate the logo's unauthorized use.The leaflet also reads that the Den is only "a few doors down from the Englert Theatre," and, in bold, red capital letters, exclaims, "SAVE THE ENGLERT." Englert Executive Director Justine Zimmer said the fliers were produced without her group's knowledge, adding that the Englert is looking into the incident.Zimmer said she will discuss the matter with the Englert Board of Directors and may contact the authorities.In addition, the fliers pictured Skorton and the UI Hawkeye trademark."It's not something we like to see, " said Steve Parrott, the director of University Relations.Parrott said Skorton saw the advertisement and dismissed it as a prank. The university has dropped the issue, Parrott said, adding that "we obviously do not have official headshops."E-mail DI reporter James Baetke at: james-baetke Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)Author: James Baetke -- The Daily IowanPublished: March 5, 2003Copyright: 2003 The Daily IowanContact: daily-iowan uiowa.eduWebsite: Articles:Ashcroft Hits The Bongs of Government: Wasted on Pipe Dreams Powers Move Into Your Browser Weed Out Drug Paraphernalia Sites 

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Comment #1 posted by paulpeterson on March 05, 2003 at 20:22:51 PT

Wow, right on the heals of that ASHCROFT "KRISTALNICHT" (HALFASSED SPELLING OF THAT "NIGHT OF BROKEN GLASS" thingy from the other NAZI horrorcast just a few book-burning years ago), people from my own dear home state are just egging the egghead on to bust them too.I like these guys. Sorry to see them go out so quickly (like the DEA is NOT GOING TO STORM RIGHT IN). Takes guts to be that obtuse and all. I'll have to stop in sometime, you know, before I lay seige to the Iowa Supreme Court to let me be a political refugee and practice law there, due to the more than obtuse mail frauds of the Illinois Supreme Court. You see, the Iowa bar rules REQUIRE AN ATTORNEY THAT HAS STRONG BELIEFS THAT THE SYSTEM NEEDS IMPROVING TO DO JUST THAT. They even REQUIRE such a politically motivated attorney to advance legislation and lobby for passage of matters he believes in in good faith.Now, with all of this FINE EVIDENCE that marijuana can CURE FIVE KINDS OF CANCER, ALZHEIMER'S, ARTHRITIS, AUTISM, OSTEOPOROSIS, DIABETES ( the last three not so clearly ascertained, but good theories due to the "autoimmune" sources, etc.), saves brain cells (not to mention all of the more "traditional" disease treatments), I MUST LOBBY THE IOWA SUPREME COURT ON THIS ONE, and what better way to change the system than to start at the top, eh?Of course, that Michigan NORML campaign to clean up roads is GENIUS, and if these Iowa boys get away with their flyer project (and I hope they do, of course), that's a good one too! (Actually, when I first saw that headline, I at first thought about the bogus "DARE PLUS" flyer I started to distribute to selected police stations in Illinois & Iowa). Whew, at least they're not on my trail yet, it seems. So I figure after I get done with Iowa, I'll start on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, then work my way east & west. I figure it will only take me about 6 months to lobby each of the state bars for "political defendant" status.The elements? 1) the mope is prosecuted for what he believes or states about what he believes, 2) the law or rule is DESIGNED to take out dissenters, 3) the law is "selectively invoked", 4) the proceedings are less than even-handed, 5) the government uses "provocateurs" & or entrapment is seen, etc. This argument has been used to the UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT as both a "due process" and "equal protection" claim (since BOTH ELEMENTS are present). I'm using that right now in the ethical appeal & IN MY FEDERAL COURT ACTION AGAINST THE ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT!Maybe somebody could let Ed know about this one, please? There is a fine Boston College law review article from 2000 that sets this out fully. I'll dig it out in the next few days when I start on my rebuttal appeal brief (and I'll update you more fully then). (Hope these Iowa boys don't need it too soon, oh well).Thanks for listening! PAUL PETERSON 
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