Friday, May 31, 2013

Magazines FIle Lawsuit Against a new Colorado Law

Post by Kerrie

I came across an article in the newspaper yesterday that caught my attention and then got me thinking. Before reading any further though, it is important to set aside your views on whether or not you agree with the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. This potential lawsuit in this article is all about freedom of speech and as writers, it is something we should be paying attention to.

Article from the Coloradoan on Thursday, May 30:
Written by Kristen Wyatt

DENVER (AP) — A day after Colorado enacted a law taking marijuana magazines off store racks, three publications sued to block the provision.
High Times magazine and two other publications asked a judge Wednesday to prevent enactment of a law that requires stores to place marijuana-themed magazines behind the counter if they allow patrons under 21.
The requirement was added to a larger marijuana regulation signed into law Tuesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The law takes effect in July.
The magazine restriction was added to the marijuana measure after some parents complained about the magazines being visible to children. The provision doesn’t ban underage sales of the magazines, just requires that they be kept behind the counter in stores that allow shoppers under 21.  READ MORE
What do you think? Should marijuana magazines have to be put behind the counter where all the pornography is housed or should these magazines be allowed to be out on the general newstand where any one can have access to them? Currently beer, wine and cigar magazines are displayed where anyone can pick up copies and read through them (and yes, that does include children-if they are able to reach up that high on the rack).

So, this is where it goes back to, not so much your views on legalized marijuana in Colorado, but whether or not you think the state has the right to implement a rule that is clearly targeting one  type of magazine. Beer and wine are illegal for anyone younger than 21, yet those publications haven't been targeted as harmful because they are "visable to children." I get a little concerned when random lines get drawn in the sand because a small group of people don't like something. Where does it all stop?


John Paul McKinney said...

Good point. Who draws those random lines in the sand, though? When you ask, "Where does it stop?" I would answer, "At the ballot box." We get to have our say. Thanks for the post, Kerrie.

Lynn said...

I think the magazines should be out on the general news stand. And parents should be discussing marijuana use with their kids, along with sex, alcohol and drugs. When will we learn (or remember) that it's the forbidden things that are the most enticing? Educate, don't hide. Just my opinion.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I don't believe the publication protest is about freedom of speech at's about profit and grabbing the impulse shopper as he wanders past the cashier. If the magazine cover is not on display, the publisher won't sell as many copies.

Is it really so horrible to keep adult materials for adults and guide kids toward age-appropriate reading? I personally have no objection to putting all adult-intended publications including those about guns, alcohol, smoking, and sex in a rack behind those little cardboard covers. Doesn't bother me a bit.

Kerrie said...

Lynn, I agree, nothing is more powerful than parents talking to their kids about these issues.

Pat, I hear what you are saying, but if they are going to "segregate" one type of magazine (marijuana) then it should be done for all (beer, wine...) publications geared toward adults. Of course publications are looking for profits and for those writers who write for magazines, it is better for them when a magazine is profitable.

Patricia Stoltey said...

The publishers should have demanded "equal treatment under the law" which I think is a stronger argument for this situation. They probably feel that would backfire, however, and put all of their geared-toward-adult publications behind those cardboard covers. It will be interesting to see what happens.

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