Woodruff grass not greener

Ah spring, when a pothead's thoughts turn to suing the city of Atlanta.

As has often been the case since 1995, the 24-year-old marijuana advocacy group Coalition for the Abolition of Marijuana Prohibition finds itself at odds with Atlanta over the Great Atlanta Pot Festival. CAMP had hoped to hold the event in Piedmont Park but instead was given a litany of (CAMP says illegal) reasons the group would have to look elsewhere, says CAMP founder Paul Cornwell.

Atlanta Parks Commissioner Carl McCray says the city doesn't have anything against the festival or CAMP. He says that two other events were scheduled for the same day, before CAMP made its request of the city. It's as simple as that.

The city offered CAMP Woodruff Park, but that won't work because there's not enough room for the festival's expected crowd of 10,000, there's no power hook-up and you can't drink alcohol in the park without a special waiver from the mayor says Cornwell.

The Great Atlanta Pot Festival will be postponed because of the disagreement, and a new event — with the same acts that were supposed to perform at the Pot Festival — has been scheduled for April 20 at Earthlink Live. CAMP will be asking for $20 donation to help pay for legal costs it expects to incur once it hauls the city back into court for what it considers an unlawful denial of access to the park, Cornwell says. The group is expected to file suit in May.

In 2000, a federal judge awarded CAMP $47,857 in a suit filed against Atlanta over its efforts to shut down the 1995 Pot Fest. Cornwell says CAMP won because the city denied the group equal access to the park and deprived CAMP of its First Amendment rights.??

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