110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Orange City resident says police asked her to leave public park as she gathered petitions for constitutional amendment
By Pat Andrews
posted Dec 12, 2013 - 5:47:36pm
Retired Volusia County schoolteacher Barbara Grimm of Orange City, a veteran of political and social causes, is currently helping with the effort to get an amendment on the ballot that would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Florida.
The work brought her head-to-head with the Orange City Police Department, she said.
During the Dec. 6 “Light Up Orange City” event, officers asked her to cease her signature-gathering, and ordered that she leave Dickinson Memorial Park, Grimm said.
Grimm and an attorney representing the medical-marijuana effort said the Orange City Police Department violated Grimm’s First Amendment rights, including her rights to freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Orange City, on the other hand, said the officers were responding to complaints about Grimm, and were enforcing a city law that prohibits soliciting during events.
DeLand attorney Claude Van Hook, who represents the pro-medical-marijuana group United for Care, said police officers often don't understand constitutional guarantees that allow petition work on public property. Gathering signatures on a petition is not soliciting or sales, both of which can be prohibited by local laws, Van Hook said.
Read the whole story plus a piece on the medical marijuana movement in the Dec. 12-15 Weekend edition of The Beacon. To subscribe to The Beacon online, click here. For a list of newsstand locations, click here. To have the print edition mailed to your home twice a week, send your address via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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