The Indiana pro-marijuana group Higher Fellowship held a rally this month at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse, where they were asked to “move along.”
Higher Fellowship is hoping for permission to hold another rally, according to Reporter.net. They didn’t have permission for their prior rally. They were refused permission when they asked for it, but aren’t backing down.
A judge ruled that a 1999 policy saying courthouses are “closed forums” was ruled unconstitutional. The policy limits what county commissioners can consider something in the best interest of the county government. He said it, “stretches the concept of ‘government speech’ to its breaking point.”
A final verdict is still pending from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Commissioners are discussing a potential new policy to stop outside use of the courthouse.
Higher Fellowship was set to hold another rally on May 20 on the courthouse steps.
David Phipps said he provided a “head’s up” to the county regarding the rally.
When asked if the new rally felt like a victory tour, Phipps said, “Yes, this definitely feels like a victory. This is not only a victory for the Higher Fellowship, this is also a victory for any group or individual Hoosier that wishes to rally, protest or assemble at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. The Tippecanoe County commissioners have been able to maneuver their way around the Constitution, while picking and choosing who is allowed to assemble on their courthouse grounds for more than a dozen years now. This victory restores every Hoosier’s constitutional right, to freely assemble on Tippecanoe County’s Courthouse grounds. It’s a victory we should all celebrate together.”
When asked how many counties Higher Fellowship has visited, Phipps said, “We’ve hit approximately 30 to 35 different counties, and we’ve revisited approximately a dozen or so. We like returning to those counties that show the most support, in order to continue building on that momentum. Tippecanoe County is actually one of those counties, and we really look forward to many Tippecanoe County rallies in the future.”
According to Phipps, Tippecanoe County is the only one to give Higher Fellowship any trouble. It appears that its commissioners are the issue.
Higher Fellowship supports full marijuana legalization but is focusing its efforts on medical marijuana.