ACLU sues over Nebraska license plate promoting pot legalization

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ACLU sues over pot license plate

By Paul Hammel
Published Friday November 18, 2011

LINCOLN -- An attempt to promote a petition drive to legalize marijuana has gone to pot -- and ignited a lawsuit.

The Nebraska ACLU said Thursday it is suing the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles after it rejected a personalized license plate reading, “NE 420.”

The plate was requested by Frank Shoemaker of Holbrook, Neb., an attorney and leader in a petition drive to place a measure on the 2012 state ballot to legalize marijuana.

Shoemaker said the plate would serve as an educational aid to the campaign, according to the ACLU's lawsuit.

Bev Neth, head of the DMV, rejected the request, saying the number “420” is associated with “a date and time for people to gather and smoke marijuana/cannabis.”

April 20, or 4/20, has evolved into a counter-culture holiday referred to as “National Pot Smoking Day” or “Weed Day.” It's also the date of the Columbine High School shootings and Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Neth, in her decision, said the plate number promotes the use of marijuana, which is illegal in Nebraska.

The ACLU said the DMV violated Shoemaker's First Amendment rights.

“The plate was not just a personal thought, but a political one,” Shoemaker said in a written statement Thursday. “I don't think I should be told to keep quiet just because the state doesn't like my political views.”

Shoemaker filed the pro-pot petition in June. Patterned after a similar ballot initiative voted down in California in 2010, it seeks legalization of the “private noncommercial use of cannabis, also known as marijuana.”

The campaign is broader than calls by some in Nebraska to legalize marijuana for medical use, which is permitted in 16 states, including Colorado.

http://www.omaha.com/article/20111117/NEWS97/711189999/0#aclu-sues-over-pot-license-plate
What a dumbass. Nice way to get pulled over every day...