Medical Marijuana Petitioner Arrested for Trespass at Black Sabbath Show

Categories: Fire Ant

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Medical marijuana activist John Tracey was arrested (see video, below) in the parking lot of Cruzan Amphitheatre before Wednesday night's Black Sabbath concert in West Palm Beach. He was attempting to gather signatures for a petition to allow a referendum on medical marijuana on Florida's 2014 ballot.

According to a police booking blotter, Tracey was charged with "trespassing - fail to leave property upon order by owner." But Cruzan is owned by the South Florida Fair and, by state law, is considered public property. Tracey says Live Nation Entertainment, which operates the venue (and also owns Ticketmaster), complained about his being there.

According to Carol Hammond, an executive assistant with the South Florida Fair, her organization was not involved with the arrest. New Times has also contacted the offices of Cruzan Amphitheatre and Live Nation, who have yet to comment.

Tracey was acting as part of the Palm Beach arm of People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM). The Orlando-based group says it was "formed by Kim Russell, whose grandmother -- ill with glaucoma -- would not break the law, despite the medical benefits that marijuana could offer her condition."

In a statement to New Times, Tracey called medical marijuana "a very important reform. Current drug law hurts patients and costs taxpayers millions." He said he has "the utmost respect for the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office and the dedicated officers who keep the peace" but "I will not be intimidated from freely exercising my First Amendment rights on public space."

An attorney familiar with the petition drive, Russell Cormican of Fort Lauderdale firm Kent & Cormican, told New Times the Cruzan arrest is "just one of an ongoing series of problems [the campaign] has seen all over South Florida." He said petitioners have been hassled by authorities at the VA hospital in Palm Beach County, at the north campus of Broward Community College and at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Cormican said he's "sure it's the marijuana aspect" that provokes official hostility but that their intimidation offends "the right to petition in public spaces. They need to respect that."

(Petitioners, by the way, are making decent money with the gig, which pays per signature -- valid signature. Tracey said that's "another reason I'm pissed they made me leave. I've got a family of five to support.")


Fire Ant -- an invasive species, tinged bright red, with an annoying, sometimes-fatal sting -- covers Palm Beach County. Got feedback or a tip? Contact Fire.Ant@BrowardPalmBeach.com.





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14 comments
buddaily
buddaily

Boycott the Cruzan Amphitheatre,Ticketmaster & LIve Nation & anybody else involved in this travesty of justice (Black Sabbath should donate at least $10,000.00 dollars to the referendum effort & refuse to go on stage if it happens again) !!! Let's kick these clueless bastards in the only place it really hurts them,in their bottomline (& let's drum up plenty of bad publicity for them on the internet,forcing them to capitulate & apologize for their treachery) !!! Who the hell do they think attends these concerts & makes them rich,they're just biting the hand that feeds them again & again (we might have to put them down like the fat cats & worthless dogs they are if they can't be trusted) !!!

larry357
larry357

It's time to start taking matters in our own hands.  When the authorities do this again, we are going to start using guns to defend our constitutional rights.  Do you hear me Gov?  We are going to use GUNS to make our rights are not trampled on again!  Please call back your police officers or they are going to die as they attempt to harm Americans for expressing their political freedom.  We are Americans and we will be free, and if we have to, we'll go to war with the State of Florida to ensure our Freedom, that is a right the constitution allows.

tnm692
tnm692

Un fuckin believable! Im a true floridian from broward and this is just ridiculous. We will get it eventually. Tell me where to sign and i will along with all my friends plus some!!!

truebluegreene
truebluegreene

Id like hto know who made the complaint and not only sue them but boycott them and write letters to the editor. We should follow this infringement on free speech and freedom of assembly

tunaville
tunaville

I petitioned a Curzon several times. Got hassled by the cops but usually managed to hang around for a few hour and get plenty signatures. At some concerts we were actually invited by the concert management and given a table inside the grounds. 

Concert promoters should be contacted in advance. Most support legalization.

John Tracey
John Tracey

You have any info on the Cityplace thing? I'd love to see that!

John Tracey
John Tracey

I've got a legal team that's looking into it. My court date is 8/29. We may go class action for lost wages.

mcytmaccracker
mcytmaccracker

Summed it up perfectly. Thanks for getting the word out!

Sam Smith
Sam Smith

Not cool, I hope he sues Live Nation. Similar thing happened at City Place and they had to pay up.

mcytmaccracker
mcytmaccracker

@tnm692 Unitedforcare.org has the petition. Needs to be printed out on double sided paper and mailed in.

fire.ant
fire.ant topcommenter

@tunaville They ought to support it. You can't sit through a Cruzan show without ingesting a cloud of THC.

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