Jacob Sullum on Colorado's Onerous Marijuana Ad Restrictions


High Times

High Times, the flagship publication of a cannabis counterculture that is rapidly going mainstream, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. "We have been steadfast soldiers in this so-called War on Drugs," writes Editor in Chief Chris Simunek in a special issue that hits newsstands this week, "with truth as our sword and the First Amendment as our shield."

The First Amendment has protected High Times, Jacob Sullum writes, and High Times has tried to return the favor. Last year the magazine was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging a Colorado law that required merchants to keep marijuana-focused publications behind the counter. The sponsor of that provision, a Republican representative from Colorado Springs named Bob Gardner, likened such periodicals to pornography. The law was so clearly unconstitutional that Colorado Attorney General John Suthers decided not to enforce it. Now High Times is seeking to overturn Colorado's onerous restrictions on marijuana advertising, which ostensibly are aimed at protecting impressionable children but probably have more to do with protecting disapproving adults.