U.S. Representative Criticizes Hempilation Protest Rally

In response to a December 1 rally held outside the offices of Boston radio station WBCN to the protest the airplay of the NORML benefit CD Hempilation, U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has issued a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno both condemning the actions of rally organizers, the Governor’s Alliance Against Drugs, and requesting an inquiry into whether federal law enforcement officials were involved.

Like many others who have voiced their disapproval over the actions of the G.A.A.D. (i.e., National Writers Union, Boston Coalition for Freedom of Expression, Mass/Cann, etc.), Frank is highly critical of the actions of a Drug Enforcement Administration official who allegedly took an active role in the protest. “It does not seem to me at all appropriate for a federal law enforcement agent to accompany an individual [G.A.A.D. Executive Director Georgette Watson] who is making a demand that a media outlet cease broadcasting a particular album, no matter how … ill-advised you, I and the DEA might find it to be,” Frank writes. “This [sort of conduct] puts the federal government in the position of lending official support to an interference with freedom of expression. …”

… [Therefore,] if in fact a DEA agent accompanied Ms. Watson and lent support by his … presence to her demand that the radio station stop playing [the Hempilation] CD, [then] that is a wholly inappropriate action for a federal law enforcement official … and I ask that you look into it and make clear that this is not the sort of thing that should happen.”

For more information, please contact either Bill Downing of Mass/Cann NORML at (617) 944-2266 or Jeremy Much of Capricorn Records at (615) 320-8470. For further information on the Hempilation CD, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML at (202) 483-5500.