Four NORML college chapters suing universities over logo disputes


ISU NORML Facebook.
An ISU student picks up trash around campus in one of the banned shirts (in red) during a volunteer day.

Iowa State University is under fire in federal court after the Iowa State National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws says they were unfairly told to remove the school mascot, Cy the Cardinal, from their t-shirts.
Two students, juniors Paul Gerlich and Erin Fuleigh, have filed a suit in Iowa arguing that their First Amendment rights were trampled by the college, who demanded NORML remove Cy from their shirts after a state lawmaker complained that it sent the wrong message. Their lawsuit is part one of four filed this week, the others coming from students at Ohio University, Chicago State University and Citrus College in California.

The lawsuit at Iowa state stems from a 2012 incident where a student wearing the shirt was photographed in the Des Moines Register. The university had approved the shirt, but a few pissed off lawmakers at the state house with too much time on their hands complained, arguing that it looked like the school supported marijuana legalization.
In January of last year, the school updated their policy to include a ban on use with “drugs and drug paraphernalia”.
According to the lawsuit, the school’s actions “hindered NORML ISU from challenging the orthodoxy that marijuana use should be prohibited. … Students Paul Gerlich and Erin Furleigh and the more than 500 members of NORML ISU, want to advocate a policy change that is being implemented in a growing number of states – the legalization of marijuana. By policy and practice, however, ISU unlawfully restricts its students’ and faculty’s constitutional right to free expression.”