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Administrators at an Illinois high school confiscated last month’s issue of the student newspaper because the students published a feature on cannabis use and policy. Officials at Evanston Township High School (ETHS) said that they were confiscating the issue on grounds that it glorified drug use and illegal conduct. The student journalists, however, have argued that the school violated state law by failing to show a justification before they confiscated the paper.
The story in question was a two-page spread entitled “The Pot Thickens…” in which students reported on statewide legalization efforts and the potential financial impact that legalization could have on Illinois. The feature also included a survey of cannabis use among the student body, 67% of whom admitted to smoking marijuana. Student journalists also published an anonymous interview with a drug dealer along with articles on medical cannabis and factors influencing student cannabis use.
“Marijuana is a part of student culture here, and we decided to take advantage of our free speech as a part of the Evanston community. We decided to use our student platform to professionally…