Noddy A. Fernandez May 25, 2017, 1:41pm


ST. LOUIS — A nonprofit organization that wants to legalize medical marijuana is suing a public library, citing alleged violation of civil rights.

Randy Johnson and New Approach Missouri filed a complaint on May 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division against Rolla Public Library alleging that the defendant violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that on Jan. 26, they attempted to reserve a room at the defendant's facility to conduct a training session for volunteers. The session covered how to lawfully and ethically collect signatures in order to advance a ballot proposition that would legalize medical marijuana, court records state. The plaintiffs claim they were denied the request because of their viewpoint. 

The plaintiffs hold Rolla Public Library responsible because the defendant allegedly failed to grant request as a public entity available for any community groups sponsoring meetings and programs and failed to provide free speech and due process rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments because of their own viewpoint.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment for compensatory and nominal damages, attorneys' fees, costs, and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper. They are represented by Anthony E. Rothert and Jessie Steffan of American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation in St. Louis.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division case number 4:17-cv-01550-DDN

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division
111 South 10th Street
St. Louis, MO 63102

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