Friday, June 18, 2010

Collecting signatures to legalize marijuana turns violent

SPOKANE -- A Spokane activist is hitting the pavement hard collecting thousands of signatures for Initiative 1068 to legalize marijuana. But the person who owns the pavement triggered a heated exchange on one Spokane street corner.

Angela Johnson has been prepared for the rain as she stood on Ruby and Division for several days. But the thing she was not prepared for was the backlash from property owners. Johnson had put signs on the public sidewalk telling drivers where to pull in and sign a petition for I-1068.

She did not have any problems until Thursday morning. The property owner came over furious. Johnson said the owner told her she was trespassing and she had to leave. Johnson said that was not a problem and moved her car. But it didn't stop there.

"He said he was going to take the signs because they were on his property. He tried to rip the signs out of the ground and he grabbed my arm and I got scratched," said Johnson.

Johnson is not pressing any charges and is now looking for a new location. But she says that does not make what happened right.

"I understand as much passion as I have for the cause, they have the same passion against the cause. But I didn't expect to be confronted like that in that hostility," said Johnson.

Calls to the property manager went unanswered.

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