FOIA Response Reveals Cost of Smokedown for Independence Mall Law Enforcement (You)

The Philly Declaration

Documents obtained by photographer Ed Roper detail expenditures by the US Park Service at Independence Mall on April 20th, May 18th, and June 30th 2013 to provide law enforcement for “Smokedown Prohibition,” an ongoing demonstration against the criminalization of marijuana organized by The Panic Hour and PhillyNORML (about which the Declaration has reported at length).

The documents show the abrupt increase in spending between the three dates. A 400% increase in overtime costs were accounted after a video appeared online widely showing a fundamentalist minister heckling Park Rangers for their failure to “enforce the law” in response to Smokedown attendees smoking marijuana openly on the Mall.

An additional four-fold increase is seen after the first arrests, of N.a. Poe and Adam Kokesh at Smokedown 5 on May 18th.   (The full response from the NPS is embedded at the end of this post)

Roper describes the trend in his own…

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