Arcata accused of violating First Amendment in curbing 4/20 event

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ARCATA- The City of Arcata is facing a lawsuit. The plaintiff is alleging the city has violated the First Amendment in its effort to curb the yearly 4/20 marijuana celebration at Redwood Park.

A Eureka Attorney has filed the suit on behalf of a Greg Allen, a medical marijuana patient.

The case argues that the city, former City Manager Randy Mendosa, and the Police Chief violated the community's First Amendment right to peacefully assemble.

In past years, hundreds have gathered in Redwood Park on April 20th to celebrate the counter culture holiday around cannabis.

In response, the city developed a plan to discourage people from attending the event. The department has increased police presents and closed the park to enforce ordinances against smoking and drinking.

"It's disturbing to me that the City Council and City Manager and police Chief of Arcata basically conspired to stop people from speaking," said Greg Allen.

News Channel 3 reached out to the city for a response. They said they have not been served with the lawsuit and said they could not commit at this time.