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Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Shuts Out Show-Me Cannabis

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show me cannabis regulation missouri pointfest verizon wireless amphitheaterVenue Fears Governmental and Social Backlash

By John Payne

On Monday, a representative from The Point (KPNT 105.7 FM) contacted Show-Me Cannabis to tell the public advocacy group that Verizon Wireless Amphitheater had refused their vendor application for Pointfest on May 12. Since then, Show-Me Cannabis has been working to resolve the issue with the venue but to no avail.

The initial reason offered for the rejection of Show-Me Cannabis’ vendor registration was that the venue’s management believed the Maryland Heights Police Department would shut the booth down for advocating illegal activity. Calls from both Show-Me Cannabis and The Point to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater seeking clarification were not returned on either Monday or Tuesday.

On Wednesday, John Payne of Show-Me Cannabis called the Maryland Heights Police Department and spoke to Chief of Police, Colonel William Carson. Carson told Payne that, to his knowledge, no one from the amphitheater had contacted his department about the question. Carson also acknowledged that Show-Me Cannabis has a First Amendment right to advocate for reforms to Missouri’s marijuana laws.

After this information was relayed to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, General Manager D.J. Lindfors called Payne Wednesday afternoon. Lindfors stated that he was not worried that the police would shut the booth down, but he was concerned that allowing a booth advocating marijuana legalization would strain the amphitheater’s relationship with the city and its police force, many of whom the venue employs as part time security. Lindfors called Payne again on Thursday to confirm that, even after further consideration, the amphitheater was sticking with its decision to exclude Show-Me Cannabis from Pointfest.

“This situation demonstrates the extent to which our prohibitionist cannabis policies stifle free speech,” Payne said. “I think Verizon Wireless Amphitheater’s fears are mostly unjustified. However, the mere fact that a major corporation is afraid to even allow a discussion about marijuana policy on its premises for fear of both government and social persecution speaks volumes.”

This is not the first time Show-Me Cannabis has been refused access because of its political positions. In October of 2012, the Oakville Elks Lodge returned a deposit from Show-Me Cannabis to rent the lodge’s hall for a trivia night fundraiser. Then in March, The Arch (WARH 106.5 FM) refused to run Show-Me Cannabis’ radio advertisements for fear of sparking controversy.

Despite these setbacks, Payne remains optimistic. “Marijuana prohibition is such an obviously failed policy that the only way it can survive is for its proponents to completely shut down discussion of the subject. That tactic has worked for many years, and it appears fear of an open debate will keep us out of Pointfest. But there are more individuals, organizations, and media outlets that want to engage this issue now than ever before. The truth will out, eventually.”

Show-Me Cannabis Regulation is an association of organizations and individuals, who believe that cannabis prohibition is a failed policy, and regulating and taxing cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol would better control the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis than the current criminal market system does. The group seeks to engage Missourians in a serious, public discussion about the issues associated with marijuana consumption, including medical cannabis, industrial hemp, public safety, and financial analysis in order to address problems associated with the current, failed policy.

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15 Comments

  1. I’m glad I didn’t go to pointfest and now I don’t ever plan to go to the amphitheater now.

  2. But Verizon’s NAME is on it, Not “Live Nation”. They could give a crap LESS what you say about them… It’s Verizon who by having their name on the Amphitheater, therefore by association they ENDORSE and APPROVE of all moves made by that management team. If NOT?? Take your name off of it! Then we’ll talk…

  3. We have GOT to start speaking with our wallets! Folks, we’re a HUGE Voting Block anymore… we NEED to start acting like it! I’m NOT a single issue voter and don’t advocate that either… hence why I’m a Republican, but seriously… Until we start holding these people responsible for advocating for Prohibition this CRAP will never stop! Hit em where it HURTS!!!

  4. nygratefulfred on

    any venue that refuses this group should be boycotted by fans and performers alike!

  5. The previous posters are correct, the ampitheatre is owned by Live Nation who made the descision. Verizon has nothing to do with it and would not have been consulted. As with anything else, it is difficult to get a large group of people to do something that is politically incorrect even if it is for their own good. That being said, how great would it be to boycott Pointfest? Personally I will be selling my tickets on Ebay because of this. The Point radio station is 100% behind Show Me Cannabis, they should have contacted the bands and let them know what was going on. Even though Live Nation is also the promoter and would probably threaten a lawsuit if the bands backed out it would have at least drawn some much needed media attention. Hopefully SOMETHING can be done in the 11th hour. Total bullshit.

  6. Probably correct, but when your name is stamped on it, any decisions or events that take place there affect your company’s name. You don’t get the positive advertisement without the negative. That’s why companies pull sponsorship from athletes, etc, all of the time.

  7. I was confused about this VZW Amphitheater initially (since it is indeed in Kansas). Then I remember that what you’re talking about, the old Sandstone, is now Cricket Wireless Amphitheater.

  8. Johnny Bloomington on

    I live near KC and this doesn’t surprize me. With Verizon Wireless Amphitheater being in Kansas, it’s even worst.

  9. Verizon just alienated about 47% of the US population with this move and the remaining 53% should also be appalled by their lack of support for Freedom of Speech. This wasn’t like the cannabis festivals in Canada, nobody was going to be selling or giving out actual cannabis openly at the event. I hope it gets lots of publicity and I hope nearly everyone in America agrees Verizon was a colossal douche bag.

  10. I’m pretty sure that Verizon has nothing to do with the decision. They have their name attached to it mainly as a sponsor and source of advertisement. The amphitheater is run by it’s own people.

  11. Makes me ashamed to have to work for them, but then again, its really no surprise. Just like gays, minorities, and women, this social movement will face persecution and ridicule. Stay the course!

  12. Wow…. My contract with ATT is up next month and up until NOW I was going to move our service TO Verizon… Not anymore! BOYCOTT VERIZON