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Authorities Break Up Wis. Festival

May 27, 2000

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) _ Sheriff’s deputies broke up the annual Weedstock festival promoting legalizing marijuana Friday, ordering several hundred people to leave and arresting 12.

Sheriff Randy Stammen got a court order to close the music festival and campout, which was to end Monday.

After announcing the court order, authorities let people leave voluntarily for three hours. Event organizer Ben Masel and 11 people who refused to leave were arrested for contempt of court, Stammen said.

``These people seem to think they can stomp all over the Constitution, and they’re wrong,″ Masel said.

Masel and other organizers refused to get a county permit to hold the event at the farm near Fairfield, saying it was unnecessary since organizers had a permit from the state.

This year’s festival was the 13th Weedstock.

Authorities received 96 complaints about the 1999 Memorial Day weekend festival. There were 49 arrests, 43 traffic citations and 28 drug investigations, the sheriff’s office said.

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