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What do you think about the drug checkpoints set up for the Wakarusa Music Festival?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 8, 2006

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Photo of Elizabeth Spear

“I’d say it’s definitely unnecessary if they are stopping people who aren’t even going to the concert.”

Photo of Ilya Faibushevich

“I guess they’re doing it for the best interest of the festival, but the drugs are still going to get in. I personally think there are better preventive measures.”

Photo of Secily Rees

“I don’t agree with that. I don’t think they would set one up for any other type of festival, so I think they are stereotyping the people who are going.”

Photo of Travis Cline

“That seems like they’re overstepping their bounds. It seems unreasonable to me and like it might be a Fourth Amendment violation. If I had to drive that route for any reason, I wouldn’t be comfortable with them searching my car.”

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geekin_topekan 12 years ago

You wanted it and here it is. We're a police state.Get used to it.

classclown 12 years ago

Why not just have a drug dog posted at any entrance and a few walking around in the grounds during the festival?

Linda Aikins 12 years ago

I don't like it at all. I think classclown has the idea. Check at the actual event!!

Welcome to Kansas.

bankboy119 12 years ago

Yeah, great, stop the drugs however. They're illegal so get them and keep people safe. Gootsie, you're right, but this is Lawrence and everyone needs to be kept safe by the Kommission.

In other news, Al-Zarqawi was confirmed dead. You know, that bad guy that wants to kill us all?

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

I suspect the drug checkpoints are actually just run by fellow festival-goers who don't want to pay for their drugs. Personally, I think that's a brilliant idea.

jonas 12 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

paladin 12 years ago

In my humble opinion, a People generally gets the kind of government, and the kind of laws and law enforcement, that they want and that they deserve. This is the culmination of a Police State mentality, or mind set, that is generally desired and that has been chosen by us, as a People, and that has been imposed on those who have not chosen it. It has arisen out of pervasive, all-encompassing, underlying fear and the authoritarian imposition of fundamentalist morality. Perhaps, there are too many people and they are too apathetic and too dependent on authority to protect them and to provide for them, for them to choose a society that is free and that depends on personal responsibility to control behavior and social interaction. Get used to it, because this is the kind of authoritarian, and ultimately totalitarian, world you have chosen, by your silence and your assent and your vote, and the manifestations of your choices will become ever more oppressive and prevalent in your daily lives. What price for the illusion of safety and freedom from fear? Perhaps, the price is the relinquishing and surrendering, for the most part quite willingly, of your liberty and personal freedom, as a society. Generally, people get the kind of World they want, and that they actively create, and that they deserve.

conservativepunker 12 years ago

So Travis, what's in the car that makes you uncomfortable? If you aren't violating any laws or ordinances, what's to fear?

acg 12 years ago

Paladin, that was very well said. There's nothing else I can add, and the more I think about it the madder I get. I'm entirely too tired this morning to stomp around my office ranting about the idiots that are in charge of things. Grrrrrr. ^$(&)(@&$?!!!

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

Marion, though I know what you meant, I'm still trying to figure out if "A@@" actually means "Aaa" or "Aatat."

acg 12 years ago

Lemmings. Heheee. :) I like lemmings, harley. Personally I've always used sheeple, but I might change it up a bit.

craigers 12 years ago

What is the difference of this drug lane and a drunk lane that happens on New Year's Eve and other nights that a lot of drinking happens? There isn't. Drugs and drunk driving are both illegal. I say stop them. Let them run a dog around my car, see if I care.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it starts at small things like this and then continues to get more and more invasive. Tough call.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

How many of you, when they were talking about the wiretappings by the federal government, said, "you shouldn't be afraid if you have nothing to hide."

This is the same kind of thing. Government getting involved in things that they shouldn't.

sunflower_sue 12 years ago

paladin, (8:06) bravo! I fully agree.

inmate, (7:26) priceless!

donknotts 12 years ago

What an embarrasment! Kansas: Even More Ignorant Than You Thought.

I'll be calling up Gov. Sebelius' office today and I encourage anyone bothered by this to do the same. She may not be directly responsible for this but it's a start.

krissypoetry 12 years ago

I would just agree the check point shoild be at the venue, it would suck for a random comuter on his or her way to work, to have to get searched-- but it would be funny if the random comuter got busted for drugs or outstanding warrants or something to that effect, while just on his or her way to work. Oh and "funny" b/c it is not happening to me!

Katie Van Blaricum 12 years ago

Well, the police gave festival-goers a chance last year, and look what a fiasco that turned out to be. Somebody died! This year, they're being more invasive because they KNOW people have crack. I'd say it's a good thing. I don't think anybody cares about pot, but I hear lots of hard drugs were at last year's festival.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Wah! Wah! Wah! Americans are such narcissists! My this, my that -- what about me!

To those of you who love all things "European" this should be a welcome indication that we are moving in that direction. They throw up checkpoints any and everywhere they want, no explanation given or required. Been there, done that.

The government can't win for losing on this one. If they don't exert some show of force to control drug sales/usage and there is a problem -- they were too lax -- if they do -- they are too invasive. Any place South of San Antonio you are guaranteed to be stopped by border patrol and a canine will check your vehicle. I go through them each time I go home and then return to KS. This IS something government should be involved in.

average 12 years ago

Wheee.... someone died. It's a town of 15,000 people for pete's sake. Bigger than, say, Ottawa. One person dying for 15k every three days is... almost exactly the national average.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

Apparently they couldn't find anyone over the age of 20 to pose this question to.

Craigers is dead on. It's not like they are doing cavity searches. This is common sense law enforcement. Apart from the drugs issue, this sends a message that says "Lawrence is not your personal playground. Respect that we have law and order here". When people come to town for events like this, they sometimes adopt a "no one is watching me" attitude, and they behave in ways that they wouldn't behave in their own zip code. Everyone coming to town this weekend is going to get a clue that this is not a free-for-all. When you have thousands of people together like this (especially in an outdoor concert environment), you have to ENSURE that order will be kept. Things can get out of hand, really, really quick. The fact that it's going to be warmer than usual adds to the opportunity for medical emergencies and inflated tempers.

mr_daniels 12 years ago

Absolutely no problem.

Peace and good day to all!

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

I would like to propose a moratorium on the liberty vs. safety quote from Franklin. It's a fine quote, but it comes up every single time this subject arises. I'm sure there must be other relevant compelling quotes.

Kyle Neuer 12 years ago

Note to gov't- You're not my mom. Already had one and she did a fine job. You're not qualified to fill her shoes. Butt the hell out. Thank you and good day.

Janet Lowther 12 years ago

The "War on Drugs" is stupid and unwinnable.

Tax & regulate 'em.

Back when a junkie could walk into a drug store and buy Bayer Heroin off the shelf, they didn't have to resort to burglary to get a fix.

Virtually all "drug violence" derives from the illegality of the product.

The "War on Drugs" was the preeminent part of the War on Freedom until the "War on Terrorism" came into existence.

Franklin understated his case, so I say: Those who exchange liberty for a little illusory security will in the end have neither.

acg 12 years ago

I agree with sgt on the Ben Franklin quote. It's a great quote, but it's been beat to death on these boards. I like jrlii's quote. I'm going to start quoting you, now. :)

BorderRat 12 years ago

Hey, Law Enforcement might be on to something. They could expand the search to include all reading materials and maybe they could get folks from Rev. Phelp's group to screen for Gays... Just a thought.

topflight 12 years ago

Somone explain to me how this is an overreaction. It is pretty sad that almost everyone on this board is PRO-DRUG and ANTI-LAW ENFORCEMENT. It is also sad that thses same people think drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, and methamphetamines are not a problem for people using them. I hope they infringe all they want, maybe these same people will not come back next year. Then we can get a new festival that the majority of people would enjoy. BOO HOO HOO, for all you whiners.

acg 12 years ago

Not wanting to be subjected to illegal search and seizure doesn't make a person pro drug and anti law enforcement. I don't mind if the cops enforce laws. I do mind if they trample on my civil rights, as protected by my constitution to do so. Maybe you're looking for a police state, topflight, but most of us are not.

gontek 12 years ago

I think this will be the last Wakarusa fest for a while.

jayhawktownie 12 years ago

do it at the entrance to the festival, you'll catch more perp's and inconvenience fewer law-abiding citizens. i am not anti-drug or anti-liberty but i attended the festival last year and was somewhat put-off by the out-of-control nature of the campgrounds. for someone that is attending to enjoy the music, i wouldn't mind seeing a little bit more enforcement to keep the trustafarians in check.

paladin 12 years ago

Are probable cause, due process, presumption of innocence historical, outmoded concepts, irrelevant in our contemporary social environment? One in which social problems are superficially dealt with by arbitrarily creating and throwing laws, the law, at them? Or, are these concepts still fundamentally important for us, in defining the World in which we live. It seems, on the national level, as well as locally in this instance and others, these fundamental principals, on which our Republic was built, have been suspended. Or, have they been eliminated? The choice is up to us, as a People, as to the nature of society and the way we want to live our lives. Apathy and silence implies consent and acceptance. And, ultimately, leads to submission to authority. Will that authority be a benevolent one? We hope and pray that it will. But, there are no guarantees, simply because this is America. We all define America, continually, by how aware we are and how involved we are and by whether we speak out against tyranny and oppression and the suspension of our liberty, and by the choices we make when choosing our leaders.

sunflower_sue 12 years ago

"trustafarians"...I'm adding that to my vocabulary. That's a good one!

Dixie Jones 12 years ago

ya all are on CRACK ! ! ! go sit on your roundabouts, talkin on your cell phones, smokin and doin

Ceallach 12 years ago

"Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.

I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." --

Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819.



Yeah - let's get our rights of liberty quotes from a man who owned slaves!!!!!

Thanks, Marion -- NOT!

jonas 12 years ago

Deleted!? What the heck for? What's wrong with saying resident haters?

Ceallach 12 years ago

jonas, apparently the (Suggest removal) trolls are out today keeping us all in line. I wondered what you two rowdies were up to so early this morning :)

Confrontation 12 years ago

I think they should use all the bail money to set up washing machines at the festival. It would help cut down on the air pollution caused by this event.

gyroduck 12 years ago

Drugs are fun and anyone who doesn't do them is a nerd.

sgtwolverine 12 years ago

No, they should use the bail money to install sprinkler systems in the old buildings downtown.

pooter 12 years ago

I say move the festival to shawnee lake.


Ceallach 12 years ago


If all other men had owned slaves at that time the "man of his time" excuse might be a little easier to accept, but in fact, there were many, many people who did not and would not own slaves.

There is a big difference between owning people as if they were cattle (even beautiful and highly prized, high yellow, breeding stock such as Sally) and being unfaithful to your wife. Marion, I know that you know it is not the same.

People exchanging ideas is one thing -- but if yer jest trying to peck a fite -- thank you, but I'll pass:)

Ceallach 12 years ago

RI, I think it was the "drug" racing that was the problem:)

YourItalianPrincess 12 years ago

Like any other concert you will be checked for drugs and alcohol. Verizon does it just like others, so I don't see why theres a fuss.

Emily Hadley 12 years ago

Overreaction is unfortunate. All I can say is you have to watch your ass and take responsibility for yourself no matter what. All this will do is make the lives of the sloppy possessors very unpleasant, while those who are are more careful will slip right through. We all have to compromise some balance of our outward appearance and our private selves. My parents told me that all of the dozens of stickers on my car may as well just all say "Pull me over". At the ripe age of 29, I see they were right on. I made a point of standing out, and I had to watch myself more so that I didn't fit their stereotypes. You can present yourself strongly and thumb your nose at people's judgements, or you can present yourself enigmatically and get away with murder. Your choice.

Centrist 12 years ago

"" Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups "" --T-shirt, circa 2005


Centrist 12 years ago

I have to use those roads this afternoon. why should I be stopped, when I'm NOT going to the Festival?

betterredthandead 12 years ago

Lawrence police don't have much to do these days - their supervisors have to make them go earn their... hmm let's see what is it? 15.00/hour? Yeah great...Remember, despite popular belief lawrence IS seeing a rise in gun violence, rape , etc etc. No public safety, more like public idiocy. Again, there are plenty of things that are illegal (Bowhunter) which are ignored by the cops. I suggest they don't ignore those which actually ensure the immediate safety of citizens and instead ignore ones concerning plants that cause individuals to see purple fairies.

acg 12 years ago

emily, I agree with you on your point about how to behave. If a person has a bunch of pot leaf stickers on their car, dreads in their hair and are wearing a Bob Marley shirt, they're more apt to be the car searched. Outward appearances are something that young people, unfortunately, don't understand as being important. It's not even a matter of conforming with society's view points on what is normal to wear or a normal way to behave, either. It's more about covering one's own butt. I still toke, I've told the message boards that before, but none of you would ever know it to look at me.

gyroduck 12 years ago


"Yeah - let's get our rights of liberty quotes from a man who owned slaves!!!!!"

Why not? Are people who owned slaves not people?

acg 12 years ago

Purple fairies, eh? Where are you getting your pot betterred? LOL. ; )

Ceallach 12 years ago

duckie - they are not people I will allow to be set as a standard to which we should aspire. Well, not quietly anyway :)

Confrontation 12 years ago

Marion: Do you have any idea how we could get a Yellowhouse poem on this topic?

Ceallach 12 years ago

Fairies are purple? Hmmmm, someone needs a little more diversity in their hallucinations -- I'm sure there are many other colors, after all, Tinkerbell is green ;)

james bush 12 years ago

"Can't we all just get along?"........... and drink micro brew???

Just say no to inhalants and stick with ingestants........Is that a word?

reginafliangie 12 years ago

You guys can't win. If some dopper hurt somebody while being under the influence you would all be yelling that the police don't do enough to protect us. When they try to protect us you bitch cause they are invading our space, which is it?

Ceallach 12 years ago

Marion, Marion, Marion. You seem to be incapable of controlling your aggressions -- you really should have that seen about.

A historical viewpoint requires more than time on your hands allowing you to surf, cut and paste little bits and pieces of other men's statements.

Any information received and processed through the human brain is subjected to preconceived notions and biases (and in your case paranoia) -- to save you having to look it up --

paranoi*a ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pr-noi) n. A psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution with or without grandeur, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason. Extreme, irrational distrust of others.

You will soon be able to count me among those who see Marion ------- and skip right to the next post. That is a shame because when you are more lucid I can somewhat see the points you are trying to make. However, my a$$ is not and will never be yours to ride, so I suggest you take your saddle and prod elsewhere. This is a case where I can easily switch because fighting with those who are reason challenged is an exercise in futility.

Ceallach 12 years ago

PS: (You probably knew there would be one:) I have never claimed that I could not learn more about any given subject that is discussed on this board. However, your caustic methods quickly destroy anything of value you MIGHT have to contribute. I'm not sure why you always assume that people should automatically concur with any bilge you are spewing. In case you haven't been paying attention --IT AINT WORKING.

paladin 12 years ago

Take er easy, Ceallach, its not worth it. Its hot outside and the wall is allot harder than your head. You're a good person and that's enough. More than enough.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Sorry, paladin :- Guess I did let that get my Irish up a bit too much. Thanks for the chill pill. From you, I will accept it :)

Baille 12 years ago

"We have never approved a checkpoint program whose primary purpose was to detect evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing. Rather, our checkpoint cases have recognized only limited exceptions to the general rule that a seizure must be accompanied by some measure of individualized suspicion. We suggested in Prouse that we would not credit the "general interest in crime control" as justification for a regime of suspicionless stops. 440 U.S. at 659, n. 18. Consistent with this suggestion, each of the checkpoint programs that we have approved was designed primarily to serve purposes closely related to the problems of policing the border or the necessity of ensuring roadway safety. Because the primary purpose of the Indianapolis narcotics checkpoint program is to uncover evidence of ordinary criminal wrongdoing, the program contravenes the Fourth Amendment."

City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000).

The KHP checkpoint is specifically set-up to target out-of-state cars (no KTAG cars are stopped). This is not a neutral policy.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to make drug arrests. This has been admitted by the KHP officers conducting the searches, and is also shown by the fact the program is being funded with drug interdiction money. In addition the local media outlets are refering to the checkpoint as a "drug checkpoint."

This checkpoint is clearly unconstitutional and those detained should pursue all legal remedies to prevent such a blatant abuse of power by the State from occurring again.

jonas 12 years ago

Posted by reginafliangie (anonymous) on June 8, 2006 at 4:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"You guys can't win. If some dopper hurt somebody while being under the influence you would all be yelling that the police don't do enough to protect us."

That would be public group A complaining.

"When they try to protect us you bitch cause they are invading our space"

That would be public group B complaining.

"which is it?"

Well, that would depend on who you ask, wouldn't it? There's only inconsistency and hypocricy in those two viewpoints if you group everyone in the same large lump of humanity. That would be what we would call a mistake.

KSChick1 12 years ago


Posted by Confrontation (anonymous) on June 8, 2006 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Marion: Do you have any idea how we could get a Yellowhouse poem on this topic?


Confrontation 12 years ago

That's a pretty good imitation, Marion. However, I do believe it was too nice to be compared to the itsy bitsy spider quality of the Yellowhouse poems.

yellowhouse 12 years ago

I hope the people at the wak fest have a good time! The moments that are lived today will never again be theirs to hold!

LIVE THIS DAY---by carrie neighbors

I held one moment in my hand

Hence I failed to understand

That just as delicate as a flower

Was that tender wasted hour.

I let it carelessly slip by

Friend I tell you with a sigh

That opportunity I once knew

It came and then away it flew!

A gift now wasted a chance to share

Is now replaced with empty air.

Seize the moment live the day

For soon my friend it will pass away!

paladin 12 years ago

Hey, that's not bad. True, too. Thanks.

KSChick1 12 years ago

apparently yellowhouse is no master at interpreting sarcasm aimed in their direction

we did not really want a "poem"

space_rabbit_kerosene 12 years ago

I haven't bothered to read through the entirety of this thread however an "illegal search" isn't illegal if the person at the receiving end willingly, myopically, and quite foolishly forgoes his or her rights and submits. This said I'm not too worried about the ominous nature of some leviathan police state either: those of use who belong to the "criminal underclass" know full well how to deal with it for we are the only ones who truly understand and experience raw liberty.

space rabbit kerosene

Baille 12 years ago

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.


know1nozme 12 years ago

There are far better ways to deal with the problems created by drug abuse than our current policies, which are most definitely are making things worse rather than better (as every credible analysis on the effectiveness of these laws has shown). We are wasting our tax dollars on a "War on drugs" which can never be won; most law enforcement officers know this and I believe many of them resent the effort they are forced to waste in enforcing these ridiculous laws, which probably makes some of them a bit more hostile than they would otherwise be. We U.S. citizens have placed a high value on our right to privacy since the founding of our country. The only way to enforce laws prohibiting any so-called "victimless crime" (termed such because all those directly involved in the crime are willing participants) is to use methods which violate our right to privacy. It is not only dehumanizing to the people losing that privacy as victims of this action, but it is also dehumanizing to the law enforcement officers, who must put aside our basic values in order to enforce the law.

Law enforcement officers ought to be appreciated, respected, and honored for what they do. Instead they are feared, often hated, and they are quickly losing credibility with the general populace (especially since these laws create very seductive opportunities for corruption inside the law enforcement community).

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