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- How far should free speech go? Do people have the right to go up to me, my family and my 3 young grandsons and start shouting F words at us? If so, I have the right to plug your tackless, putrid face with my fist.

Interesting story:

Back when I worked dispatch (many, many moons ago) I took a call from someone on campus very upset about a sign someone was holding out on the Diag (or maybe it was just near the Diag, doesn't matter really). All it said was "F--- Israel!" and the "s" in Israel was replaced with a swastika. The caller was jewish and, needless to say, wasn't happy about the sign.

I sent out an officer who looked, said, "Yup, that's what it says." and left. We couldn't do a thing about it. Free speech, even heinous speech, is protected.

It's the same reason there is a "Hash Bash" on the Diag every year. You can talk about legalizing marijuanna all you want... but if you have any on you and you're caught we go by the state law on campus (not Ann Arbor's silly $50 civil infraction) and you'll be arrested and (theoretically) face up to $1200 and a year in jail (not that anyone ever in the history of Washtenaw County has gotten anything close to that punishment, lol!) But if you want to bring your dog and paint a pot leaf on the side of it (I've seen it happen) go right ahead! Just keep the dog on a leash... not doing so is a $50 ticket ;-)

These "kids" on campus are basically all adults (in Michigan anyone 17 or older is an adult in the eyes of the legal system). They can't drink until they're 21 (which is crap, frankly, but I don't get to make the laws) but if they get in trouble mommy and daddy can't exactly helicopter in and save them. They have to go to court and deal with it like adults. That means we treat them like adults. If they want to say stupid crap then so be it, it's their reputation. We're not here to keep them from making keisters out of themselves. If they want to parade around with signs saying F-this and F-that then, hey, they can.

In fact sometimes they do that then they go on to be, oh, the state Senator representing Ann Arbor in Lansing (my "illustrious" state senator was involved with protests against the formation of what would become the police department I work for now). It is what it is.
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