Lawyers square off in case over whether cops gave protesters pot


Lawyers for former Occupy Minnesota protesters told a federal judge that their clients were used as "guinea pigs" by offering them marijuana to observe how they reacted to the drug.

Attorneys in the case squared off Monday in front of U.S. Magistrate Franklin Noel, the Pioneer Press reported. Several law enforcement agencies are seeking to throw out a lawsuit filed by six Twin Cities residents in February who say they were given the drugs. KSTP posted that motion to dismiss here.

At issue is a law enforcement program at Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis in April 2012, when police asked for volunteers among people camped there, the protesters say. The volunteers say they were given marijuana to smoke.

Now six of the protesters say they believe their constitutional rights were violated. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that they were targeted as "vulnerable members of the population to see what quantity of drugs their bodies could tolerate."

A lawyer for the police departments argued Monday that the protesters had volunteered to take the drug, and that no one was injured, and that some had volunteered more than once, the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune reported.

Noel is considering the case and has not said when he would rule, the newspaper reported.

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