Upwards of 5,000 people gathered on Saturday June 4th to celebrate the Ohio Hempfest on the South Oval of The Ohio State University Campus. It was a lower turnout of festival goers than in recent years, which organizer Phil DeSenze claims was due in part to the campus police?s demands for security costs. This year was the first that student organizers faced extensive mandatory police costs amounting to $2,850.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy named the OSU administration and campus police chief as defendants in an emergency Supreme Court filing last spring when OSU "canceled" the event four days before it was scheduled. With scathing criticism of OSU?s attempt to squash the annual festival, Ohio Supreme Court Judge A. Marbley awarded SSDP a temporary restraining order so that last year's Hempfest could proceed.

The turmoil of the past two years is reported to be directly linked to the new OSU Police Chief John Petry's dislike for the drug law reformers. The police recorded a total of four arrests from the Hempfest crowd this June 4th, all for drug paraphernalia, which hardly substantiates the threat to public safety OSU?s lawyers and Police chief claim that the Hempfest is. The arrests do reinforce the idea to smoke cannabis in joints, not pipes, since the drug marijuana is decriminalized in Ohio and possession of small amounts is not a criminal offense; however a drug paraphernalia (read the pipe people smoke cannabis with) charge carries stiffer penalties.