Emily Butler, a spokesperson for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Cannabis Reform Coalition, said there had been “a simple miscommunication with the police” and “we didn’t mean to mislead anybody.”
“We should not have led them to believe that smoking would be tolerated,” Butler said in an email. “The current (coalition) officers will make sure that this miscommunication does not occur in future years.”
In the days leading up to the event, area publications reported statements from coalition officers saying participants could smoke without consequences, as long as they stayed on the common. The group’s Facebook page, website and newsletter reported the same.
Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone said that was not true.
“We never made any kind of agreement that said police weren’t going to enforce the laws,” Livingstone said Tuesday.
When asked why the police hadn’t corrected the group’s statements before the event, he said, “I don’t know.”