DES MOINES, Iowa — A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit that claims Iowa State University has improperly barred a pro-marijuana student group from using its logos on T-shirts.
U.S. District Judge James Gritzner says members of the ISU chapter of the National Organization for the Reform have made a “plausible claim” that administrators violated their free speech rights.
In a ruling Tuesday, he rejected Iowa State’s arguments on why the case should be dismissed. Gritzner noted that colleges cannot discriminate against student groups on the basis of their political viewpoints.
The lawsuit alleges ISU withdrew its approval of one of the group’s marijuana-themed T-shirts featuring the school’s Cy mascot under pressure from donors and lawmakers.
The school later rewrote its trademark guidelines to bar their logos in products that promote illegal drugs.