SHED NO TEARS, please, but a Fourth of July tradition in Lafayette Park has been snuffed out--at least officially--by the powers that be. Without reading too much into this turn of events, we note that for the first time in more than a decade, the park is not officially scheduled to be the scene of a marijuana smoke-in. The smoke-in, for those who somehow have missed it in the past (or passed it in the mist), was the main, and usually only, organized celebration sponsored by the Youth International Party, commonly called the Yippies. Its highlights have included the burning not only of marijuana, but also of hundreds of blank Selective Service registration cards.
The Yippies assure us that they themselves are not burned out, though--they just got burned this year, by a coalition of civic, church, family, school and anti-drug groups. These organizations beat the Yippies to the punch in getting a permit to reserve the park. Their celebration promises to be quite different, too: a "National Family Day" is being planned, sponsored by the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, the D.C. Congress of Parents and Teachers, the local chapters of Toughlove and Straight, Inc., and dozens of other organizations.
One Yippie member insisted that "We will be there," adding, "We would like to make this the most memorable and interesting smoke-in since 1970." Presumably, however, authorities will see to it that Family Day is not disrupted by mindless lawbreakers. If anything like that is tried, their message to Yippies should be short and forceful: butt out.