Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Violations prompt 8 arrests, numerous citations at Rainbow Family Gathering in eastern Oregon

This year's Rainbow Family Gathering hasn't officially started, but already law enforcement is cracking down on the event, which the U.S. Forest Service characterized on Tuesday as "unauthorized" and "unsanctioned." In their daily update on the festival, the Forest Service reported that more than 2,600 people already had converged on the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon. As many as 20,000 campers are expected for the July 1-7 event. So far, 8 arrests have been made, and 192 warning notices and 47 violation notices have been given out. In anticipation of more citations and arrests, federal prosecutors and judges are setting up a temporary court near the gathering site, which is happening in the Flagtail Meadow about 20 miles northwest of Seneca. The remote court will be able to handle everything from parking violations to drug offenses to minor assaults that arise at the festival. It's not clear how the federal prosecutors will handle marijuana use at the event. Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon but remains an illegal drug under federal law, and the national forest is federal land. The gathering is organized by The Rainbow Family of Living Light, and according to the Forest Service, participants began arriving two weeks ago. More attendees are expected in the coming days, with crowds reaching a peak on July Fourth...more

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