Pasadena, California: January 21, 1967

by Lucie Lowery

Caltech Editor Beats Ouster Move in ‘Pot’ Hassle

A Caltech tempest over a story in the student weekly concerning use of marijuana by Caltech students was climaxed Friday afternoon when the editor, Michael Meo, won a recall election which was designed to oust him.

Meo, junior astronomy student from Marblehead, Mass., began the controversy in the Jan. 12 issue of California Tech, in which he claimed in an article that Caltech students use marijuana “in significant numbers.”  Alarmed that the story would cause unwelcome adverse publicity, charging that it was written “to initiate controversy,” the executive committee of the student body took the initiative to stop the mailing of issues of the paper to off-campus subscribers.

On Jan. 15, the board of directors of the student body headed by Fred Lamb of Manhatten, Kans., a senior physics student, held a special meeting, and declared that the executive committee had “stepped outside the bounds of its authority” in impounding the papers.  But they reminded that since the newspaper is the “official publication of the Associated Students . . . the editors have a responsibility to avoid actions whose only effect would be detrimental to the students.”

They added that they would not interfere with distribution of the issue, but felt the publication of the article not in keeping with the responsibility and distribution “of positive detriment and a grave mistake.”

[the last sentence does not make sense, but that’s what the words on the yellowing old piece of paper say]

Another group began a recall petition to oust Meo, and students filed into Winnett center throughout Friday to cast their votes.  A two-thirds vote is  necessary to recall an officer, but Meo vowed that if he did not receive a 50 per cent vote of confidence he would resign.

The posted results did not give figures, merely announced that Meo had won.  His term of office officially end early in February.

The controversial article assumed second place in the debate which was of prime interest on the campus during the week, with the questions of free speech and freedom of the press coming to the fore.

This week’s issue of the student newspaper contained details of the feud, and the methods Meo used to learn his facts for the marijuana article were questioned.

Ah, but there the paper is ripped and there is no more to read.  Oh well, we can all go to

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
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