The Curious Case of the Co-ed and the Coffee Can

In my last post, I described the student unrest on the campus of Indiana University during the early 1960s.  Protests and counter-protests were turning attention away from studies in the classroom and onto events around the world.

IU administrators were faced with pressure to make room for free speech, yet also preserve public order.  In the midst of this tension, something happened that would shift their focus away from political revolt to social change.  In Indiana University: Midwestern Pioneer , Thomas D. Clark tells it this way –

A co-ed’s farmhouse was raided and a half pound of marijuana was confiscated.  The Indianapolis News, April 13, 1963 said a graduate student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was accused of placing a note in a coffee can, reading, “Nancy, this is your week’s supply.  Fritz.”  He was then accused of promising to mail her more “grass” from Chicago. 

The News would later report that a plea-bargain was reached with the pair – charges would be dropped if they would leave IU and Monroe County and supply the names of other marijuana users.

While they may have found a way to settle this case, it would only be a harbinger of things to come.

Folger's Coffee No-Key Can, 1960 by Roadsidepictures

(Folger’s Coffee No-Key Can, 1960 from Roadsidepictures, some rights reserved)

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