DEA Marijuana Madness
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 111101)

While we're at war against terrorism and the government
acts like they have no clue about how to prevent terrorist
attacks other than to issue vague worthless warnings, scare
people, ask for us to volunteer to help future victims, state
the attorney general will listen in on conversations between
arrestees and their lawyers, at his discretion, let's check out
what other boneheaded endeavors the government is up to
on the domestic front ...

So, there are states that have voted for medical marijuana,
helping thousands of sick people relieve their pain and
suffering from terrible diseases, and lo and behold, in the
midst of our burgeoning war against terrorism, 30 DEA
agents close down a resource center in an otherwise legal
marijuana for medical purposes clinic in Los Angeles, a
clinic operating openly and in accordance with the laws
of California, voted and approved by California citizens.

They confiscated all of their assets, bank accounts, and
most important to note, the detailed medical information
on all of the patients, medical information of an otherwise
confidential and strictly doctor-patient nature, medical
information of people sick and dying from ailments like
AIDS, cancer, and the like.

As a result, all of the sick and suffering who were depending
on marijuana for treatment and pain relief are left to find other
sources to relieve their pain/suffering/sickness.

My sister died a horrible death from a mestastes of the brain,
resulting from a 4-year battle against breast cancer. She took
morphine for the pain. If marijuana had been able to help her,
I would have gone to great lengths to provide it for her. The
government's effort to prevent medical marijuana is a demon-
stration of their callous and cold-hearted fascism when it
comes to demonizing drugs with the sole goal being to exert
power and control over the free choices of its citizens.

Three words come to mind - SICK ... SICK ... SICK ...

The government asks us to fight for freedom while at the same
time attacking the freedom of those most vulnerable and suf-
fering among us.

As politicians parade about uttering mindless calls for "god
bless America" and promoting faith, ponder the emptiness
of their faith as they support attacks on Americans, sick
Americans at that, while Americans are under attack from
faith-steeped islamic extremist terrorism.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people?

When it comes to medical marijuana, the government has
turned against the people, against the will of the citizens of
the states supporting medical marijuana, and against the
very principles upon which our nation was founded ...

... Freedom, Liberty, and Power to the People.

To the U.S. government and the citizens of an otherwise
free America - Stop the madness. Stop supporting the insane
and self-defeating drug war on the American people.

To the U.S. government - find the terrorists and stop haras-
sing the honorable and worthy citizens of our own country.
Start by taking your hands off those most sick and in need
in our country. Then, proceed to regulate and legalize drugs
for adults, based on education and knowledge, not demoniza-
tion/illegalization/imprisonment/denial of the basic human need
to be informed and free to choose, in this, our one and only
sure chance at it.

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The following article is by David S. Broder
Sunday, November 11, 2001; Page B07

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5348-2001Nov9.html   
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Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican representative
from Arkansas now serving as head of the Drug Enforce-
ment Administration, has a reputation as a straight shooter.
When he was up for confirmation a few months ago, even
Democrats who had strongly opposed his views as a man-
ager of the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton
testified in support of his nomination.

The other morning, Hutchinson was the guest at one of the
breakfast interviews arranged by Godfrey Sperling Jr. of
the Christian Science Monitor. Asked what the events of
Sept. 11 had done to the war on drugs, Hutchinson readily
admitted that the diversion of government resources to the
anti-terrorism campaign had left his agency stretched thin.

A significant number of FBI agents who had been working
drug cases have been pulled off to assist in the dragnet for
suspected terrorists, he said. Coast Guard vessels that had
been patrolling the Caribbean to intercept drug smugglers
are now protecting harbors. Customs agents are focusing
on bioterrorism.

Hutchinson assured reporters that he agreed with the new
priorities, but acknowledged that the DEA is struggling to
"pick up the slack."

All of which makes it very strange, in my view, that on
Oct. 25 about 30 DEA agents spent six hours in a raid on
the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, a source of
marijuana for patients with doctors' prescriptions for its
use as a painkiller.

There was nothing illegal about the raid. The agents had
a search warrant signed by a visiting federal judge from
Florida. Scott Imler, the president of the center, told me
the agents "were very polite. They did not pull guns or
put anyone on the floor or handcuff anyone, or physically
or verbally abuse anyone. They just gathered us together
and went about collecting stuff."

They took marijuana plants, processed marijuana, 3,000
medical records and all the business documents on the
site. The next day, Imler said, they seized the organiza-
tion's bank accounts, effectively shutting down its normal
operations.

In turn, Imler and his staff did not try to conceal anything;
in fact, they opened the safe and allowed the agents to
take away the contents. This was no clandestine opera-
tion.

Five years ago, when California voters overwhelmingly
approved a medical marijuana initiative financed by
George Soros and two other multimillionaires, the Los
Angeles County sheriff, Sherman Block, and officials
of West Hollywood encouraged Imler and his associates
to set up operations, even finding them a building they
could use.

John Duran, the center's attorney and a city councilman,
said the organization has worked hand-in-glove with
local officials, acceding to their requests that patients'
status be verified every three months and that they carry
identity cards attesting to their eligibility for marijuana
possession.

"We've had nothing to hide for five years," Duran said.
Indeed, DEA agents visited the center on Sept. 17 and
were given a tour of the premises and a full explanation
of its operations.

The authority for the raid rests on a Supreme Court
decision last May that the passage of medical marijuana
initiatives in California and seven other states does not
override federal law classifying marijuana as an illegal
drug.

The question raised by Imler, Duran, civil liberties attor-
neys and even some conservative editorial pages is why
such a raid would command the resources of the DEA
at a time when it is clearly being stretched to the limits.

When I asked Hutchinson, he replied that carrying out
the federal marijuana ban "is our responsibility, but not
a high priority." He acknowledged that he prefers to
work with elected officials and local law enforcement,
rather than opposing them, as in this case, but said that
"when there is a gap" between state and federal law,
his job is to enforce the congressional statutes.

That answer does not satisfy local officials. At the time
of the raid, 960 people -- most of them with AIDS, the
rest with cancer, Lou Gehrig's disease and other serious
illnesses -- were alleviating pain and nausea with marijuana
from Imler's center. No arrest warrants have been issued
since the raid, and a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's
office told me it will be "some time" before any prose-
cutions are decided. But the center has closed its dispen-
sary because, as Imler said, "we do not want to distribute
black market products." Now, Duran added, "we have
960 patients out in the parks, looking for drug dealers to
get their marijuana, which is exactly what the city didn't
want."

No one has alleged -- let alone proved -- that anyone ob-
tained marijuana without a medical prescription. Why in
the world is the Bush administration fighting this battle,
when there are so many more important wars to be won?

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