Multi-Agency Drug Task Force Wastes Money and Time

Multi-Agency Drug Task Force Wastes Money and Time
Posted by CN Staff on August 29, 2007 at 18:14:37 PT
By Reena Szczenpanski
Source: Huffington Post 
New Mexico -- Yesterday, the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force in southeastern New Mexico entered another skirmish in the failed war on drugs. Drug task forces typically combine local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who collaborate to take down large-scale drug dealers and crime organizations and seize large quantities of drugs. They receive their funding from a combination of state and federal sources, and the idea is generally to use these combined resources to investigate operations that are too large for one officer to handle. So how did these officers spend their time yesterday to make the Pecos Valley safer?
Officers raided and seized a marijuana grow operation from the home of Leonard French, a paraplegic man who lost the use of both of his legs in a motorcycle accident. They seized...six plants, most of which were dead, according to Mr. French. Mr. French suffers chronic pain and muscle spasms due to his spinal cord injury, and qualified as a medical marijuana patient under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act state law that passed earlier this year. Medical marijuana offers him relief with fewer side effects, he reports, than other pharmaceuticals that he's tried.This was an obviously politically motivated stunt, the latest in a nationwide battle for patients' rights that has fronts in the 12 states that have passed medical marijuana laws, and in numerous other states that are considering such laws. This is politics at its worst, where the casualties aren't lost legislative votes, but real people who are suffering and deserve better from our federal government. The federal agents who participated in this raid should be focusing on real issues that impact public safety, not harassing sick people and intimidating law abiding citizens who just want some relief.Polling in New Mexico and nationwide shows overwhelming support for seriously ill people who need legal access to medical marijuana. But elected officials have been slow to catch on, and the federal government's policies and lobbying are keeping patients in misery. Federal officials came to New Mexico four times in two years to lobby against this legislation. Once it passed, those of us who advocated for the legislation thought our work was done.But as this latest raid reveals, federal agents are willing to waste time and money to intimidate these patients and prevent our medical marijuana program from being successful. Even though the law has passed, it seems that the federal government is determined to continue to fight what has already happened, and turn New Mexico into some kind of example.Governor Bill Richardson sent a letter to President George Bush two weeks ago, calling on him to end his heartless medical marijuana policy. By doing so, he stood by the state law that he signed in April, and also stood by the New Mexicans who he was elected to represent, and who overwhelmingly support this law. If the feds want to fight this battle patient by patient, they may boost their arrest numbers but they will surely lose the support of the American people. Complete Title: Multi-Agency Drug Task Force Wastes Money and Time Harassing Wheel-Chair Bound PatientSource: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Reena Szczenpanski Published: August 29, 2007Copyright: 2007, LLC URL: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Articles: Drug Bust Sparks Questions Over Law Should OK Medicinal Marijuana Use Mexico Resumes Marijuana Program
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #8 posted by Hope on August 30, 2007 at 07:52:54 PT
nuevo mexican
The SWAT team has a PR guy?"This rarely seems to be the case out west, as the Police State mentality is rampant here, even my best friend as a child is the PR guy for the Swat Team here and has been for 20 years."
 Good grief! A PR guy? That's obscene.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 30, 2007 at 07:44:03 PT
nuevo mexican 
Happy Labor Day to you too. We couldn't stand the news anymore today so we checked out Sundance and they are showing Bonnaroo 2004. It reminds me in a way of Woodstock. It's really nice to see people from the north and south getting along and enjoying different types of music. Have a great day.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by nuevo mexican on August 30, 2007 at 06:23:18 PT
Funny this happens while I'm out-of-state!
How tragic for this man to be further traumatized, than he already is from his accident, and to have that compounded with incarceration, or intimidation, and further injustice, added expenses and knowing it is a political response from bush to Bill Richardson, a big 'EEEF YOU!!!! That's how I see it, and if your follow the David Inglesias' State Attorney General firings scandal, it is ALL political, as bush uses the law to punish Democrats, and reward only the hardest core bushies, if not 100% behind bush, you are history!Idea!
Can we get Michael Moore, and his Sicko squad to get involved:It would only be too appropriate, as Cannabis is the only alternative to little or no health care, and a great, and very effective one, isn't it!Hey Bill Richardson, you and Michael Moore eh!So bush tells the Dems in NM, and Bill in particular,
EFFF YOU!I bet that goes over well with the big guy!Not only did he give the finger to just to Bill Richardson, but the good people of New Mexico, where Cannabis is already KING, with the Native Americans, and Hispanic cultures having a deep respect and long history with Cannabis, (when not being paid, bribed or cajoled into saying or acting otherwise), as well as the 40 years of HIPPIE Culture Easy Rider the movie, seem to bring there.And I won't leave out the average 'joe' who isn't any of the above, and doesn't look like I do, a proud Cannabist who appears to have little or no problem with it's effects!And am an 'out of the closet' smoker as I don't 'pee for thee', for my job and daily sustenance as does my brother, the alcohol-consumer, due to drug-testing for his job.Gotta love it, he has no choice, as he has a daughter, 
and the bar-scene here is thriving, booze is KING, and no one indulges it seems, from the economic threat it poses to their livelihoods. Very sad, chronic depression rules!
I've lived in NM for 11 years, where rampant heavy alcohol and hard drug usage also make Cannabis the only healthy alternative to addiction, chronic pain, depression, having little or no money, and has probably the poorest people in the U.S.! Of course, there is meditation, hiking, rafting, skiing, boating, hunting, and fishing to encourage people to interact with Mother Nature, and when you commune with Nature, Cannabis is never a threat, or a conflict.The only real Cannabis busts' seem to be once a year 'show' busts, front page, usually from someone accidentally being 'caught', with little or no sentencing as a result, though not always. Just sending a 'message', every one gets paranoid, and forgets about for another year, til harvest-time.Some here know, when you live at 7,000 feet above sea level, in the 'high' desert, the magnetic field has a pronounced effect on your moods, outlook, health, and determines your physical activities, and tends to spur the 'spiritual' energy in our bodies to rise up, kundalini-like, and awaken our dormant 'highter' consciousness.That's my experience anyway.You get a sense that when you get pulled over for speeding , after Sunset, the cop may have indulged himself, as they can be so nice, and reasonable, compared to my experiences in other places, as the environmental conditions are challenging to many, or most, due to the elevation, and seems to bring the best in people usually, though sometimes the worst, if you're broke or being busted for the prison/industrial profit/complex.Now that I'm visiting, at 100 feet above sea level, every time I look in the rear view mirror, low and behold a there is usually a state police or county sheriff behind my New Mexican plates and Hybrid Toyota, or passing me.Maybe they think I'm Al Gores' son! LOL!This rarely seems to be the case out west, as the Police State mentality is rampant here, even my best friend as a child is the PR guy for the Swat Team here and has been for 20 years.If I had to call him for help, I would, and he would do whatever he could, I'm sure! He knows the deal.Go figure, perhaps a reaction to having me a friend like me in the critical years of the 60's, where I was the first 12-year old 'hippie' in the neighborhood. A pariah of sorts, a graphic example of what you 'didn't' want your kid to turn out to be! HA!The alternative....join the military, go to Viet Nam, or be a cop!
He and I were heavily physically abused by his older brother, who was the first to become a cop, usually pummeled in apple fights to the point of crying from the pain, and being much older, he could injure you good with a direct hit to the face or abdomen. Thus the abuse pattern was passed on, and my friend, is a NICE guy, that's why he is the PR guy for a bunch of wack-job gun nut, life-destroying zealots. He is now safe from his older brother you see.The vibe back here is very much what I would imagine Nazi-Germany being like pre-crystal-night, and everyone seems to be in a state of fear, from each other, the crime, the racist' local news stations pander to it gratuitously.Here in the Midwest, the red,white and blue still flies from a few peoples cars, and a 'few' businesses), alot less than I expected, compared to 3 years ago, when the flags where everywhere.They still line the streets of Greenwood, original home of the KKK though! It's true! (the underground railroad in teh 1800's came right through here too, no wonder!)Thankfully, The highly unattractive American Flag, the one dripping with blood, has all but dissapeared from the skies of Northern New Mexico, as only people who still support bush fly their flags to show support for war and bush, and are very embarrassed now, though not all, as the Mexican Restaurants' that employ whole families from Mexico, and are my best food friends as they feed me traditional foods, cooked by family, and always served with love, a smile, feel the bigger the flag, the more under the 'immigrant' radar they are. Pretty sad, and yet totally understandable.I have requested they just put up the Mexican flag, in jest, and I get a nervous laugh. I'd be happier with it, since New Mexico was MEXICO and still is NEW Mexico, and looks just like 'Mexico!If you try to buy or find a Mexican flag in Mexico, you won't find one! How weird is that!I thought, wow, these people could care less about some dumb thing like a flag, and it's true! Try to buy a Mexican Flag, at a store in Mexico, and you will find it difficult if not impossible.Go figure!I've told the workers at the restaurant, you can bring that flag down now, we are NOT proud of what it now stands for, but they just smile and you know they feel that have no choice.Understandable in this openly racist country, where we are all illegals if you trace our ancestors lineage a generation or three back.Talk about wrapping yourself in the flag!So bush is back, on the Cannabis warpath, out to do Bill Richardson a major favor, and I expect Bill will do the right thing, he is a Scorpio, more Eagle now than Scorpion, from my experience meeting him, and thus, this is an opportunity to establish the LAW, the STATE law, and it does NOT take a Federal Law to make it legal, that is hogwash, as only interstate transportation of Cannabis across state lines applies to federal law. PERIOD!Don't be fooled by the FED VS. STATE bull-crap!Let's not go there folks, as STATE LAW prevails, and the FEDS have no business, nor do they intervene, unless ordered to do so at the top, always for PURE political considerations.Enough of my rant. I'm looking forward to tomorrows developments!Happy Labor day FOM and all!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by Hope on August 29, 2007 at 21:36:08 PT
comment 4
was also about comment 1.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Hope on August 29, 2007 at 21:35:19 PT
" ..they cannot prove serious harm." 
Is the DEA taunting the farmers?
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Hope on August 29, 2007 at 21:32:13 PT
Comment 1 ......  Rick Steves
Thank you.And thank you, Ekim, for passing on that good word.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by afterburner on August 29, 2007 at 20:25:29 PT
Good Example
CN BC: PUB LTE: A Million Joints Don't Justify Raids, Victoria Times-Colonist, (28 Aug 2007)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by ekim on August 29, 2007 at 19:18:48 PT
use task force money for new jobs for industry 
In what European country do people smoke more marijuana, per capita, than in the U.S.? No, it's not Holland, it's the Czech Republic. Travel writer Rick Steves threw that surprising fact into his talk Sunday at the Seattle Hempfest. He had just come back from two months in Europe where, he said, "a joint causes as much excitement as a can of beer. It's just not a big deal." Steves lives in nearby Edmond, WA, from whence he runs his flourishing guidebook business. Is there any public figure in America who risks more, careerwise, by openly challenging the marijuana prohibition? "I've got to be careful not to overplay my hand," he said, "but everybody in public television knows what I'm doing and they're with me." Rick Steves for Secretary of State! GOVERNMENT WANTS INDUSTRIAL HEMP LAWSUIT THROWN OUT
The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two North Dakota farmers who applied to the Drug Enforcement Administration for permission to grow industrial hemp. The motion filed this week in federal court in Fargo says federal law does not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana, which can cause mood changes when smoked or eaten. It also says Dave Monson, a state legislator who farms near Osnabrock, and Wayne Hauge, a farmer from Ray in northwestern North Dakota, do not have a case because the DEA has not finished reviewing their applications and they cannot prove serious harm.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment