Medical Marijuana Payback Burns Colorado Police

Medical Marijuana Payback Burns Colorado Police
Posted by CN Staff on January 09, 2008 at 08:15:05 PT
By Emil Steiner, Off Beat News
Source: Washington Post
Colorado -- Policing pot in Colorado is about to get a lot more complicated. The kick-in-the-door raids SWAT teams have long employed could now cost cities hundreds of thousands of dollars following two landmark court decisions upholding the state's constitutional protection of medical marijuana. Under the rulings, police departments are required to return any marijuana and paraphernalia taken from state-sanctioned growers, and can be sued by those growers if the crops aren't preserved.
The largest case thus far involves Kevin Dickes, who intends to sue the Denver suburb of Aurora for over $360,000 in pot damages. It comes less than a month after a judge ordered the return of an estimated $200,000 of medical marijuana to a couple in Fort Collins.Dickes, a 38-year-old Desert Shield Marine who suffers from debilitating pain after catching grenade shrapnel in the Gulf, says he was treated worse by Colorado police than by anyone in Iraq. In April, 2007 officers raided his home after receiving a tip from a neighbor and, according to his lawyer Robert J. Corry Jr., threw the disabled veteran to the ground, held him at gunpoint and ransacked his home. They found 71 marijuana plants, at least 65 of which they confiscated illegally, and they charged Dickes with felony cultivation. After eight months of legal wrangling, the Arapahoe County district attorney dismissed the charges, determining that Dickes was in fact a certified grower. But, by then, his plants were long dead.Thanks to a referendum passed in 2000, Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Colorado State Constitution stipulates that "any property... used in connection with the medical use of marijuana... shall not be harmed, neglected, injured, or destroyed while in the possession of state or local law enforcement officials." Not being equipped with the growroom or know-how to maintain them, Aurora police simply uprooted the plants and threw them in the evidence room. Det. Shannon Lucy, an Aurora police spokesperson, illustrated her department's cultivation ignorance, explaining that they kept only the leaves, which she called the "only thing of value," not the buds in which most of the active ingredient, THC, resides.After obtaining a court order, Dickes attempted to pick up his property yesterday afternoon from the Aurora police department. According to Corry though, what the police returned was "dry and useless." Of the 71 plants, only an estimated 3 ounces remained, none of which were usable "from a medical perspective." He compared the incident to police seizing a person's car which they believed was stolen, "smashing the windows, pouring sugar in the gas tank, and then returning it," after discovering it wasn't stolen after all. Applying this general principle of law it seems natural to seek compensation and using the DEA standards for marijuana valuation, ($5,200/plant) Dickes will seek $369,200 in lost medicine.Aurora Police Chief Daniel J. Oates, called that sum "absurd" and disputed the quantity of marijuana seized. He claims that at no point during the April 27th raid did Dickes inform police that he had a permit, though he also admitted that officers did not ask if he had one. It was only after Dickes was removed from the scene that a permit was found. "Frustrated" by the negative press over the incident, Chief Oates stressed to me that police immediately stopped their search when a permit was located, and got on the phone with a senior prosecutor who instructed them to leave 6 plants and all the grow equipment. Nonetheless Dickes was held and charged even after the permit was uncovered.Despite the district attorney's dismissal and subsequent court order for return of the marijuana, Oates believes his officers acted correctly and finds the idea of compensating medical marijuana growers to be "absurd." And while refusing to give examples on the record, he further asserted that the "current process for medical marijuana certification could easily be abused by people who want to grow it illegally." If compensation becomes the status quo, he argued "it is going to place more and more departments in a dilemma" that conflicts state and Federal law.Medical marijuana advocates disagree, stating that Colorado police are charged with upholding Colorado law and not federal law. "He is just saying the law is inconvenient," says Corry who also points out that Oxycontin laws can be abused, but that it is still a medicine that is legally prescribed to patients. Colorado voters decided in 2000 to protect patients who use marijuana as medicine, not those who use it recreationally. "Police take an oath to protect the law, you don't get to pick and choose which laws to follow."Dickes plans on filing his suit later this month. If he wins it will be the single biggest payout for the illegal seizure of marijuana, and may open the door for other cash strapped cities to be sued for tactics which elsewhere are a common part of drug enforcement. Whether such a historic payback will motivate police to change their policies for raiding grow houses or motivate Colorado citizens to reexamine their constitution remains to be seen. For now, though, it appears that Centennial State Constitution is a pot farmer's best bud.Note: Aurora Pot Grower Blazes New Legal Trail.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:   Emil Steiner, Off Beat NewsPublished: January 9, 2008Copyright: 2008 Washington Post URL: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles: Dropped Charges in Pot Case Called Huge Victory Voters Want Medical Marijuana Accessible
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Comment #40 posted by afterburner on January 11, 2008 at 10:49:59 PT
Obviously, Hamilton LEOs not Using Inflated DEA $s
Big yield from Stoney Creek pot bust
2008/01/10 (Jan 10, 2008) - A police raid on an upper Stoney Creek home has netted $185,000 worth of marijuana. Excerpt: "Police found 180 marijuana plants being grown inside the residence They also found three large baggies containing 560 grams of processed pot."Cannabis, still cheaper in Canada!
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Comment #39 posted by John Tyler on January 10, 2008 at 19:56:39 PT
rich jerk
When I saw Mitt Romney talking on TV the other night he really impressed me as a super rich elitist who has no clue as to what life is like on the other side of the country club fence. 
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Comment #38 posted by runruff on January 10, 2008 at 17:27:19 PT:
DEA, yech!
A free nation does not need a DEA. DEA agents should be doing work more suited to their abilities like pumping gas [or hemp seed oil] or moping floors.Nixon put this gang of thugs together. What do you expect?DEA is just another acronym for SS or gestapo."Is not a rose by any other name still a rose?"-Shakespeare"Is not a turd in the punch bowl by any other name still a turd in the punch bowl?"-Runruff
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Comment #37 posted by RevrayGreen on January 10, 2008 at 16:08:44 PT
I agree, these Colorado cases will roll a boulder over court decisions past and present. The day the DEA can focus their attention to deadly street drugs like coke,heroin,meth........will be a good day........
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Comment #36 posted by runruff on January 10, 2008 at 10:05:24 PT:
The ripple effect!
If this theory of physics is correct and the world is as a pond, then we should expect a ripple effect from each and every action that takes place each time a pebble is tossed into our litte blue wanderer. This thing in Colorado will have the effect of something a little larger than a pebble I believe. This is huge!Also your are right. "payback is a bitch!" It is so nice to see these morons choke on their own lies. The DEA,as well as the prosecutor in court, told me that I was being charged with my clones as if each clone were 2.2 pounds because that is the weight they expected each clone will become. They knew that was wildly over estamated.They actually repeated these lies to my face with a smirk.
They knew I knew better but they were smirking because they knew also that there was nothing I could about it and the court would rule on their side. Everything they say in court is gospel.My wife calls them football brains because they treat justice like some kind of sport. A competition where all the biggest players are on their side and they can't lose.Can you see the bully attitude in them? Honestly, it is a big game with them where they see themselves a the "good guys" and people who endeavor to live without paying their taxes and grow the MARIJUANA are the "bad guys." Of course the dicotomy in their reaasoning is that it is ok for them and those who belong to the "good guy" club to confiscate and sell illegal drugs. Even to import them and to maintain safe houses Where they profit from grow operations. It is really an us against them attitude.
No different from Hitlers Gestapo.The DEA are an elitist, psycopathic, bane on society.Nixon's little gift that just keeps on giving.
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Comment #35 posted by Patrick on January 10, 2008 at 09:49:09 PT
Speaking of finding jobs...
There is something inherently wrong with a system that lets someone spend over ten million dollars in just one State to obtain a $400,000 a year job. Between both parties to date they have spent well over $40 million dollars to get this job. If that’s not the definition corruption I am not sure what is? Yet we as country gobble up the news about who is in the lead daily and anxiously wait for Super Tuesday. Just seems like a lot of money to spend to maybe get a BJ in the White House hallway or join the Air Force One mile high club.The candidates will be throwing a spending millions of dollars orgy party over the next couple of weeks. Yep, it is officially folks the corrupted news network polls indicate vote for the man or woman who can spend the most competition is officially in full swing. My next president will have a fake smile, slick wardrobe and the ability to spend money over tall buildings no matter who they party with. It’s Super President, solving all the world’s problems in a single spending spree! Of course after the election nothing much will change no matter who gets elected to grand Super P-dog because they have the Congress Critters to keep them in check? Four more years from now the loosing side in this current Monster Job Search can start spending millions of dollars all over again to tell us we “need change” yet again. Been hearing that tired line for 40 years. But hey don’t I look good on the podium waving and smiling, and rallying my constituents on to victory and $400,000 a year with health and security for life. Amen.I have been an independent since my first vote at 18. I always wanted to be free to vote for the best person for the job regardless of party affiliation. Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. We just seem to flip it every four years and like a football coin toss the game remains the same we just switch field position. 
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Comment #34 posted by BGreen on January 10, 2008 at 04:13:18 PT
Let's be fair, OK?
Commonsense is absolutely correct. The same federal sentencing guidelines need to be applied to the cops as well as the growers.That little sprouted seedling will eventually grow into a plant that weighs 2.2 pounds, according to the unfair and unrealistic guidelines enforced by the DEA, and local and state police (when they turn over any case to the feds,) so they need to get a taste of their own irrational "logic."The truth has never been a part of cannabis prohibition, but at some point the truth will become so obvious that it will be impossible to ignore. That time appears to to be now, at least in Colorado.I think the only fair punishment for law enforcement and prosecutors would be draconian jail sentences, locking them up with murderers and rapists in the same maximum security prisons in which they've been so quick to place otherwise innocent and non-violent gardeners.How are these cops and prosecutors going to learn their lesson if they aren't terrorized in the only way they've shown they know how to treat others for cannabis?Forty or more masked mercenaries bursting through their doors screaming, cussing and pointing machine guns at their little law enforcement heads for a God-given plant is poetic justice, don't you think?"GET ON THE GROUND, YOU WORTHLESS SCUM! IF YOU SO MUCH AS TWITCH YOU'RE GETTING IT RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES!"How much do you want to bet that the most evil of the Colorado law enforcement will be trying to find their sorry asses a new job in a different state?The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #33 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 10, 2008 at 00:20:32 PT
Easy Money
Let's send a strong message. Set up a grow operation in Colorado and then have someone tip the police. When they enter with SWAT show your Medical Marijuana documents and then sue them for damages. That should keep them busy serving their community. If you'r lucky, might even get a few police chiefs fired. We need more busts on both sides to achieve justice system failure. In the mean time, I think I'll some another joint. Click! LOL
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 19:59:20 PT
Yup Ken Romney! LOL! Glad you liked Prairie Town. I just love it. I can be really uptight and it calms me down.
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Comment #31 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 19:44:53 PT:
LoL yea I did
Now he's officially Ken Romney to me :PHey that was a really good song FoM. Very soothing. That ones not leaving my head for a while I can already tell. lolThanks
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 19:38:07 PT
Incase Anyone Else Wants To Hear Prairie Town
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 19:35:24 PT
Glad you liked it. You'll never see Romney quite the same way now! LOL!I'm watching and listening to Prairie Town. That song can soothe my anxious soul.
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Comment #28 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 19:20:53 PT:
All logic points to your idea. But these "Drug Warriors" are totally obsessed with being in power. They are full of greed with no compassion or reason. They like to be able to look down on other people.Some day things will change. 
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Comment #27 posted by mykeyb420 on January 09, 2008 at 19:08:38 PT
Just to be on the safe side,,why not go after any pot at all,,just focus on crack, heroin, speed, etc,,there is no such thing as medical crack,,,
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Comment #26 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 19:08:10 PT:
Plastic AND Fake hehe
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 19:04:27 PT
He also seems to be made of plastic! LOL! I couldn't resist.
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Comment #24 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 19:02:24 PT:
He does look like one FoM
But a pretty creepy looking one if you ask me ;)
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Comment #23 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 18:59:39 PT:
I never get sick of hearing
that 911 call. lolThanks for the quick laugh runruff.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 18:57:20 PT
That was really an out there story. It made us laugh.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 18:56:01 PT
That was good. There is something about Romney that reminds me of a Ken Doll. 
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Comment #20 posted by runruff on January 09, 2008 at 18:26:07 PT:
Hey kids!
Have you had your giggles for today?Have a look at this video. It'll make your day.
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Comment #19 posted by fight_4_freedom on January 09, 2008 at 18:00:38 PT:
but not funny video on MPP's myspace. It's about the candidates ignoring the medical marijuana issue.
Run Mit Run
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Comment #18 posted by Commonsense on January 09, 2008 at 14:01:33 PT
Where I said, "that these plants _would_ have produced a pound each" I should have said _would not_. You can have plants packed in nine per square foot where they'll only produce three or four grams a piece maybe or whatever and the government will still estimate that each plant will produce a pound worth thousands and thousands of dollars. 
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Comment #17 posted by Commonsense on January 09, 2008 at 13:57:33 PT
This is rich...
"Applying this general principle of law it seems natural to seek compensation and using the DEA standards for marijuana valuation, ($5,200/plant) Dickes will seek $369,200 in lost medicine.Aurora Police Chief Daniel J. Oates, called that sum "absurd" and disputed the quantity of marijuana seized. "I love this. This fellow seeking damages is using the DEA's inflated standards for the value of each plant. The police are coming back saying these numbers are ridiculous. Usually it's the cops who are inflating the value of drugs they seize. Now they're going to have to argue that these plants weren't worth nearly that, that these plants would have actually produced a pound each, etc. What exactly are they going to say about the way the DEA comes up with their inflated estimates of the value of seized pot plants? 
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 12:03:59 PT
I remember the picture of the Nuns flashing the Peace Sign in the movie of Woodstock. I remember being drawn to people who played a guitar and sang songs of praise and they had long hair too. I had never smoked marijuana and it still was very interesting for me. They were called Jesus Freaks. Since I was Catholic the Nuns at Woodstock really impressed me. If fundamentalists control the government they will make laws to make their followers not break the law (sin) and help keep them in the church because more people means more money in collections. I asked a question on Obama's blog this morning about how the polls could have been so wrong. I thought maybe Republicans decided to vote for Clinton because they feel they could beat her and they didn't have any strong candidates so they need someone easy to beat in November. A person answered me with this link.
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Comment #15 posted by sam adams on January 09, 2008 at 11:48:27 PT
notice I said "fundamentalist" Christians - there's nothing wrong with religion of the other Christians IMO. I believe Quakers and Unitarian Universalists both count themselves as Christian religions.It's funny, back in the 70's the religious folks and the non-religious folks seemed to get along a lot better! Remember Jesus Christ Superstar? There were legions of hippie Christians in the 70's, it seems hard to believe now. Now that the Republicans have used religion to divide and conquer us.I was watching a special the other night, they were saying that Lee Atwater, Reagan's Karl Rove-type guy, was the one who really initiated all this. He realized Republicans could politicize religion (mostly with money) and use it to re-capture Southern voters. He was also the one who really made use of flagrant race-baiting to do the same thing.Having said all that, I am really hoping Obama can defeat Hilary! I really think a Hilary candidacy against a Republican will result in a loss and possibly send us deeper in the dark ages for another 4-8 years. Obama could be the one to rise above the Republican tactics. He is a very popular figure, they will go into overdrive circulated false rumors that he is Muslim and it could backfire badly on them.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 10:59:09 PT
I have a strong faith but I don't want a Theocracy because I value the opinions of those who don't think like me. I quit church back when Pat Robertson got involved in the Republican Party after he said that we will straighten out the moral decline of our Nation or words close to that. I knew that meant more laws on personal issues and jail for those who don't listen and that way they will make the USA a good place for Fundamentalists and that was so very wrong to me. Conservative means religious.
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on January 09, 2008 at 10:50:03 PT
me too
FOM you've articulated what most of us probably feel. I've been reading a lot about independents in the news and the independent movement becoming more influential in this election, that is a good for conservative, that word has totally been hijacked, like Jesus. It used to mean small government, now it seems to mean people that want to roll back the Social Revolution and go back to the dark ages of no divorce laws and illegal abortion and southern apartheid.It will be interesting to see who wins the southern primaries, hopefully this year will mark the wane of the influence of fundamentalist Christians over US politics.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 10:22:23 PT
I am an Independent because I don't believe the platform of either Party. I don't trust the system. I lean way more towards the Democrats then the Republicans though. I will vote for a Democrat this time. I am beginning to dislike the word Conservative since for me it means wanting a Theocracy and I don't want that. That isn't fair to those who don't have any particular religion.
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on January 09, 2008 at 10:09:50 PT
FOM & dobbs
No, I didn't mean that Democratic candidates must run as some sort of Buddhist monk with no money. I was making the same point that Dobbs was making; we can't expect much of a change from the federal govt of the last 10 years with a president from the current election system of big money. From either of 2 big parties.I see much of current Republican/Democrat politics as a big dog and pony show put on for us, the voting public, with both parties tending toward what I consider to be very conservative/Big Government positions.  They use the corporate, sensationalized media to foist their wedge issues on us and distract us, while doing nothing on important matters. Nothing expect for enriching the players and donors of the current status quo.They spend millions upon millions on attack ads, which have been proven to do nothing expect drive down voting participaton. Instead of feeling loyalty to a party, I see the world through specific issues. So I'm pretty pissed off, because on the 4-5 issues that matter to me, both the Dems and Republicans are batting 0 for 5.
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Comment #10 posted by dongenero on January 09, 2008 at 10:02:03 PT
Dobbs - makes some good points
He's pretty one sided, conservative Republican. I guess he's saying since the Dems run campaigns with money (nearly as much as the Repubs), that they can't be for change. The underlying intention for Lou being that this should lead you to vote Republican. (I know he would protest this assessment).I think his best comment in the article is this:
I still believe that these two political parties and the electoral process are part of the reason that our government simply doesn't work.Despite the real need for election reform, the system is what it is. If you are going to play, you have to play the game at hand. Election reform will not be happening before this election,(Look at who is in the White House). It's certain that Joe Blow independent with $10,000 or $100,000 backing him will not even be a blip on the radar.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 09:41:44 PT
Can't liberals have money? Are they suppose to be poor or something?
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Comment #8 posted by Sam adams on January 09, 2008 at 09:38:25 PT
speaking of politics
I don't know much about Lou dobbs, but I like this column on the NH primary:'s so right. Speaking of being liberal, how can we expect Hilary or Obama to act liberal after they've been paid hundreds of millions of dollars by the corporate/rich elite? He's got a point.This is going to be the most interesting primary season in decades, the race for each party could be up in the air for many weeks to come.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 09, 2008 at 09:36:08 PT
The Left
I really mind when people try to put liberals not libertarians in a box. I read the arguments from republicans in articles and they really are downer type people and have a lot of anger. Who do they think they are to be so uppity?
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on January 09, 2008 at 09:28:32 PT
okay Sam 
It just struck me as a pretty sweeping generalization of "the Left". It seemed a gratuitous stereotype for divisive effect. Sorry if I was mistaken there.Kinda like how we are all lazy stoners. "Left" is a big category that is often generalized in just that way by the Right and the prohibitionists and those who would like to take our rights away or keep them away as the case may be. Kind of the way the term "liberal" is disparaged.There are many individuals on the left working to support drug law reform. Probably more than there are on the right, media included. And thankfully there are many on the left who are also upset about Iraq and torture and how the war on terrorism has eroded our civil rights. 
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on January 09, 2008 at 09:07:08 PT
the Left
DG - I would classify myself as an hard-core liberal or leftist for sure. I guess I'm talking about "the establishment" of the left. The "liberal" media like the NY Times, Democratic party, etc.  Bill Clinton, who was portrayed to us as some kind of stoner liberal and then presided over the biggest increase in MJ enforcement in US history.I'm not trying to single out anyone. Just wondering why "the Left" abandoned civil rights after the early 70's. I don't think that should be insulting to anyone.
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Comment #4 posted by dongenero on January 09, 2008 at 08:56:56 PT
hey Sam, I'm Left
Not sure who you're trying to single out or why.I'm pissed about the idiocy of being in Irag, our country torturing people here and abroad, the loss of freedom and civil rights, and indeed the idiotic drug war.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on January 09, 2008 at 08:36:27 PT
Kudos to MPP or whoever put the language into Colorado's referendum that gives people legal rights and remedy against the police attacks. It shows that they ARE learning from the past - i.e., California.It's not enough to merely give people the legal right to grow their own medicine, you have to put some teeth into the law to defend against police attacks, because we know from California they will blatantly disregard the law at first.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on January 09, 2008 at 08:34:12 PT
Great headline, great article. Again we see the REAL drug war described in print, which is rare.Cops assaulting and robbing sick people, cops lying profusely, cops lying about the value of the drugs they stole. The war is right here at home folks, it has been all along. It's amazing to me how much the Left in the US gets all upset over torture in Iraq, and civil rights taken away in the name of terrorism, yet they've been almost silent for 30 years as our country turned into a militarized police state in the name of "drugs".This article is typical - torture, beatings, and murder in US prisons is routine:
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on January 09, 2008 at 08:26:39 PT
Ya gotta love this
It is really enjoyable seeing these prohibitionists squirm.
I sure hope this military veteran wins his case. Not only for his sake but for everyone's.I really get a kick out of applying the DEA's monetary valuation of plants to the lawsuit. Take their own malicious policy and beat them over the head with it. Brilliant!Colorado - leading the way!
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