cannabisnews.com: Feds Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep U.S. Off Grass





Feds Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep U.S. Off Grass
Posted by CN Staff on September 03, 2006 at 08:10:13 PT
Editorial
Source: Daily Camera
Colorado -- It's no great shock that agents in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration oppose the Colorado initiative that would legalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana. But it is surprising that the DEA feels duly entitled to wade into a state political debate. Amendment 44 on the statewide ballot would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults over 21. At present, possessing this amount of marijuana is a Class 2 petty offense in Colorado, punishable by a fine of up to $100. About 3,700 people were convicted of this offense last year.
It would still be illegal to grow the stuff, to sell it, to possess more than one ounce and to smoke it in public. And it would still be a crime to drive under the influence. Further, the drug would continue to be illegal under federal law. Amendment 44 is a matter of statewide concern, but one in which the feds surely have an interest. As the Camera reported last month, DEA agent Michael Moore has sent an e-mail soliciting help in finding a campaign manager to help defeat Amendment 44. Moore notes that the group has raised $10,000 to fight the initiative, and he asks those interested in helping to call him at his DEA office. The e-mail, which was sent from a private account, lists his work phone number and government e-mail address. Under Colorado law, state workers may not may not campaign for or against any ballot issue or candidate on the job, and they may not use public resources such as government phone lines and e-mail accounts for political advocacy. But federal law gives greater leeway for federal employees. The Hatch Act of 1939 bars employees from campaigning in partisan politics, but allows them to campaign for or against non-partisan ballot issues. It also prohibits federal employees from using "his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election." A federal agent who uses the imprimatur of his office ó and his government phone number and e-mail address ó to solicit help in defeating a state ballot issue would be apparently violating the rule against using "official authority" to affect an election. But there are exceptions to the rule, and the DEA appears to be exploiting one. Jeff Sweetin, the special agent in charge of the DEA's Denver office, told the Camera that voters are entitled to change drug laws. At the same time, he argued, the DEA is entitled to inform people that marijuana should remain an illegal drug. "My mantra has been, 'If Americans use the democratic process to make change, we're in favor of that," he said. "We're in favor of the democratic process. But as a caveat, we're in favor of it working based on all the facts. ... "The American taxpayer does have a right to have the people they've paid to become experts in this business tell them what this is going to do," he said. "They should benefit from this expertise." That argument would be more compelling if it were more germane. No one argues that Agent Moore, Special Agent Sweetin should not express their expert opinions on Amendment 44. That is their right under federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The question is whether it is proper for a federal worker to invoke his employer's name and use a government phone line and e-mail account to try to defeat a citizen initiative. And the answer is "no."Complete Title: Drug Election Agency: Feds Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep U.S. Off The GrassNewshawk: MayanSource: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)Published: September 3, 2006Copyright: 2006 The Daily CameraWebsite: http://www.dailycamera.com/Contact: openforum dailycamera.comRelated Articles & Web Site:Safer Choicehttp://www.saferchoice.org/DEA Should Butt Out of State Ballot Debate http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22122.shtmlDEA Education vs. Lobbyinghttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22118.shtmlDenver DEA Rep: Don't Legalize Ithttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread22107.shtml 
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Comment #14 posted by OverwhelmSam on September 04, 2006 at 05:05:55 PT
Just Because It's Legal
Doesn't make it moral, ethical or even the right thing to do. Lying to the citizens of Colorado to influence them to vote for the federal governments position in immoral, unethical and just the wrong thing to do. The government is the People's servant, and we are their master.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on September 03, 2006 at 20:45:27 PT
GWC?
Of course I meant GCW...The Green Collar Worker.
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Comment #12 posted by legalizeit on September 03, 2006 at 18:23:29 PT
GCW
I wouldn't even go as far as to say that they are experts on prohibition, when you look at what a despicable failure prohibition has been.The neocons and big business interests have this country down about as far on its knees as it can be. Now this week we get 9/11 shoved in our faces again, and the necons will be gloating and using it to every political advantage (which makes one even more suspicious about who orchestrated the attacks in the first place.) We can only hope for better times ahead, starting with a favorable outcome in the mid-term elections followed by impeachment proceedings for all members of the current MIS-administration."Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on September 03, 2006 at 17:43:37 PT
Whew! GWC!
Absolutely right on!
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on September 03, 2006 at 16:03:38 PT
Jumbo shrimp; DEA facts.
Itís odd, Jeff Sweetin, representing the Drug Enforcement Administrationís was quoted, using the term "FACTS."Which ďfactĒ are Jeff Sweetin, representing the Drug Enforcement Administration goint to use to influence Colorado voters not to vote for Coloradoís initiative 44 which will allow adults to possess up to an ounce of cannabis / marijuana?Is it the fact that cannabis causes cancer, even though there has never been a dead body to show for it? Cannabis is addictive, even though it is less addictive than coffee? It sends the wrong message to youth, even though this isnít about children; itís about adults not being caged for using the plant. Cannabis is stronger today, even though hard alcohol overpowers it 100 to 1? How about, itís the devil weed, even though the devil never had powers of creation; no, thatís not true, since God said He created all the seed bearing plants on the 1st page of the Bible. Are they still going to claim cannabis leads to harder drugs; even though government studies discredited that one years ago? Will they expose how the black market puts cannabis users in contact with people that sell hard drugs? Will nationís drug Czar point out again how youth couseling for marijuana addition is leading the country in drug related problems with out mentioning how the government is responsible for that statistic by forcing every youth caught with any amount of cannabis to that rigermerole??? Are the Fedís goint to direct Us to how they unfairly prohibited cannabis / hemp to begin with? Will they divulge what percentage of their income is durived from caging humans for using the God-given plant? Can they be trusted in explaining how exterminating cannabis / hemp will benefit earth and its inhabitants, including every living creature other than just Us? Will they deny cannabisí ability medically, even though citizens swear by it around the globe and have used it medicinally for over 5,000 years of documented use? Are they going to remind Coloradans how much they spend on cannabis prohibition and show how it cuts against the grain of conservative and smaller government power? Are they going to attempt to convince Us they donít jail people for having cannabis, when there are people in jail to argue that fact because of a second or 3rd offence of simple possession? Will they expose how often it is used to revoke bail, probation or perole? Is the government going to explain how they funded studies to prove it causes cancer and instead they found it help reduce the risk of cancer; relieves cancer and will help people keep from getting cancer to begin with? Will they hide their goal and attempts to cage every car driver that has any minute week old trace of Tetrahydracannabinol (THC) in their body whether or not they are impaired while behind the wheel? Will this arm of law enforcement testify how cannabis users tend to be peacuful rather than rambunction compared to alcohol and do they comprehend this initiative is about giving people a choice instead of using alcohol? Is it going to be explained how the Constitution has been eroded to uphold cannabis prohibition? Are they going to admit the US government has known for years that cannabis has medicinal qualities and that government has done everything in its power to prevent citizens from knowing this? Is the DEA going to offer the stats which show how minorities are effected by this witch hunt? Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) has plenty of facts, will they be invited to the party?  Fiscal responsiblilty doesnít come with buiÖ (unedited...)The rationale behind cannabis prohibition is and always has been based on lies; everything the DEA says about cannabis is suspect and should be researched.The Feds have avioded a public debate about cannabis for years, will they refuse still?The DEA and the Federal government is the last place to get 'facts' about cannabis. They are experts on prohibition, not cannabis.Fact is, re-legalizing cannabis is past due.420Military Intelligencecompassionate conservative Tax ReturnHead ButtPeace ForceLiving DeadSame DifferenceAlone TogetherPretty UglyDEA facts.420The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #9 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 11:12:48 PT
in the meantime
We can rage in warNever understanding our individual handIn this worldCannabis is a Healthy and Wholesome Food It has properties that Frighten the ExpertsIt Can heal youBring You to the Face of JesusBring You To EternityYour Eternal PlaceYour HandYour VoteGo Colorado
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Comment #8 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 10:51:53 PT
when you can "receive"
all the bloodied flesh in Christendomall those Human Beings in PrisonsPrepare your soulfor this world is so full with mysteries
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Comment #7 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 10:43:53 PT
re: slumbering hearts
Eternity is ForeverCast your voteWatch your HandJustice and TruthHonor and LoveGentelness HumanityWe' have all the equipment to answer back this universeWith Open HandWith Eyes Wide Open
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 03, 2006 at 10:35:36 PT
global_warming 
All we need to make it happen is faith. That's what will make it happen I think. Let that slumbering heart wake up.
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Comment #5 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 10:31:48 PT
Hallelujah
Can we end the crucifixions?Glory To God
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 03, 2006 at 10:25:09 PT
global_warming 
I feel change in the air. I feel liberty is close to being born again. I believe people's hearts are waking up to how wrong the direction we have been going is. I have never lost faith in the heart of humanity. It's in there. It just needs to come out for the world to see.
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Comment #3 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 10:20:33 PT
it IS Elect-Tricity
Cann't you feel it?Through your mortal bones, Tell me over and over again,How I Am Supposed to Be,
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 09:49:18 PT
To The Good People of Colorado
Your voice is heard throughout the Land,Across the wire, satellites in orbit are affirming your place on this planet, thank you Mason and the good people at SAFER.
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on September 03, 2006 at 09:32:19 PT
re: Feds Shouldn't Use Offices..
Feds Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep U.S. Off Grass, your damn right, let the people decide, in this America.
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