Feds Accused of Meddling To Prevent Law Reform

Feds Accused of Meddling To Prevent Law Reform
Posted by CN Staff on September 11, 2006 at 13:18:31 PT
By Kari Lydersen 
Source: NewStandard
New York -- Sept. 11 – Critics are questioning the US Drug Enforcement Administration's operations in Colorado, where they say the agency is overstepping its authority by actively campaigning against a ballot initiative that could legalize marijuana possession.A pro-legalization group that helped put the initiative on Colorado's November ballot says the DEA is using taxpayer money in an attempt to influence laws, rather than enforce them. 
As evidence, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) points to an August 8 e-mail searching for a campaign director to spend $10,000 fighting the legalization initiative and listing a local DEA agent as the contact. The initiative, known as "Amendment 44," would allow anyone over the age of 20 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.Jeffrey Sweetin, who heads Denver's DEA, says the affair is a misunderstanding. He told The NewStandard the e-mail was circulated by a private individual who listed agent Michael Moore's name and contact information without notifying Moore. According to Sweetin, the DEA was involved in an "informational" campaign called the Colorado Marijuana Information Committee, but the agency pulled out after the Committee became a political organization and started fundraising. Sweetin said a member of the Committee sent the e-mail after the DEA resigned as an official participant. He said the agency still provides research upon request to the Committee. "The DEA does get money to educate the public," Sweetin said. "But is the DEA campaigning to battle this initiative? No."Initial Colorado media reports about the e-mail described it as coming directly from Agent Moore, and local papers including the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News and the Aurora Sentinel published editorials criticizing the DEA's alleged actions. Sweetin said the editorials were based on misinformation since, he says, the e-mail was sent by a "concerned citizen" and not by Moore. "The person who wrote that e-mail was probably confused and thought the DEA was still involved in the Committee," Sweetin said. A copy of the e-mail obtained by TNS showed Moore's contact information but not the originating address of the e-mail. Boulder Daily Camera reporter Ryan Morgan, who broke the story, could not be reached for comment. Moore was also not available to comment.Critics say the DEA's possible intervention in legislative issues is notable because the agency is charged with enforcing laws, not influencing their creation."It's clearly inappropriate for the executive branch of the federal government to be spending taxpayer dollars to oppose a statewide ballot initiative," said Steve Fox, executive director of SAFER. "The federal government shouldn't be involved in statewide elections."There is no evidence that the $10,000 advertised in the e-mail comes directly from the DEA budget, and Sweetin said it was donated by private individuals. But critics of the DEA noted the agency did commit staff time and resources to the organization running the campaign. There is no question the agency was involved in starting the Committee, which is now formally opposing Amendment 44.Sweetin said the DEA has not been campaigning against Amendment 44, but rather providing information to the public about what the agency sees as the dangers of marijuana. He says the informational campaign was launched to counter what he describes as a misleading ad campaign by SAFER in favor of the ballot initiative. SAFER's campaign claims that legalization is a matter of making alcohol and marijuana regulation equitable.Meanwhile, advocates for drug-policy reform say the federal government's involvement in state debates over marijuana legalization is not limited to Colorado. They cite visits by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters and his staff to various states considering medical marijuana or marijuana de-criminalization initiatives. In August, Walters spoke out in Nevada against a ballot initiative similar to Colorado's, which would legalize, regulate and tax the possession of marijuana for adults 21 and older."[Federal Agencies] seem to have decided that it's their job to make the laws, not only enforce the laws," said Bruce Mirken, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, a national organization that led the drive to collect 86,000 signatures to put the Nevada measure on the state ballot. "That's not the way it should be in a democracy, they should be letting the public decide and enforcing what the voters choose."Fox of SAFER thinks the situation in Colorado is particularly disturbing since it is the DEA – rather than the White House – that has been most vocal in the debate over the legalization initiative. He thinks that even what the DEA has termed "public education" goes beyond a pure law-enforcement approach. "Typically, the [White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy] is a little more of an advocacy arm," he said. "I'm not defending them, but their mission is to fight drug abuse in this country, whereas the DEA is purely a law-enforcement arm, which is supposed to enforce the laws as they are, not advocate for laws to be stronger or weaker or with different priorities on different drugs."Complete Title: Feds Accused of Meddling to Prevent State Drug Law ReformNote: Amid accusations that the US Drug Enforcement Administration is covertly opposing a Colorado initiative to legalize marijuana, questions have arisen over federal policy toward state drug laws.Source: NewStandard (NY)Author: Kari Lydersen Published: September 11, 2006Copyright: 2006 The NewStandardContact: ed-letters Website: Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Shouldn't Use Offices To Keep Off Grass Should Butt Out of State Ballot Debate Education vs. Lobbying
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Comment #9 posted by whig on September 12, 2006 at 21:25:38 PT
Had a commenter on cannablog just say something interesting. He suggested we'd start seeing the laws change when our side gives more money to the politicians than their side.Which is a point, I said. They've been buying elections a long time.
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Comment #8 posted by unkat27 on September 12, 2006 at 13:47:02 PT
DEA Investments, Inc...
"There is no question the agency was involved in starting the Committee, which is now formally opposing Amendment 44."That's how the piggies do it. They supply money and support to political groups while keeping those groups in power but deny that they use tax-payer money to support them. The AIPAC is doing the same thing and buying Congressional votes with money given to them by the US government, funds created by taxes. In the case of the DEA, the money could also be drug-money confiscated during one of the big busts.Think about it for a minute. According to government ethics, government workers and agents have very limited access to the kind of wealth that private sectors enjoy and whenever a government official begins to look like a wealthy millionaire, he or she is usually scrutinized and possibly subjected to an investigation by the IRS. This being the case, it is considered foolish for such officials to be openly flagrant about playing with big bucks the way that millionaires do. But does that negate the possibility that they have secret war-chests buried in their backyards and can simply sit on it until the time arrives for them to leave the government and join the private sector? For the DEA, drug-money is one of the biggest sources of income for their war-chests, because it is so easy to hide, deny, and misplace. The NYC cops in the 80s did it for years until they got too careless and were exposed. Now, finally, the DEA has become smart. They have learned how to play with drug-money without looking foolish. How? They create fronts like this one, private groups and orgs that are officially opposed to marijuana legalization, and they give the money to them while secretly overseeing all the actions such groups and orgs take. The drug-money they donate to such groups is immediately absorbed into the private sector and attributed to private donations by ordinary people who are opposed to marijauna legalization.Why do they do it? What's in it for them? Simple. As long as marijuana is illegal, they can continue to make big busts and confiscate everything, including property and money, from those in violation of their fascist laws of prohibition. By fronting such orgs, they are insuring a continual supply of wealth from the big busts.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on September 12, 2006 at 13:17:54 PT
Thank you. The article is posted now. I can't complain about the rain. We need it so my satellite is off a lot today but what refreshing and replenishing rain.
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Comment #6 posted by whig on September 12, 2006 at 12:05:45 PT
Thanks, I posted that:
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Comment #5 posted by global_warming on September 12, 2006 at 11:14:00 PT
That is some dirty list..
Seems like old Mason Tvert is having some problems in Colorado.. measure raises stink
Amendment 44 proponent disputes bluebook analysisCan't they get those election ballots right?
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Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on September 12, 2006 at 09:53:38 PT
Wayne Madsen Report
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on September 11, 2006 at 19:56:48 PT
Comment #2
Thanks for the post.That is the info voters need, simple and to the point.  Now maybe that list will grow to expose the filth of all the states.Thanks again.
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on September 11, 2006 at 16:05:27 PT
Countdown to November
Taken from the Wayne Madsen Report, September 11, 2006 	 November 7, 2006 -- THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIVESThese are the Democratic candidates we know, trust, and like. If you live in their districts or states, consider volunteering for their campaigns, donate whatever you can afford, and be sure to tell your family and friends about them. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESCalifornia 44th Congressional District -- Louis Vandenberg (running against the truly corrupt Republican Ken Calvert).Florida 6th Congressional District -- Dave Bruderly (running against George W. Bush yes-man Cliff Stearns).Florida 15th Congressional District -- Bob Bowman (running against Dave Weldon, the major Republican to have the Federal government intercede to keep Terry Schiavo on a feeding tube against the wishes of her husband).Florida 24th Congressional District -- Clint Curtis (he's the former Yang Enterprises, Inc. computer programmer who is running against the corrupt Tom Feeney, Yang's one-time chief lobbyist and corporate counsel (who, at the same time, was Speaker of the Florida House!) who asked Curtis to write a vote-flipping program. Curtis was also a friend of the murdered Florida Dept. of Transportation investigator Ray Lemme, who "knew too much" about money laundering and contract fraud in Jeb Bush's kleptocratic administration. House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers will need Curtis in his impeachment investigations of the Bush regime). This race is extremely important in the effort to shift "Mr. Conflicts of Interest" Feeney from the House of Representatives to a federal House of Corrections).Florida 25th Congressional District -- Michael Calderin (running against one of two GOP Bushbot brothers from Florida, Mario Diaz-Balart).Michigan 9th Congressional District -- Nancy Skinner (running against Joe Knollenberg, a NAFTA and free trade supporter who has screwed over his own working class constituents).Michigan 11th Congressional District -- Tony Trupiano (running against Thad McCotter, who likes to serenade George Bush with his country band -- and how sick is that?)Minnesota 2nd Congressional District -- Coleen Rowley, the former FBI agent who blew the whistle on Bush malfeasance in the investigation of 911 perpetrator Zacarias Moussaoui (running against John Kline, infested with campaign contributions from GOP crooks Tom DeLay and Duke Cunningham (now in prison)).Virginia 1st Congressional District -- Shawn O'Donnell, who is running against Bush lap dog Jo Ann Davis. Davis is the brain who figured out the best way to pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery was to cut off funding for Medicare, Medicaid, and school lunches to the very hurricane victims who needed the assistance the most.SENATENew York -- Jonathan Tasini -- running against Hillary Clinton (who supports Bush's war in Iraq). Democratic primary Sept. 12.Virginia -- Jim Webb -- running against the virulent racist Republican George Allen. As a Virginia resident, I don't want "Grand Wizard" Allen representing me or my interests.There are many other Democratic candidates we heartily endorse. We will post links to their web sites as we are informed about them at wmreditor  [And that did not take long! Here are others we've heard from. If you live in their districts or nearby, consider volunteering for them and reaching deep for the unfortunately all-important $$$ donations (a necessary evil until we can get "public financing only" for elections)]:California 49th Congressional District -- Jeeni Criscenzo -- running against California gubernatorial recall architect and car thief-turned-car burglar alarm salesman Darrell Issa. Criscenco just traveled to Jordan to talk to Iraqi Parliament members. And you know what they told her? They want our troops out of Iraq!►California Governor -- Phil Angelides -- running against the boorish, racist Austrian obergrüppenführer Arnold Schwarzenegger. The gropernator's last outrage is a truly George Allenesque "macaca" moment. Schwarzenegger was caught on tape telling advisers, "I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot . . . They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it." So, according to Mr. Racial Purity, African and Latino blood equals promiscuity. California is way too sophisticated to have this oaf as its governor, regardless of what a few Hollywood "limousine liberal" billionaires, who should know better, think.Florida 10th Congressional District -- Samm Simpson from my mom's hometown of Dunedin -- running against C.W. Bill Young, who's been hanging around the House too damned long as a GOP lackey for Richard Nixon, Jerry Ford, Ronald Reagan, Poppy Bush, and now, Little Lord Busheroy. This race is important! Simpson wants to fully investigate Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers will need her support during the House Impeachment hearings.Illinois 6th Congressional District -- Tammy Duckworth -- a wounded Iraq war vet who has the courage to call the Republicans on their hypocrisy about the war and other issues. Duckworth is running against another rubber-stamp Republican for Bush -- Peter Roskam -- who still believes in Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.Iowa Governor -- Chet Culver -- running against Newt Gingrich and neo-con architect Jim Nussle. A senseless whiner about "family values," Nussle allegedly carried on an affair with a staffer for GOP Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot's while Nussle's wife took care of their learning-disabled son in Iowa. How nice for a guy who served as Newt's "Contract for [on] America" hit man. Gingrich, of course, divorced two of his wives after they became ill.New York 19th Congressional District -- John Hall -- running against Sue Kelly, someone who has been a shameless rubber stamp for the Bush-Cheney cabal.Virginia 11th Congressional District -- Andrew Hurst -- running against the DeLay- and Abramoff-tainted Tom Davis. Davis, whose Fairfax County "GOP family values" bed hopping antics are well-known to his constituents, is considered a "moderate" in the GOP. However, he consorts with out-and-out racists like George Allen, A win for Andy Hurst and Jim Webb will send a powerful message to the neo-Confederate Virginia Republican Party and deprive the GOP of two skanky Virginia Republicans.Ed. note: Some readers have sent e-mail to me complaining why I don't give equal time to the GOP. "GOP supporters . . . this is Mission Control in Houston . . . I am a Democrat. I do not like Republicans because I do not like religious nuts and crooks. This is not the Fox News web site. This is a pro-Democratic and progressive web site. We welcome the GOP converted but do not entertain propagating GOP talking points when the Republican Party has the corporate media to do that for them."
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Comment #1 posted by freewillks on September 11, 2006 at 15:52:33 PT
Story still does not jive.
Then why did Agent Sweetin deny the $10,000 after telling the press that it came from agents personal accounts. Now he says that they resigned from the group prior to the email, and did not take part in fundraising. He must think everyone smokes dope. Does he change his story in court to get convictions too?
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