War on Medical Marijuana Becomes a War on Children

War on Medical Marijuana Becomes a War on Children
Posted by CN Staff on September 25, 2007 at 06:57:07 PT
By Dan Bernath, AlterNet
Source: AlterNet
California -- Automatic weapons. Check. Helicopters. Check. Dogs. Check. Bulletproof vests. Check.You may not buy the government's characterization of its campaign against medical marijuana patients as a "war on drugs," but increasingly violent, militaristic tactics in recent months offer a troubling glimpse into the federal law enforcement community's mentality: To them, this is war.
Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California on July 17 by federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, often with local law enforcement officers in tow, seemed designed to send a clear signal that the feds were deliberately escalating their war on medical marijuana patients.The enemy, then, are people like Ronnie Naulls, a Riverside medical marijuana patient who owned two of the dispensaries raided that day.A church-going family man who used medical marijuana to ease chronic pain from injuries sustained in a 2001 car accident, Naulls already had two successful businesses -- one as an IT consultant and another as a real estate property manager -- when he established the Healing Nations Collective to save fellow Corona patients the hours-long drive to Los Angeles for medicine.By all accounts, Naulls ran his collectives with exemplary scrupulousness. He maintained strict dress codes and professional standards for all employees. He paid state taxes on the dispensaries -- amounting to several hundred thousand dollars a year -- even when loose tax regulations allowed other dispensary owners to slip through the cracks. Profits from the dispensaries went to local and national cancer organizations.Nevertheless, at 5:50 a.m., July 17, Naulls' home and businesses were invaded by DEA agents armed with shotguns, automatic rifles -- even helicopters. They seized everything he owned: his businesses, his property, all of his accounts.But that wasn't the worst of it. County child protective services came along on the raid and took Naulls' three daughters, aged 1 to 5, and charged him and his wife with child endangerment. They weren't even accused of breaking any state laws.When Naulls spoke to his children in their foster home, the oldest said, "Daddy, we're ready to come home now. We promise to be good."Of course they were too young to understand that they were victims of the strong-arm tactics of drug warriors whose goal was probably to make Naulls regret helping fellow patients receive their medicine in a safe, compassionate environment. Who cares if that means ruining a family financially, imprisoning the parents and traumatizing the children?Federal drug warriors have shown no sign of letting up since then, as dispensary raids have continued steadily in California and Oregon. The DEA has even found creative ways to open new fronts in its war by threatening to go after landlords who lease property to licensed dispensaries.But why now? Why risk provoking the American public's outrage by escalating its war on medical marijuana patients? Here's one possible explanation: They're losing, and they know it.While federal law enforcement agencies are busy wasting time and money harassing innocent citizens like Naulls and his family, the rest of the country shows increasing impatience with the government's bullying tactics.In fact, thanks in large part to the efforts of MPP's Granite Staters for Medical Marijuana, every single Democratic presidential candidate has come out against federal intrusion in medical marijuana states. Two Republican candidates, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo, have also voiced strong support for the rights of states to establish medical marijuana laws.These candidates understand that the vast majority of Americans oppose the federal government's war on medical marijuana patients.Then again, if the late comedian Bill Hicks was right when he said a war means two armies fighting each other, then this was never really a war, anyway. After all, the ranks of suffering Americans, though large, are hardly an imposing threat to the well-equipped federal forces bent on their destruction.Instead of calling it a war, perhaps there's a more accurate phrase to describe what we've witnessed from federal law enforcement this summer. How does "pogrom on medical marijuana patients" sound? Complete Title: The Federal War on Medical Marijuana Becomes a War on ChildrenDan Bernath is the Marijuana Policy Project's assistant director of communications, http://www.mpp.orgNewshawk: PotpalSource: AlterNet (US)Author:  Dan Bernath, AlterNetPublished: September 25, 2007Copyright: 2007 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on September 27, 2007 at 14:20:55 PT:
I've been saying for years.
It is not that the DEA takes the war on cannabis seriously. It is that they take the threat to their cushy high paying, under worked jobs seriously. Were else can an immature sociopath who is only qualified to pump gas or dig ditches
go to earn 50-80 thousand a year stealing and reselling drugs? Dressing up like Rambo and acting out his childhood fantasies and over compesating for being born with diminutive male equipment by pointing guns at people and feeling tough? George W. Bush is a perfect example of the personality types who are attracted to this line of work.
But other than that they are not a bad bunch of fellows.
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Comment #5 posted by whig on September 25, 2007 at 11:47:22 PT
Thta's naet.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 25, 2007 at 10:34:37 PT
News Article from The Detroit News
Opinion: Just Say No To Random Student Drug TestingBy Jennifer KernTuesday, September 25, 2007
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 25, 2007 at 09:01:57 PT
Only smart people can read this. I couldn't believe that I could actually understand what I was reading. The phenomenal power of the human mind, according to a research at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing huh? Yeah and I always thought spelling was important! If you can read this pass it on !! Pass it on !
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Comment #2 posted by Toker00 on September 25, 2007 at 08:33:48 PT
Spell check this!
Got this in an e-mail...O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !! 
Psas Ti ON !Toke.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 25, 2007 at 08:09:51 PT
No. 10: Medical Pot and the Iraq Veteran
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