Pubdate: Thu, 15 Nov 2001
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2001 Chicago Tribune Company
Authors: Robert Sharpe, Boyd R. Holmes, George Zilliac, Miranda
Collins, Kirk Muse, Jean Cowsert
Note: Main title by mapinc editor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


A Drug Raid That Hurt The Sick And Dying

Washington -- Dianne Donovan's excellent Nov. 7 column on the U.S. 
Department of Justice raid on a Los Angeles medical marijuana club 
("Feds are busting the wrong `drug ring,'" Commentary) ended with the 
statement that "if federal agents are so keen to bust up drug rings, 
I know a few street corners they could hang around in Chicago."

Every major city in the country has its share of street-corner drug 
markets. But sick and dying medical marijuana patients make for much 
easier targets than modern-day bootleggers.

With obscene untaxed profits at stake, organized crime figures go to 
great lengths to conceal their illicit activities.

Hence the Department of Justice's apparent preference for easy busts 
involving non-violent cancer and AIDS patients.

Medical marijuana patients and providers typically go to great 
lengths to document the legitimacy of their marijuana use.

The Los Angeles club that was raided was renowned for its stringent 
requirements, thorough documentation and the inability of Drug 
Enforcement Administration agents to conduct sting operations by 
posing as patients. The patients who depended on the club will now be 
forced to buy their medicine on the street.

Illicit drug use is the only public health issue wherein key 
stakeholders are not only ignored but actively persecuted and 

In terms of the recent California raids, those stakeholders happen to 
be cancer and AIDS patients.

Robert Sharpe, Program officer, The Lindesmith Center Drug Policy Foundation

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Medicinal Pot

Decatur -- Dianne Donovan's "Feds are busting the wrong `drug ring'" 
was right on the money.

The people of California and seven other states have made it clear 
that they support a person's right to use medicinal marijuana.

For the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down in the wake of 
the Sept. 11 attacks is truly sickening!

Couldn't we allocate our resources more wisely in these uncertain times?

It is my opinion that they timed the raids so that the people would 
be distracted by the war on terror.

Also, Donovan's column is the first I have seen in the mainstream 
press regarding the DEA raids.

This should have made the front page everywhere. Why the lack of coverage?

Whatever happened to "compassionate conservatism" and states' rights?

Thank you, Dianne, for shedding some light on this topic!

Boyd R. Holmes

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Marijuana Laws

Evanston -- Dianne Donovan's "Feds are busting the wrong `drug ring'" 
(Commentary, Nov. 7), defending the use of medical marijuana and 
protesting federal intrusion, was right on as far as it went.

Two problems with the column are that Donovan faults the wrong people 
and doesn't suggest a remedy. She seems to merely want the Department 
of Justice to lay off marijuana medical cooperatives, but doesn't 
mention that the department is empowered to do its deeds by Congress.

It is Congress that can change the federal law.

George Zilliac

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Wasted Effort

Valley Village, Calif. -- I applaud the column "Feds are busting the 
wrong `drug ring.'" Californians like myself are greatly saddened by 
the Drug Enforcement Administration raid of our local cannabis club.

This club is where we have been providing a natural medicine to our 
cancer and AIDS victims for five years.

That the federal government would waste its resources this way, in a 
time when we should be worried about terrorists and bioweapons, is a 

Miranda Collins

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Unneeded Raid

Vancouver, Wash. -- Thank you for publishing Dianne Donovan's "Feds 
are busting the wrong `drug ring.'"

It seems our federal government agents don't have enough to do 
protecting us from international terrorists.

The Drug Enforcement Administration agents want to protect us from 
ourselves and protect us from taking medication our government has 
decided is not good medicine.

Sure glad we live in a free country.

Kirk Muse

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Hurting Patients

Galt, Calif. -- Dianne Donovan's column states it clearly.

As a medicinal patient, I would love to see more journalists be 
willing to state so clearly what our government is doing to sick 
people in the name of the "law."

I thank Dianne Donovan and your paper.

Jean Cowsert
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MAP posted-by: Josh