Pubdate: Sat, 05 Oct 2002
Source: Middletown Journal, The (OH)
Copyright: 2002 Cox Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Krissy Oechslin


Dear editor:

The recent shooting death of Clayton Helriggle (in Preble County) by a 
police SWAT team is only the latest tragic example of a drug war gone 
horribly awry.

In April 2001, American missionary Roni Bowers and her 1-year-old baby, 
Charity, were killed when their plane was shot down in a U.S.-funded drug 
interdiction operation in Peru. Bowers' flight was mistakenly thought to be 
smuggling drugs.

Eighteen-year-old Esequiel Hernandez was shot in the back by U.S. Marines 
looking for marijuana smugglers on the Texas-Mexico border. Hernandez, who 
had no criminal record and was not a drug suspect, was herding goats 100 
yards from his home when he was killed.

And on the morning of Sept. 5, armed DEA agents raided the home of medical 
marijuana patients and caregivers in Santa Cruz, Calif. Agents pointed 
rifles to the head of Suzanne Pfeil, ordering her to put her hands up and 
get out of bed. Pfeil was handcuffed to the bed when she couldn't get up: 
she is disabled and can stand only with the use of crutches.

Clayton Helriggle didn't deserve the death penalty, but that's what he got, 
without even the benefit of a trial.

Our failed drug laws have made terrorists out of those who were supposed to 
protect us.


Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.
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