Pubdate: Thu, 19 Aug 2004
Source: Nevada Appeal (Carson City, NV)
Copyright: 2004 Nevada Appeal
Note: by Appeal Capitol Bureau
Cited: Nevada Supreme Court
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project
Cited: Office of National Drug Control Policy
Bookmark: (Question 9 (NV))
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


The Nevada Supreme Court Wednesday sidestepped an attempt to force the
federal anti-drug director to comply with state campaign-reporting

The Marijuana Policy Project wants John Walters, director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, to report his expenses in
coming to Nevada to oppose the 2002 ballot question which would have
legalized possession and use of small amounts of marijuana.

Secretary of State Dean Heller said he could not do that, citing a
Nevada Attorney General's opinion which agreed with federal attorneys
that Walters was immune from the state law.

Jonathan Lawhead of the Marijuana Policy Project then filed a petition
directing Heller to enforce Nevada's campaign-reporting law.

The petition argued Walters came to Nevada for the express purpose of
opposing the ballot question and should not be exempt from state laws
requiring advocates on either side of a political issue to report
contributions and expenses.

It argued he spent two days in Nevada, escorted by security and drove
from TV station to TV station for interviews, "on each of which he
denounced the initiative and repeatedly called marijuana a dangerous

The petition says the issue is still important because a similar
initiative is again trying to qualify for the November ballot. Walters
has already appeared in Las Vegas to oppose it.

Federal lawyers argue Walters was appearing in his capacity as head of
the federal anti-drug efforts so isn't bound by state
campaign-reporting laws. The Attorney General's office agreed.

But the high court didn't resolve those arguments. Instead, all seven
justices signed an order saying, "we are not satisfied that this
court's intervention by way of extraordinary relief is warranted."

They then denied the petition. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake