Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jul 2005
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2005 The Associated Press
Author: Timothy Inklebarger, Associated Press Writer
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project ( )
Cited: Office of National Drug Control Policy ( )
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Ballot Initiatives)


JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A pro-marijuana group is suing state campaign
finance regulators in an effort to force them to investigate a deputy
federal drug czar's expenses in campaigning against a 2004 marijuana
legalization initiative.

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project says Scott Burns,
deputy director for the White House Office of National Drug Control
Policy, toured Alaska last fall giving public speeches against an
initiative to legalize marijuana in the state. Burns, however, did not
disclose to the Alaska Public Offices Commission how much was spent on
the trip.

"The Marijuana Policy Project and the groups supporting the initiative
in Alaska filed reports and told the citizens of Alaska exactly how
much was spent on the campaign and we simply feel the federal
government should play by the same rules," said Marijuana Policy
Project government relations director Steve Fox.

Fox said the group filed the lawsuit in an Anchorage Superior Court
Thursday. He said the group has filed a similar lawsuit in Montana.

Fox said in February his group formally requested that the Alaska
Public Offices Commission investigate the campaign stops made by
Burns. A month later APOC rejected the request, stating that the
commission does not have authority to investigate "the United States
and its officials."

Alaska Department of Law spokesman Mark Morones said he has not seen a
copy of the lawsuit, but, he said, "I think APOC had denied the
complaint because it's a federal agency involved and it didn't have
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake