Pubdate: Sat, 25 Oct 2008
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2008 The Boston Herald, Inc
Author: O'ryan Johnson
Cited: Question 2
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Regulation)


Two weeks before the Bay State votes on controversial ballot Question 
2, which would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot, the 
regional Drug Enforcement Agency office is honoring the memory of an 
agent slain by Mexican drug lords, by encouraging people to stay away 
from all drugs.

"We're reaching out to people about living drug-free," said acting 
Special Agent in Charge Kevin Lane.

Yesterday, Gov. Deval Patrick proclaimed next week Red Ribbon Week in 
Massachusetts. The Red Ribbon is worn by DEA agents during the last 
week of October each year in memory of fallen DEA agent Enrique Camarena.

Lane said starting Monday, DEA agents wearing red ribbons will appear 
at schools across New England to spread a drug-free message to 
teenagers. He said the timing so close to the election is 
coincidental. Even if Question 2 passes, it will not change how his 
Boston office does business.

"It doesn't affect our efforts whatsoever," Lane said.  "We will 
continue to work under federal statute enforcing all drugs . . . 
cocaine, heroin, as well as marijuana."

He said traditionally the DEA does not target individual drug users, 
and it has no official position on Question 2. The DEA usually 
targets criminal organizations that traffic large quanties of drugs. 
In California, which decriminalized medical use of marijuana, the DEA 
has continued to raid plant growers and distributors, prosecuting 
them under federal laws.

Lane said he hopes this week will remind people about the sacrifices 
of agents nationwide and inspire them to live drug-free.

Camarena was assigned to Guadalajara, Mexico, to track down that 
nation's most powerful cocaine and marijuana dealers. In 1985, as he 
was on the verge of uncovering a vast drug pipeline, the father of 
three and Marine Corps veteran was kidnapped. His body was found a month later.

Back in Camarena's hometown of Calexico, Calif., a childhood friend 
started a small group called Camarena's Club. Members wore red 
ribbons and pledged to live a drug-free life to honor the agent's 
sacrifice. From there the movement spread across California, and then 

The last week of October each year, DEA agents and sympathetic police 
departments across the nation wear the ribbons to honor Camarena's death. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake