The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

By M. L. Simon

The Empire Strikes Back

There is something going on in California. Something that has received practically no press anywhere in America. The DEA is going on a rampage against medical marijuana users and their legal suppliers despite the fact that marijuana as medicine was voted for by 56 percent of Californians more than five years ago.

Here are the details of what has been happening. On the 25th of October, approximately 30 federal agents raided the West Hollywood headquarters of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center after more than five years of operation. The center is supported by the local sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s Captain Lynda Castro said the raid was “a difficult pill to swallow.” Three members of the West Holywood City Council showed up after the raid to protest the DEA action. The raid was based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stated that marijuana does not have medical value, and therefore it is against federal law. The value of marijuana as medicine was never properly contested but only stipulated by the government under the protests of the defense. The government’s own Institute of Medicine reported in 1999 that even smoked marijuana may have medical value under certain circumstances. In addition, the government also distributes government-grown marijuana to seven patients. And the DEA’s own administrative law Judge Francis Young said in a 1988 ruling that “It would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” So the Supreme Court ruling is based on a stipulation that even the government knows is a lie, proving that the big lie technique still works. Even in America.

But that wasn’t the only major DEA raid on California. On the 28th of September, the DEA raided the offices of Dr. Mollie Fry and her husband, attorney Dale Schafer, who announced in July that he would run for El Dorado County district attorney. In this case, the G men were collecting about 6,000 to 7,000 patient records because Fry was well known for recommending marijuana to AIDs and cancer patients among others. The doctor and her husband were also well known for testifying for the defense in medical marijuana cases in California. In theory, the files taken should be protected by attorney-client privilege as well as doctor-patient privilege. In fact, these days there is no protection against the federal government. Not law, not custom, not judges, and not people asking for redress of grievances. This one sure looks like a political prosecution to me. We are sure lucky America isn’t a banana republic. Think of what this country would be like if we had really corrupt people at the helm. Well, no need for thinking any more if you can just open your eyes.

In this time of national emergency, we don’t have the time, money, and manpower to waste on recreational pot smokers and nationalized corruption. We certainly don’t have the resources to waste on the sick and infirm. Attacking the sick is bad sense in time of peace and is a total waste in time of war; in addition, it violates every tenet of morality I ever heard of. Hurray for Attorney General Ashcroft, touted in his confirmation hearings as a paragon of morality and a good Christian. I thought Jesus promoted comforting the sick, not attacking them. I’m sure if I was a member of the church Mr. Ashcroft attends, it would all be clearer to me.

We Americans cannot expect government to continue behaving in such an immoral manner and still hope to win the war against fascism. This lack of fundamental God-given morality will corrupt us and sap our will just as racism did in Vietnam. We must end prohibition now.

Saying of the week: If drugs back terrorism, why don’t the terrorists deal in aspirin?

Ask a politician: Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?

This week’s politician:

Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah—the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He voted for Mr. Morality Ashcroft. Mr. Hatch promoted him as just the remedy for Janet “Burn the Women and Children” Reno. So now we get John “Persecute the Sick and Dying” Ashcroft. This could actually be an improvement. But somehow, I doubt it.

Contact Senator Hatch in Washington, D.C. Voice: 202-224-5251 Fax: 202-224-6331 or you can e-mail him by going to: on the www. Voice or fax is probably better for those not resident in Utah.

M. L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and independent political activist.

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