Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2001
Source: Austin Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Austin Chronicle Corp.
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Cannabis)



In the article "No Weed, Just Dopes" ["Naked City," May 25], sheriff's 
office spokesman Roger Wade says his department is investigating the 
incident for "any violations of policies or procedures." He goes on to say, 
"generally these things get started from people who call in and say, 'I've 
seen something,' or, 'I think something is going on.'"

As a 37-year resident of Texas recently relocated to Florida, I must ask if 
my former friends and neighbors have totally lost their marbles. Is it 
considered acceptable "policy or procedure" to investigate a possible 
backyard marijuana garden with over a dozen heavily armed officers, a swarm 
of vehicles, and a helicopter? Can a resident induce such an attack on one 
of his neighbors simply by calling in a phone tip of "I've seen something"?

What a brilliant use of tax dollars. It would seem that the local economy 
must really be booming if Austin area taxpayers are willingly putting up 
with such governmental excess.

Oh well, down here in Florida we have task forces which use more than 200 
helicopters on a daily basis statewide to investigate possible cultivation 
of the "demon weed." So maybe silliness is not exclusive to the Lone Star 
State after all.

Ruefully submitted,

Stephen Heath

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater, Fla.
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