Pubdate: Sun, 11 Nov 2001
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2001 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: Gary Storck


Before Sept. 11, the Sun-Times was a strong voice against the granddaddy of 
attacks on the Constitution and Bill of Rights: the so-called war on drugs. 
Years of drug prohibition have created so many exemptions to our freedoms 
that the recently passed and perversely named U.S.A. Patriot Act is merely 
the bitter icing on the cake compared with what has come before it.

And while the Sun-Times and the nation remain fixated on the new war, the 
old war continues with a new vengeance. The new administrator of the Drug 
Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson, has launched a chilling war 
against medical marijuana in California, where voters passed the state's 
medical marijuana law five years ago Nov. 5. An entry in the Congressional 
Record seems to indicate that several congressmen, including the maniacally 
anti-medical marijuana zealots Bob Barr (R-Ga.) and Mark Souder (R-Ind.), 
sent investigators from the General Accounting Office to the Los Angeles 
Cannabis Resource Center, triggering a raid by 30 armed DEA agents soon 
after their visit.

Targeting clinics and physicians as well as patient records, federal 
actions have taken away legal sources of medical marijuana for thousands of 
California's sick and dying citizens. As the nation struggles to deal with 
an attack by terrorists from outside our country, federal agents are 
themselves terrorizing sick and dying Americans in an insanely twisted 
misuse of federal law enforcement resources and priorities.

The media blackout on this assault on states' rights and some of our 
nation's most vulnerable citizens must end. I hope the Sun-Times will renew 
its commitment to cover this other war.

Gary Storck,

Madison, Wis.
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