Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jul 1999
Date: 07/03/1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Author: Tyree Callahan, Bellingham

The Seattle Police Department should seriously reconsider its
unethical war on drugs.

If the mistreatment of Medical Marijuana patient Mark Means was not
bad enough ("Marijuana law trips up patients and police," June 14),
SPD officers have been giving narcotics to addicts in exchange for
information. This tactic, known as a "buy-bust," is a shameful way to
uphold the law.

The citizens of Washington should be outraged that such a tactic is
legal ("Drug bust tactics ethical?" June 20). In addition, Seattle
City Attorney Mark Sidran, who has prosecuted "buy-bust" cases, claims
that the civil liability of these tactics are not much of a concern.

Imagine an addict dying from an overdose from narcotics provided by
the Seattle Police Department. With his statement, Sidran condones
controlled-substance homicide, as mentioned in state law.

When a public official condones homicide in the name of the war on
drugs, it is time to take a hard look at our government's drug policy.
When police give out narcotics to society's most vulnerable members
while at the same time implementing policy that denies legitimate
patients the right to grow their own medicine, something is terribly

Tyree Callahan,