Pubdate: Sat, 03 Jul 1999
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 1999 The Seattle Times Company
Author:  Tyree Callahan, Bellingham

Drug War


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 wrong.

Tyree Callahan, Bellingham

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D