Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drug czar intruding into elections again

Federal "drug czar" John Walters is not only a serial liar, repeating over and over what he must know is not true, that marijuana has no medicinal value, he is something of a serial law violator, or at least someone who creeps right up to the edge of the law and surely being aware (assuming his IQ is over 50) that he is blatantly violating the spirit of the law.

There's a current flap in Washington about top appointed officials having traveled to key congressional districts at the behest of White House political operatives during 2006 to support Republican congresscritters, whether by handing out federal grants or other goodies or even by appearing at campaign events (it didn't work very well since the GOP lost control of the House, but that's another matter). John Walters did this 19 times. It almost certainly violated federal law, which forbids government employees to use taxpayer money for trips on official business to try to influence the outcome of an election.

He's at it again. Last week he traveled to Michigan to oppose Proposal 1, which would allow patients with a recommendation from a doctor to use medical marijuana. Of course he lied, claiming there is no valid medical use for marijuana. Then just today he came to California to join the prison guards union, one of the most notoriously self-serving (and unfortunately politically effective) lobbying groups in the state to oppose Proposition 5, the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act, which would take important steps toward replacing incarceration with treatment for nonviolent drug offenders. I think this is illegal, but whether or not he's done sufficient twisting to cover himself there, it surely is unethical. Some drug reformers tried to get him prosecuted after he blatantly asserted himself in a Nevada drug reform initiative campaign. I think somebody should do it now. Put the SOB in jail, where he thinks nonviolent and utterly harmless marijuana smokers should go.

Of course it's hardly a news flash that the only way the drug war can be sustained is through systematic dishonesty. But Walters has taken it to a new level.

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