Archive for Editorials

Just Say No to Drug War Bribes!

TELL YOUR STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS: “JUST SAY NO TO DRUG WAR BRIBES!”

Taken from NORTH CAROLINA LAW REVIEW
Volume 73 | Number 3 Article 5
3-1-1995
Myth of Dual Sovereignty: Multijurisdictional Drug Law Enforcement and Double Jeopardy – Sandra Guerra

Read/Download the entire document with references on our 420leaks database at https://app.box.com/s/d1f76lya313nuescjxvxrsaw6v1p4tqg

 

“B. Encouraging States to Adopt Specific Laws and Policies Using Financial Carrots and Sticks

Because states and localities have not always shown an eagerness to submit to the control of federal agencies, the federal government has found it necessary to entice their cooperation. The drug task forces encourage participation in two ways. First, they offer state and local agents the opportunity to work with federal agents on equal terms, thereby elevating the status of state and local agents. Thus, state and local criminal justice personnel are less likely to resent the federal presence. Second, the federal government recognizes that generous remuneration decreases power struggles. The federal anti-drug effort makes substantial sums available to state and local governments following the federal plan. If the President’s 1995 budget request is fully funded, state and local governments will receive roughly $811million. The timing of the drive for federalization has coincided with a period of economic hardship in most states. By offering financial incentives, the federal government has effectively dismantled potential political opposition to its growing influence over state and local policy making. To the contrary, state and local agencies consider themselves the beneficiaries of federal largess. To maximize their intake of federal dollars, state and local agencies seek ways to become involved in federal investigations.
The expansion of federal influence also coincides with a self-perpetuating cycle of political rhetoric that has fed a public frenzy over drug crimes. In turn, public opinion has justified even stronger rhetoric and broader policies. In this environment, any dissent from proposals for broader law enforcement efforts and more severe penalties is widely viewed as political suicide. Neither state nor federal leaders dare come forward with objections, even if the objections are based on federalism concerns rather than substantive policy concerns. Issues of federalism give way under the weight of public fear of crime and the states’ needs for economic aid.”

 

Still influencing policy to this day.  Here are links to the current version of the WA state bill, HB 1095 that would allow sick kids to use nonsmokable cannabis medication in schools.  It was first introduced in 2017.

As of this post, they haven’t passed it yet because of fears over losing federal grants. They even have language to end the program if the feds even hint at withholding those grants. It’s sad…
https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1095&Year=2019&Initiative=false

Spelled out in the fiscal note. No threat to health or public safety, just the fear of loosing up to nearly a BILLION just in federal education grants because of schedule 1 language..
https://fortress.wa.gov/ofm/fnspublic/FNSPublicSearch/Search/1095/66

This in a state that has clearly stated medical use since 1980 in the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act, that was quickly defunded.

The Legislators openly declares medical evidence exists at RCW 69.51A.005
Purpose and intent.
(1) The legislature finds that:
(a) There is medical evidence…
https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.005

Money over real people, in this case it is sick, disabled and terminally ill children’s education.  The leadership in these parties need to go back to basics…

Washington State Constitution
ARTICLE I
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER.

All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights…

ARTICLE IX
EDUCATION
SECTION 1 PREAMBLE.

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

http://leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/Pages/constitution.aspx

12 Steps to Legislative Change in Your State

Wonder how local law enforcement can selectively enforce criminal activity and bypass state drug laws to allow corrupt individuals to get what amounts to more rights than those who obey the law, without any penalty to the officer or the criminals?

For instance, in Washington State, there is no penalty for not determining whether a person is compliant with the medical use chapter, so the law enforcement officer, usually on a local state drug task force team, seizes the cannabis even though RCW 69.51A.040 requires a threshold determination on whether they are compliant or not compliant with the medical marijuana chapter (which still exists) before the plants are seized:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.040

Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force and local law enforcment have routinely violated this state statute because the statute contains no state penal or financial penalty provision. A Multi-jurisdictional officer is both a state and federal law enforcement officer, who has no penalty for ignoring state cannabis and other laws… https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/FR-1997-10-08/97-26660

Their number one tool is the use of criminal informants, which can be a lucrative way for greedy individual’s to take advantage of people using a social, mild psychoactive substance. Especially disadvantaged patients, young and new consumers. You just infiltrate the consumer and grower groups online and smoke pot with them for awhile to gain your trust. Think you are immune to that kind of manipulation over time, maybe even years, especially with them using modernized surveillance technology?

Good guidance checklist for future legislative proposals if you can’t convince your state legislators to remove cannabis from your state’s controlled substances act, and you can’t raise enough funds to get an initiative to do it, or file a lawsuit:

1. Set reasonable boundaries for ultimate user possession amounts on plant counts or plant canopy for all adults, respective of established common home horticultural practices for personal use. If you don’t know what an ultimate user is, you should. See comments below. Do it openly and allow ALL stakeholders to participate in the process. Limit home production of concentrates to noncombustable methods. Patient limits should be established by their health care providers as needed to treat their own condition(s) if a minor or if adult limits are not enough.

2. Make sure your limits in the seizures and forfeiture statute are triggered when over the legal possession statute limits, for both individuals and state licensed businesses. A forfeiture limit that is less than the legal amount is a potential for law enforcement abuse with the word of a corrupt paid informant when there is no penalty for their action. Any limit that is lower risks people to losing out to police working with corrupt, paid informants. Any exemption, or promise of a hearing is easily rendered useless without hiring expensive legal help. Especially when they don’t notify you when getting a search warrant from a judge without you being able to face your accusers.

3. Do not create new seizure and forfeiture hearings specifically for cannabis. Set reasonable penalties on state law enforcement officers that are ignoring state cannabis laws instead. Don’t make it easy for prohibition minded federal and state prosecutors that work with the Multi-jurisdictional teams. It creates a mess of counties all running different precedents across the state. With all these and other law enforcement loopholes, it becomes easy to delay or set up otherwise innocent people who don’t know their rights. The main issue is the failure include the penalty on officers failing to follow state law back when the law was first created.

4. Do not create laws that criminalize someone for a good harvest, or for accidental or even intentional seeding of the crop. And don’t penalize the kids beyond confiscating it and offering treatment or education instead of incarceration!

5. De-monetize corrupt paid informants by eliminating financial rewards if amounts seized is not more than personal holding limits, with severe repercussions for targeting patients.

6. Prioritize all commercial industry access around a process similar to organic that reflects established cannabis consumer habits, employs a “get to know your grower” attitude, including opportunities to “try before you buy” quality assurance standard. No more plastic containers, please!

7. Don’t make patient access to doctors, products or plants any more complicated than it needs to be. Patients are already suffering enough. Make it tax free, easy and safely available over the counter in privacy with nothing more than a prescription like document for minors to be able to posses and use, or allow for personal adult plant and possession limits to be increased if medically necessary.

8. Be respective of the connoisseur and social and relaxation qualities for adult uses, including gifting of cannabis plants, seeds and clones in a manner that beer and wine connoisseurs, specialized crafters and home gardeners currently enjoy.

9. Allow for the population to voluntarily participate in medical and scientific study on the plant and all its uses and potential so it complies with the spirit of international drug treaties the Controlled Substances Acts were modeled on.

10. Run separate legislation for greater reform for the entire seizure and forfeiture process. The issue is much bigger than just cannabis. Same thing for reforming, if not completely disbanding the multi-jurisdiction drug task forces.

11. Industrial hemp should be exempted from controls so it complies with the spirit of those treaties as well.

12. NO MORE MONOPOLY SCHEMES

We should not be having to jump through hoops like this for our constitutional right to a plant! If you disagree with any point here, all I ask is tell me what part specifically, be ready to back up your objections with facts and cite your reasons clearly, please!

Why do I and others make this issue so personal? How would you feel when a so called friend was secretly setting you up for their own financial gain or personal glory?

Would you let it go, or try your hardest to make sure it doesn’t happen again when real people are forced to pay the price for bad legislation?

 

Further research:

What is an “Ultimate User” and are they required to register?

Federal law at
21 U.S. Code § 802 – Definitions

“(27) The term “ultimate user” means a person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household or for an animal owned by him or by a member of his household.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/802

In WA State law:

RCW 69.50.101
Definitions.

“(uu) “Ultimate user” means an individual who lawfully possesses a controlled substance for the individual’s own use or for the use of a member of the individual’s household or for administering to an animal owned by the individual or by a member of the individual’s household.”http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.101

RCW 69.50.302
Registration requirements.

(c) The following persons need |not register and may lawfully possess controlled substances under this chapter:

(3) AN ULTIMATE USER or a person in possession of any controlled substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or in lawful possession of a substance included in Schedule V. (Caps mine for emphasis)https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.302

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/09/03/the-throwaways

http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/25/page15.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2018/04/02/congress-killed-efforts-to-undo-sessionss-civil-forfeiture-expansion-despite-unanimous-house-votes/

https://dailycaller.com/2018/02/12/sessions-lauds-civil-forfeiture/

https://ij.org/report/policing-for-profit/

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_forfeiture

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/7/20/1682432/-Asset-Forfeiture-and-Privateering-There-s-A-Reason-You-Feel-Besieged-by-His-Majesty-s-Pirates

http://www.thepolemicist.net/2013/09/the-new-privateers-civil-forfeiture.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2019/01/11/congressman-slams-civil-forfeiture-as-a-series-of-government-shakedowns/

http://features.crosscut.com/legal-marijuana-trump-sessions-enforcement

The Hemp Files

Recently, we at 420leaks filed requests to the Washington State Department of Agriculture over their Industrial Hemp Research Program rule making files, and just last week they gave us a bunch of redacted documents from the Attorney General as part of it.

John Worthington’s copies:
https://app.box.com/s/oj2dlcjfjm0die4vz6lyn6614f0lwy3f

My copies:
https://app.box.com/s/q3vx429e9r83ix6ur3ajrk30eznp55lz

Worthington complained back, saying you can’t redact public rule making files. Their public records officer hemmed and hawed over attorney/client privilege.

So March 28, 2017, Worthington filed a lawsuit against WSDA and had their office served at 2:00 pm.

Thirty-seven minutes later, they emailed us the files with no redactions.

Sent to Worthington:
https://app.box.com/s/phx9u89ocfxq9jcavlp4ktnpcculxrh8

Sent to me:
https://app.box.com/s/1hum7xwek4ggsdz3urjn8fm7dihfbcb7

I guess they figured the corruption was not worth risking their careers over this time.

Why is any of this significant?

Well, for one, it shows us the Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General Staff is not as corrupt as what happened during the I502 rule making and the WSLCB. We have also seen no hidden hand of the Governor’s office this time, unlike what we saw around I502.

However, the process revealed that our group of researchers had it right when we believed the Attorney General’s Office was at least in part responsible for running the rule making in our state. Not so much the state agency heads.

They do this under the guise of the attorney/client privilege, so they can redact it all from public view. We say the AG’s office is partly responsible because we now have two different people from their office with two very different results: one still intent on burning up taxpayer funds to keep their secrets with I502, and one that did the right thing when confronted with the evidence.

What appears to be certain is eliminating the files from the public rule making file is not legal. It completely violates what the spirit of the Public Records Acts stands for; that the people are sovereign and government does not get to decide what is good for us.

RCW 42.56.030
Construction.
“The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. This chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy and to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In the event of conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other act, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.”

This was why the state settled over a case to make one public records requester go away, back at the end of 2014, that made headlines for the amount of the payout: $192,000 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. They stand to lose even more with the case filed against them by John Worthington over these same files, with the next hearing coming in early June.

But not this time. Bravo to the WSDA and AG’s office. We at 420leaks give them a gold star…on this one. For now.

Having said that, the agency gets a major reduction in gold stars for lack of privacy protections. Their Industrial Hemp program director, Emily Febles, apparently allowed a breach on at least three of their own employees, potentially exposing their social security numbers, including her own information. This story was learned about in one of our recent requests that came back around the same time as the rule making files. We asked them this question: Did you follow proper protocols and notify all the employees affected within the time required by law? It appears not.  See the email at
https://app.box.com/s/kft0eplpkz0m4v9d20mr4vm9qe8b5l21

Which leads us to the next question. Why are two well known activists in Washington State bitterly fighting to the point of threatening lawsuits against each other, all around a bill that would take industrial hemp out of the state Controlled Substances Act?
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2064&Year=2017

The infighting has led to great confusion in the cannabis community and is a question that led us to asking for communications to the WSDA, one of which revealed the privacy breach. We hope to find answers and more as we go through these files, with more coming, from the WSDA.
https://app.box.com/s/pyao3j0y88ikfw445mgv

But it looks like a battle between those who fear federal interference by removing it from the State’s Controlled Substances Act, and those who feel the plant needs to be descheduled with few regulations. View the public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee back on March 9th.

The bill passed with a unanimous YES vote in both houses of the legislature in spite of efforts to kill or amend the bill by the Washington State Dept of Agriculture and a few from the cannabis community.

WSLCB Messed Up Again on Exposing Unredacted Confidential Files, Sends Replacements

The story continues to get bigger.  We’ll have more on this soon. The press is running with the story now. So stay tuned. Here’s a copy of an email sent out by the WSLCB that was turned over to KOMO 4 News… 13427794_1236826573008481_3178158491560803771_n In the meantime, here’s the email with the direct link to the WSLCB account so you can get them firsthand from the agency until the link expires…

From: brittany.hale@lcb.wa.gov To: changingplanet@hotmail.com Subject: Re: WSLCB PRR 16-02-174 Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 17:27:01 +0000 Dear Mr. Novak: We have corrected the issue that we discussed over the phone Tuesday evening and are happy to provide you with a new link to the 1st Installment of records: https://lcb.box.com/s/qmdgze3hjgghv6xgleaaqbozucnhb7ds. This link will remain active for the next thirty days. Thank you again for your assistance in this matter. Please note that codes appear within the redactions on the records, and the basis for these exemptions is briefly explained as follows: Code Exemption Brief Explanatory Description Statutory Basis FinInfo Financial Account Numbers Liquor and Marijuana License Application Financial Information, including but not limited to account numbers and values, on liquor license and marijuana applications are exempt from disclosure RCW 42.56.230(5) and RCW 42.56.270 (10) (a) DriverLic# Driver’s License Numbers (5) Credit card numbers, debit card numbers, electronic check numbers, card expiration dates, or bank or other financial information as defined in RCW 9.35.005 including social security numbers, except when disclosure is expressly required by or governed by other law RCW 42.56.230(5) SS# Social Security Number Social Security Numbers are exempt from disclosure. RCW 42.56.510 and 42 USC Section 405(c) (2) (C) (viii) (1) TaxInfo Tax Information Tax information, such as Federal Tax ID Number, or other tax documents are exempt from public disclosure. RCW 82.32.330, RCW 42.56.230(5), and 26 U.S.C. 6103. Attorney-Client Privilege Attorney-Client Privilege An attorney or counselor shall not, without the consent of his or her client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him or her, or his or her advice given thereon in the course of professional employment. RCW 5.60.060(2)(a) ComplaintID Complainant Identifying Information Complaint reports are redacted of all identifying information when the complainant requests a desire for nondisclosure RCW 42.56.240(2) … Thank you again. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Sincerely, Brittany Hale Forms and Records Analyst Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board 360-664-1732 Brittany.hale@lcb.wa.gov420leaks Detective

420leaks Co-Editor John Worthington on Public Access TV

Links to source documents and websites used in this interview coming soon. Until then, please read this. #420leaks