Our Truth In Strange Places Award goes this month to the new US Attorney for Northern California, Joseph Russoniello, who said, in regard to cracking down on medical marijuana,
“We could spend a lifetime closing dispensaries and doing other kinds of drugs, enforcement actions, bringing cases and prosecuting people, shoveling sand against the tide. It would be terribly unproductive and probably not an efficient use of precious federal resources,”
Russoniello, who nevertheless is skeptical about marijuana’s medical efficacy, said he would focus more on gun crimes, gang crimes, hard drugs, and child pornography.
During his previous tenure as US Attorney for Northern California, under Ronald Reagan, he was responsible for Califronia’s notorious paramilitary Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, though, so non-medical marijuana growers better watch their asses. If you’re a CIA coke smuggler, though, you’ll have an easy time of it from this guy. He stonewalled John Kerry’s Iran-Contra cocaine investigation and declined to prosecute several people who were caught red-handed smuggling coke but had those CIA “get out of jail free” cards. Ah, right-wing morality….
Bush’s domestic budget cuts have had one beneficial side effect: his (or rather, Cheney’s) latest budget proposes cutting way back on funding for state anti-drug taskforces, the police-as-thieves groups that help fund themselves by confiscating the property of alleged drug users, and have brought us such spectacular legal debacles as Tulia, Texas, where the government’s claim to have arrested 46 major cocaine dealers (almost all black) in a town of only 4700 people dissolved in a whirl of unsubstantiated allegations and “cocaine” that turned out to be sheet rock dust.
Meanwhile, a concerned committee of Senators– including Democrats Tom Harkin, Diane Feinstein, and Joe Biden–are scrambling to keep the domestic terrorism happening. These are the people we think will save us from the Bush junta?
(sorry, no musical interlude–time limitations!)