The Marijuana Policy Project's
"war on the drug czar" campaign suffered a second defeat this week as the
federal Office of Special Counsel (OSC) ruled that drug czar John Walters
did not violate federal law when he campaigned against a failed MPP-sponsored
marijuana legalization initiative in Nevada last year. Last month,
Nevada state officials declined to pursue campaign finance violation charges
against Walters after the state attorney general's ruled that he is probably
exempt from state campaign finance laws.
MPP complained to the OSC,
an independent agency charged with investigating campaign violations by
federal executive branch officials, that Walters' campaigning against its
ballot initiative violated the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits those
officials from using their official position to influence the outcome of
elections. But the OSC ruled that ballot initiatives are not elections
and that federal officials are free to campaign against them.
MPP has announced that it
will appeal both the Nevada and the OSC rulings. A third front in
the group's attack on Walters, an April 2nd complaint to the General Accounting
Office by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), is pending. That complaint charges
that Walters illegally used taxpayer money to inspire local law-enforcement
officials to lobby in favor of harsher marijuana penalties.
MPP may not yet have succeeded
in nailing Walters, but the drug czar must notice the nipping at his heels.
It's always nice to see the bad guys have to play defense once in awhile.
to learn more.
-- END --
Issue #290, 6/6/03
Editorial: Courage and Perseverance | Thousands Rally in NYC to Demand Repeal of Rockefeller Drug Laws | Medical Marijuana Cultivator Rosenthal Sentenced to One Day, Plus Probation | DEA Uses RAVE Act Threats to Block Montana NORML/SSDP Benefit | Dems on Drugs: The Presidential Contenders and Their Drug Policies | In a Strong Reversal, Congress Prohibits Drug Czar from Running Ads Against Ballot Measures and Candidates | Newsbrief: Texas Governor Signs Bill Freeing Tulia 14 | Newsbrief: Sentencing Reform -- No in Oklahoma | Newsbrief: Sentencing Reform -- Yes in Missouri | Newsbrief: Feds Reject MPP Complaint Against Drug Czar | Newsbrief: The Next Prohibition? Surgeon General Supports Banning Tobacco | Newsbrief: Belgian Marijuana Decriminalization Now in Effect | Newsbrief: DEA Can't Kidnap People in Other Countries, Federal Court Rules | The Reformer's Calendar
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