Weekly: This Week in History

August 11, 1991: Following ten months of research, the Pittsburgh Press begins a six-day series on asset forfeiture abuse, chronicling what it calls "a frightening turn in the war on drugs." The Press reveals that seizure and forfeiture have done enormous collateral damage to the innocent.

August 12, 1997: The US Justice Department announces there will be no indictments issued in the killing of Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., an 18-year-old American citizen killed by US Marines on an anti-drug patrol while herding goats near the border town of Redford, Texas. Lt. General Carlton W. Fulford, who conducted an internal military review of the incident, said the killing might not have happened at all had civilian law enforcement agencies been patrolling the border.

August 14, 2002: Twelve hundred medical marijuana patients, many suffering from life-threatening illnesses, lose their supply of medicine when Ontario police raid the Toronto Compassion Centre.

August 15, 1988: In his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention, George Herbert Walker Bush states, "I want a drug-free America. Tonight, I challenge the young people of our country to shut down the drug dealers around the world... My Administration will be telling the dealers, 'Whatever we have to do, we'll do, but your day is over. You're history.'"

August 16, 1996: While visiting San Francisco, US drug czar Barry McCaffrey claims to media, "There is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed. This is not science. This is not medicine. This is a cruel hoax and sounds more like something out of a Cheech and Chong show." Advocates later point out that there is scientific evidence supporting medical marijuana.

August 17, 1999: CNN reports that federal authorities say they are sweeping up the last few indicted members of a major drug trafficking network that shipped tons of mostly Colombian cocaine and marijuana throughout the United States. Nearly 100 suspects have been indicted in "Operation Southwest Express" and 77 have been arrested in raids in 14 cities.

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