This Week in History

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August 8, 1988: The domestic marijuana seizure record is set (still in effect today) -- 389,113 pounds in Miami, Florida.

August 6, 1990: Robert C. Bonner is sworn in as administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Bonner had been a federal judge in Los Angeles. Before he became a judge, Bonner served as a US attorney from 1984 to 1989.

August 9, 1990: Two hundred National Guardsmen and Bureau of Land Management rangers conduct a marijuana raid dubbed Operation Green Sweep on a federal conservation area in California known as King Ridge. Local residents file a $100 million lawsuit, claiming that Federal agents illegally invaded their property, wrongfully arrested them, and harassed them with their low-flying helicopters and loaded guns.

August 11, 1991: After ten months of extensive research, the Pittsburgh Press begins a six-day series chronicling what it calls "a frightening turn in the war on drugs": seizure and forfeiture doing enormous collateral damage to the innocent.

August 7, 1997: The New England Journal of Medicine opines, "Virtually no one thinks it is reasonable to initiate criminal prosecution of patients with cancer or AIDS who use marijuana on the advice of their physicians to help them through conventional medical treatment for their disease."

August 8, 1999: A CNN story entitled "Teen critics pan national anti-drug ads" reports that high school students are remaining skeptical that the government's anti-drug television ads are much of a deterrent as they believe the constant warnings about the dangers of drug use have dulled the message.

August 7, 2000: The Houston Chronicle runs a front page story about the corruption of paid informants in drug cases.

August 8, 2001: During his third term in Congress, Asa Hutchinson is appointed by President Bush as Director of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

August 5, 2004: In a Seattle Post-Intelligencer op-ed entitled "War on Drugs Escalates to War on Families," Walter Cronkite calls the war on drugs "disastrous" and a "failure," and provides a plethora of reasons why it should end immediately.

August 6, 2004: The Ninth Circuit orders the release, pending appeal, of Bryan Epis, who had been convicted of conspiracy to grow 1,000 marijuana plants in a federal trial in which the jury was not allowed to hear that he was a medical marijuana activist.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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