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Taking it to the Drug Warriors--Is It Time for Direct Action?

You know, a guy gets tired fighting for decades for the right to do something which should be our right anyway. Yeah, I know the litany: We've got to play the game...if you don't like the law, change it...the political process is slow...we can't be impatient...we have to educate politicians and cultivate law enforcement....blah blah blah. Well, in the face of the no-progress Hinchey-Rohrabacher vote and the continuing defiance of the will of California voters by the DEA, not to mention all the other drug war horrors, I'm prepared to once again make inciteful (if not insightful) calls for direct action against these downpressors. 1. Let's take the DEA's war on medical marijuana patients and providers to the DEA. Let's shut 'em down in California. Blockade their offices, and not for symbolic civil disobedience purposes, but for the actual purpose of disrupting their activities. 2. Let's really take it to the DEA. These black-suited, paramilitary-style goons presumably have homes in the area. I'd like to see protestors on the sidewalk in front of their houses. Ooh, but you say it's not polite or uncouth to do that sort of thing! Well, I frankly find DEA goons kicking down doors and arresting harmless people who didn't do anything to anybody pretty impolite and uncouth. Maybe they'll enjoy explaining to their neighbors (two out of three of whom voted for Prop 215) how they earn a living. These thugs need to pay a price for what they do, and I personally don't care if it offends the sensibilities of some of our more delicate members. And I don't buy their "I'm only following orders" excuse, either. It didn't fly at Nuremburg, and it shouldn't fly now. It's time for public shaming and shunning. 3. And maybe we should be focusing on a mass march aimed at national DEA headquarters one of these months. Again, the purpose would be practical--not symbolic--to shut the monster down. This is an agency that needs to be abolished, and until we can accomplish that, the least we can do it make it impossible for it to function properly. 3. More broadly, let's attack the snitch system that underpins the drug war. Last week, we did a newsbrief on the couple in Philadelphia indicted for posting flyers outing a snitch. They copied information from the Who's A Rat? web site, which is protected by the First Amendment. The folks in Philadelphia are charged with intimidating witnesses--by making public information about what they are doing--and I hope they fight that case all the way. Snitches have no right to have their exploits go unsung. In solidarity with the Philadelphia folks, and everyone who has suffered from drug war snitchery, I propose that DRCNet enter into a collaboration with Who's a Rat? by posting the information about one undercover officer (they list more than 400) or one snitch (they list over 4000) online each week. Personally, I would rather go after the narcs than the snitches, most of whom are victims themselves. ("You're gonna go to prison for 30 years and get raped by hardened cons if you don't give up the names..."). Snitches may be victims of circumstance (and a weak values system), but narcs do this horrid work for a living, either because they believe in or they like it. I want to see their names and mugs plastered across the internet. I don't suppose my boss will agree with me on this one, although I'd like to hear why not. 5. Police on a drug raid in Belfast this week were met by a rock-throwing mob. Mindful of the incitement statutes, I have no comment. Whaddya think, folks? I'm really, really tired of waiting for lamebrain politicians to protect me from these thugs. I guess I'm going to have to do it myself. With your help. More "responsible" members of our movement generally shy away from tactics like these. Let them be responsible. I want to fight back.
Location: 
United States

Smith introduces Meth Kingpin Elimination Act

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Grand Island Independent (NE)
URL: 
http://www.theindependent.com/stories/07292007/new_meth29.shtml

My Representative Explains Why She Voted Against Hinchey-Rohrabacher

Although I'm sitting in British Columbia this month and will be in Northern California next month, I am registered to vote in South Dakota. My representative in Congress--South Dakota only has one congressperson--is Democrat Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. Elected in 2004 in an extremely tight race, she has consistently voted against Hinchey-Rohrabacher, which would stop the feds from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers in states where it is legal. I emailed and telephoned her office prior to the vote urging her to vote for Hinchey. Again this year, she voted against it. Here's her reason why:
July 27, 2007 Mr. Phillip Smith XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Huron, SD 57350 Dear Phillip: Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of medical marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you. As you may be aware, on July 25th, the House of Representatives again defeated an amendment that would have prevented federal enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana users and providers in the states that have approved such use. I opposed the amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has addressed the scope of federal authority to make and enforce laws regarding medical marijuana. The Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can continue to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act against medical marijuana use in states whose laws authorize medical marijuana use. The ruling does not strike down state laws approving such use, but permits the Department of Justice to continue enforcing federal laws regarding such use. Thank you again for contacting me. I will keep your thoughts in mind as issues related to medical marijuana use are discussed in Congress. Sincerely, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Basically, Herseth Sandlin is saying that illegal (under federal law) is illegal, and she's not about to get in the way of the DEA--even if it means allowing the agency to disrupt the lives of seriously ill people (whom she never even mentions). She does not bother to say where she stands on the issue of medical marijuana, only that the feds are allowed to enforce the law. As much as I disliker her reasoning and her vote, she has something of a point: If we don't like a law, we should get rid of it, not allow it to remain on the books but with no funding to enforce it. Now, I understand the political realities that lead to efforts like Hinchey-Rohrabacher: A bill to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level will go nowhere any time in the foreseeable future, and we want to do something NOW to stop these raids. But as my Blue Dog Democrat representative and her fellow "no" voters demonstrate, Hinchey-Rohrabacher doesn't seem to be going anywhere, either. Maybe it's time to drop the Hinchey effort and retarget. Is it better to push for the currently unobtainable--a federal medical marijuana law--or try to seek interim fixes like Hinchey? I don't have a good answer. All I know is I'm getting very frustrated playing this political game. Where's my "Don't Tread On Me" flag? I'll have some more suggestions tomorrow about where we can go from here, and they don't involve begging our political leaders to do it for us. Stay tuned.
Location: 
United States

U.S., Mexico near deal on drug war aid

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
Miami Herald
URL: 
http://www.miamiherald.com/579/story/185300.html

The People Support Medical Marijuana, Even If Congress Does Not

After retaining the right to arrest medical marijuana patients and caregivers, ONDCP's Tom Riley was unable to contain his glee:
Riley called the vote "a really tough day" for backers of the medical marijuana legislation.


"More and more people are realizing there is a con going on…" [Reuters]
This is just false on so many levels. For starters, we're gaining votes every year and we know more or less what to expect. Yesterday's result is not some sort of shocking rebuke of our position. If anything, Riley should be a bit concerned that 165 members of Congress think his whole team has its head up its collective posterior.

Similarly, Riley's assertion that "more and more people" are turning against medical marijuana is utter nonsense. We would have liked to get more votes, of course, but this is still the most support medical marijuana has seen in Congress. Public support for medical marijuana is far greater, hovering between 70% and 80%. Riley knows perfectly well that this issue is a full-blown public relations nightmare for his office, and he should be supremely grateful that idiocy about medical marijuana is better represented in Congress than the general population.
Location: 
United States

photos from LA raid aftermath on LAist web site

Photos from the aftermath of the raid on LA's Cannabis Patients Group coop, including the civil disobedience action, can be found online here.
Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States

Photo Essay: Hollywood Medical Marijuana DEA Raid

Location: 
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
LAist (CA)
URL: 
http://laist.com/2007/07/27/medical_marijuana_dea_raids.php

McNerney draws fire from backers of medicinal pot

Location: 
Washington, DC
United States
Publication/Source: 
San Francisco Chronicle
URL: 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/27/MNG6FR7OQG1.DTL

Analysis: Who Voted for Medical Marijuana This Time? Breakdown by Vote, Party, and Changes from '06

(In addition to the information we published Wednesday night in the Speakeasy blog, we have now identified which members not voting on Hinchey last year are newly-elected vs. which ones simply didn't vote on it.)

The Hinchey results are in, losing by a vote of 165-262. This is only a very slight improvement over last year, when we lost 163-259. Here's a summary of the key stats:

  • 165 members of Congress voted for the Hinchey medical marijuana amendment this year (150 of them Democrats), but 262 members of Congress voted against it. Ten members did not have votes recorded (plus Pelosi, for some technical reason as Speaker).
  • 78 Democrats voted against the amendment, while 15 Republicans voted for it.
  • Nine members who voted Yes on the amendment last year switched their votes to No this time (hiss), and three who voted No last year switched to Yes.
  • 27 members of Congress who are either newly-elected or did not have a vote recorded on the Hinchey amendment last year, voted Yes, only one of them Republican.
  • 45 members of Congress who are either newly-elected, or did not vote on the amendment last year, voted No, including 24 Democrats and 21 Republicans.
  • Two members of Congress who voted Yes last year did not vote on the amendment this year, and seven members who voted No last year also didn't vote this year.

Following is a detailed compilation covering all the stats listed above:

165 members of Congress voted for the Hinchey medical marijuana amendment this year:

Abercrombie (D-HI)
Ackerman (D-NY)
Allen (D-ME)
Andrews (D-NJ)
Baird (D-WA)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bartlett (R-MD)
Becerra (D-CA)
Berkley (D-NV)
Berman (D-CA)
Bishop (D-GA)
Bishop (D-NY)
Blumenauer (D-OR)
Brady (D-PA)
Broun (R-GA)
Campbell (R-CA)
Capps (D-CA)
Capuano (D-MA)
Carnahan (D-MO)
Carson (D-IN)
Christensen (D-VI)
Clay (D-MO)
Cleaver (D-MO)
Cohen (D-TN)
Conyers (D-MI)
Courtney (D-CT)
Crowley (D-NY)
Davis (D-CA)
Davis (D-IL)
DeFazio (D-OR)
DeGette (D-CO)
Delahunt (D-MA)
DeLauro (D-CT)
Doggett (D-TX)
Doyle (D-PA)
Ellison (D-MN)
Emanuel (D-IL)
Engel (D-NY)
Eshoo (D-CA)
Farr (D-CA)
Fattah (D-PA)
Filner (D-CA)
Flake (R-AZ)
Frank (D-MA)
Garrett (R-NJ)
Giffords (D-AZ)
Gilchrest (R-MD)
Gonzalez (D-TX)
Green, Al (D-TX)
Grijalva (D-AZ)
Gutierrez (D-IL)
Hare (D-IL)
Harman (D-CA)
Hastings (D-FL)
Higgins (D-NY)
Hinchey (D-NY)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hodes (D-NH)
Holt (D-NJ)
Honda (D-CA)
Hooley (D-OR)
Hoyer (D-MD)
Inslee (D-WA)
Israel (D-NY)
Jackson (D-IL)
Jackson-Lee (D-TX)
Johnson (D-GA)
Johnson (R-IL)
Johnson, E. B. (D-TX)
Jones (D-OH)
Kanjorski (D-PA)
Kaptur (D-OH)
Kennedy (D-RI)
Kildee (D-MI)
Kilpatrick (D-MI)
Kind (D-WI)
Kucinich (D-OH)
Langevin (D-RI)
Lantos (D-CA)
Larson (D-CT)
LaTourette (R-OH)
Lee (D-CA)
Lewis (D-GA)
Loebsack (D-IA)
Lofgren (D-CA)
Lowey (D-NY)
Maloney (D-NY)
Markey (D-MA)
Matsui (D-CA)
McCarthy (D-NY)
McCollum (D-MN)
McDermott (D-WA)
McGovern (D-MA)
McNulty (D-NY)
Melancon (D-LA)
Miller, George (D-CA)
Mitchell (D-AZ)
Moore (D-KS)
Moore (D-WI)
Moran (D-VA)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murtha (D-PA)
Nadler (D-NY)
Napolitano (D-CA)
Neal (D-MA)
Norton (D-DC)
Oberstar (D-MN)
Obey (D-WI)
Olver (D-MA)
Pallone (D-NJ)
Pascrell (D-NJ)
Pastor (D-AZ)
Paul (R-TX)
Payne (D-NJ)
Perlmutter (D-CO)
Peterson (D-MN)
Porter (R-NV)
Price (D-NC)
Rangel (D-NY)
Rehberg (R-MT)
Renzi (R-AZ)
Rodriguez (D-TX)
Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rothman (D-NJ)
Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Royce (R-CA)
Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Rush (D-IL)
Ryan (D-OH)
Sanchez, Linda T. (D-CA)
Sanchez, Loretta (D-CA)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schakowsky (D-IL)
Schiff (D-CA)
Scott (D-GA)
Scott (D-VA)
Serrano (D-NY)
Sestak (D-PA)
Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Sherman (D-CA)
Sires (D-NJ)
Slaughter (D-NY)
Solis (D-CA)
Sutton (D-OH)
Tancredo (R-CO)
Tauscher (D-CA)
Thompson (D-CA)
Tierney (D-MA)
Towns (D-NY)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Velazquez (D-NY)
Walz (D-MN)
Waters (D-CA)
Watson (D-CA)
Watt (D-NC)
Waxman (D-CA)
Weiner (D-NY)
Welch (D-VT)
Wexler (D-FL)
Woolsey (D-CA)
Wu (D-OR)
Wynn (D-MD)
Yarmuth (D-KY)

... but 262 members of Congress voted against it:

Aderholt (R-AL)
Akin (R-MO)
Alexander (R-LA)
Altmire (D-PA)
Arcuri (D-NY)
Baca (D-CA)
Bachmann (R-MN)
Baker (R-LA)
Barrett (R-SC)
Barrow (D-GA)
Barton (R-TX)
Bean (D-IL)
Berry (D-AR)
Biggert (R-IL)
Bilbray (R-CA)
Bilirakis (R-FL)
Bishop (R-UT)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boehner (R-OH)
Bonner (R-AL)
Bono (R-CA)
Boozman (R-AR)
Boren (D-OK)
Boswell (D-IA)
Boustany (R-LA)
Boyd (D-FL)
Boyda (D-KS)
Bradley (R-NH)
Brady (R-TX)
Braley (D-IA)
Brown (D-FL)
Brown (R-SC)
Brown-Waite, Ginny (R-FL)
Buchanan (R-FL)
Burgess (R-TX)
Burton (R-IN)
Butterfield (D-NC)
Buyer (R-IN)
Calvert (R-CA)
Camp (R-MI)
Cannon (R-UT)
Cantor (R-VA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardoza (D-CA)
Carney (D-PA)
Carter (R-TX)
Castle (R-DE)
Castor (D-FL)
Chabot (R-OH)
Chandler (D-KY)
Clyburn (D-SC)
Coble (R-NC)
Cole (R-OK)
Conaway (R-TX)
Cooper (D-TN)
Costa (D-CA)
Costello (D-IL)
Cramer (D-AL)
Crenshaw (R-FL)
Cuellar (D-TX)
Culberson (R-TX)
Cummings (D-MD)
Davis (D-AL)
Davis (D-TN)
Davis (R-KY)
Davis, David (R-TN)
Davis, Tom (R-VA)
Deal (R-GA)
Dent (R-PA)
Diaz-Balart, L. (R-FL)
Diaz-Balart, M. (R-FL)
Dicks (D-WA)
Dingell (D-MI)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Doolittle (R-CA)
Drake (R-VA)
Dreier (R-CA)
Duncan (R-TN)
Edwards (D-TX)
Ehlers (R-MI)
Ellsworth (D-IN)
Emerson (R-MO)
English (R-PA)
Etheridge (D-NC)
Everett (R-AL)
Faleomavaega (D-AS)
Fallin (R-OK)
Feeney (R-FL)
Ferguson (R-NJ)
Forbes (R-VA)
Fortenberry (R-NE)
Fortuno (R-PR)
Fossella (R-NY)
Foxx (R-NC)
Franks (R-AZ)
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
Gallegly (R-CA)
Gerlach (R-PA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gillmor (R-OH)
Gingrey (R-GA)
Gohmert (R-TX)
Goode (R-VA)
Goodlatte (R-VA)
Gordon (D-TN)
Granger (R-TX)
Graves (R-MO)
Green, Gene (D-TX)
Hall (D-NY)
Hall (R-TX)
Hastert (R-IL)
Hastings (R-WA)
Hayes (R-NC)
Heller (R-NV)
Hensarling (R-TX)
Herger (R-CA)
Herseth (D-SD)
Hill (D-IN)
Hinojosa (D-TX)
Hobson (R-OH)
Hoekstra (R-MI)
Holden (D-PA)
Hulshof (R-MO)
Hunter (R-CA)
Inglis (R-SC)
Issa (R-CA)
Jefferson (D-LA)
Jindal (R-LA)
Johnson, Sam (R-TX)
Jones (R-NC)
Jordan (R-OH)
Kagen (D-WI)
Keller (R-FL)
King (R-IA)
King (R-NY)
Kingston (R-GA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klein (D-FL)
Kline (R-MN)
Knollenberg (R-MI)
Kuhl (R-NY)
Lamborn (R-CO)
Lampson (D-TX)
Larsen (D-WA)
Latham (R-IA)
Levin (D-MI)
Lewis (R-CA)
Lewis (R-KY)
Linder (R-GA)
Lipinski (D-IL)
LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Lucas (R-OK)
Lungren (R-CA)
Lynch (D-MA)
Mack (R-FL)
Mahoney (D-FL)
Manzullo (R-IL)
Marchant (R-TX)
Matheson (D-UT)
McCarthy (R-CA)
McCaul (R-TX)
McCotter (R-MI)
McCrery (R-LA)
McHenry (R-NC)
McHugh (R-NY)
McIntyre (D-NC)
McKeon (R-CA)
McMorris (R-WA)
McNerney (D-CA)
Meek (D-FL)
Meeks (D-NY)
Mica (R-FL)
Miller (D-NC)
Miller (R-FL)
Miller (R-MI)
Miller, Gary (R-CA)
Mollohan (D-WV)
Moran (R-KS)
Murphy (R-PA)
Murphy, Patrick (D-PA)
Musgrave (R-CO)
Myrick (R-NC)
Neugebauer (R-TX)
Nunes (R-CA)
Ortiz (D-TX)
Pearce (R-NM)
Pence (R-IN)
Peterson (R-PA)
Petri (R-WI)
Pickering (R-MS)
Pitts (R-PA)
Platts (R-PA)
Poe (R-TX)
Pomeroy (D-ND)
Price (R-GA)
Pryce (R-OH)
Putnam (R-FL)
Radanovich (R-CA)
Rahall (D-WV)
Ramstad (R-MN)
Regula (R-OH)
Reichert (R-WA)
Reyes (D-TX)
Reynolds (R-NY)
Rogers (R-AL)
Rogers (R-KY)
Rogers (R-MI)
Roskam (R-IL)
Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Ross (D-AR)
Ryan (R-WI)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sali (R-ID)
Saxton (R-NJ)
Schmidt (R-OH)
Schwartz (D-PA)
Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Sessions (R-TX)
Shadegg (R-AZ)
Shays (R-CT)
Shimkus (R-IL)
Shuler (D-NC)
Shuster (R-PA)
Simpson (R-ID)
Skelton (D-MO)
Smith (D-WA)
Smith (R-NE)
Smith (R-NJ)
Smith (R-TX)
Snyder (D-AR)
Souder (R-IN)
Space (D-OH)
Spratt (D-SC)
Stearns (R-FL)
Stupak (D-MI)
Sullivan (R-OK)
Tanner (D-TN)
Taylor (D-MS)
Terry (R-NE)
Thompson (D-MS)
Thornberry (R-TX)
Tiahrt (R-KS)
Tiberi (R-OH)
Turner (R-OH)
Upton (R-MI)
Visclosky (D-IN)
Walberg (R-MI)
Walden (R-OR)
Walsh (R-NY)
Wamp (R-TN)
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Weldon (R-FL)
Weller (R-IL)
Westmoreland (R-GA)
Whitfield (R-KY)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wilson (D-OH)
Wilson (R-NM)
Wilson (R-SC)
Wolf (R-VA)
Young (R-FL)

10 members did not have votes recorded (plus Pelosi, for some technical reason as Speaker):

Bachus (R-AL)
Boucher (D-VA)
Clarke (D-NY)
Cubin (R-WY)
Davis, Jo Ann (R-VA)
LaHood (R-IL)
Marshall (D-GA)
Michaud (D-ME)
Stark (D-CA)
Young (R-AK)

78 Democrats voted against the amendment:

Altmire (D-PA)
Arcuri (D-NY)
Baca (D-CA)
Barrow (D-GA)
Bean (D-IL)
Berry (D-AR)
Boren (D-OK)
Boswell (D-IA)
Boyd (D-FL)
Boyda (D-KS)
Braley (D-IA)
Brown (D-FL)
Butterfield (D-NC)
Cardoza (D-CA)
Carney (D-PA)
Castor (D-FL)
Chandler (D-KY)
Clyburn (D-SC)
Cooper (D-TN)
Costa (D-CA)
Costello (D-IL)
Cramer (D-AL)
Cuellar (D-TX)
Cummings (D-MD)
Davis (D-AL)
Davis (D-TN)
Dicks (D-WA)
Dingell (D-MI)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Edwards (D-TX)
Ellsworth (D-IN)
Etheridge (D-NC)
Faleomavaega (D-AS)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Gordon (D-TN)
Green, Gene (D-TX)
Hall (D-NY)
Herseth (D-SD)
Hill (D-IN)
Hinojosa (D-TX)
Holden (D-PA)
Jefferson (D-LA)
Kagen (D-WI)
Klein (D-FL)
Lampson (D-TX)
Larsen (D-WA)
Levin (D-MI)
Lipinski (D-IL)
Lynch (D-MA)
Mahoney (D-FL)
Matheson (D-UT)
McIntyre (D-NC)
McNerney (D-CA)
Meek (D-FL)
Meeks (D-NY)
Miller (D-NC)
Mollohan (D-WV)
Murphy, Patrick (D-PA)
Ortiz (D-TX)
Pomeroy (D-ND)
Rahall (D-WV)
Reyes (D-TX)
Ross (D-AR)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schwartz (D-PA)
Shuler (D-NC)
Skelton (D-MO)
Smith (D-WA)
Snyder (D-AR)
Space (D-OH)
Spratt (D-SC)
Stupak (D-MI)
Tanner (D-TN)
Taylor (D-MS)
Thompson (D-MS)
Visclosky (D-IN)
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Wilson (D-OH)

... while 15 Republicans voted for it:

Bartlett (R-MD)
Broun (R-GA)
Campbell (R-CA)
Flake (R-AZ)
Garrett (R-NJ)
Gilchrest (R-MD)
Johnson (R-IL)
LaTourette (R-OH)
Paul (R-TX)
Porter (R-NV)
Rehberg (R-MT)
Renzi (R-AZ)
Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Royce (R-CA)
Tancredo (R-CO)

Nine members who voted Yes on the amendment last year switched their votes to No this time (hiss):

Brown (D-FL)
Burton (R-IN)
Butterfield (D-NC)
Clyburn (D-SC)
Dicks (D-WA)
Jefferson (D-LA)
Meeks (D-NY)
Smith (D-WA)
Thompson (D-MS)

... while three who voted No last year switched to Yes:

Emanuel (D-IL)
Peterson (D-MN)
Renzi (R-AZ)

There are 27 members of Congress who were either elected for the first time last November, or did not have a vote recorded on the Hinchey amendment last year, who voted Yes, only one of them Republican:

(Most are freshmen; the several marked with an asterisk were members of Congress last time but did not vote on the amendment.)

Broun (R-GA)
Christensen (D-VI)*
Cohen (D-TN)
Courtney (D-CT)
Ellison (D-MN)
Giffords (D-AZ)
Gonzalez (D-TX)*
Hare (D-IL)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hodes (D-NH)
Johnson (D-GA)
Kanjorski (D-PA)
Loebsack (D-IA)
Mitchell (D-AZ)
Murphy (D-CT)
Norton (D-DC)*
Perlmutter (D-CO)
Rodriguez (D-TX)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schakowsky (D-IL)*
Sestak (D-PA)
Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Sires (D-NJ)
Sutton (D-OH)
Walz (D-MN)
Welch (D-VT)
Yarmuth (D-KY)

45 members of Congress who are either newly-elected, or did not vote on the amendment last year, voted No, including 24 Democrats and 21 Republicans:

(Most are freshmen; the several marked with an asterisk were members of Congress last time but did not vote on the amendment.)

Altmire (D-PA)
Arcuri (D-NY)
Bachmann (R-MN)
Bilirakis (R-FL)
Boyda (D-KS)
Braley (D-IA)
Buchanan (R-FL)
Cannon (R-UT)
Carney (D-PA)
Castor (D-FL)
Davis, David (R-TN)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Ellsworth (D-IN)
Faleomavaega (D-AS)*
Fallin (R-OK)
Fortuno (R-PR)*
Gerlach (R-PA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hall (D-NY)
Hastert (R-IL)*
Heller (R-NV)
Hill (D-IN)
Holden (D-PA)
Johnson, Sam (R-TX)
Jordan (R-OH)
Kagen (D-WI)
Klein (D-FL)
Lamborn (R-CO)
Lampson (D-TX)
Mahoney (D-FL)
McCarthy (R-CA)
McNerney (D-CA)
Murphy, Patrick (D-PA)
Poe (R-TX)
Roskam (R-IL)
Sali (R-ID)
Shays (R-CT)*
Shuler (D-NC)
Smith (R-NE)
Souder (R-IN)*
Space (D-OH)
Stupak (D-MI)*
Taylor (D-MS)*
Walberg (R-MI)
Wilson (D-OH)

(At least two of these, Souder & Hastert, are known to be have always been strong opponents of medical marijuana.)

Two members of Congress who voted Yes last year did not vote on the amendment this year:

Michaud (D-ME)
Stark (D-CA)

... and seven members who voted No last year also didn't vote this year:

Bachus (R-AL)
Boucher (D-VA)
Cubin (R-WY)
Davis, Jo Ann (R-VA)
LaHood (R-IL)
Marshall (D-GA)
Young (R-AK)

First Amendment: Freaked Out Feds Indict Pair for Posting Flyers Naming Snitch

A federal grand jury in Philadelphia Tuesday indicted two people, an accused drug dealer and his girlfriend, for passing out flyers naming a confidential informant in his federal drug case as a snitch. No law protects informants from having their identities made public, but federal prosecutors pushed -- and succeeded -- in this case for an indictment on witness intimidation and conspiracy charges.

The information on the flyers came from the Who's A Rat? web site, which lists information on more than 4,300 informants and 400 undercover officers. US Attorney Patrick Meehan called the web site "the new enemy" of law enforcement and its snitches.

"It's a by-product of the stop-snitching culture that we should all find deeply disturbing," Meehan said at a news conference, and "has the potential to compromise countless prosecutions across the country."

Meehan conceded the web site is protected by the First Amendment, but decided to indict the pair anyway for trying to intimidate witnesses.

The two are Joseph Davis, currently serving a 17-year sentence for PCP trafficking, thanks in part to the informant targeted in the flyers, and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Adero Miwo. Davis and the informant were both indicted in the PCP case, and the informant, known as "D.S." turned state's evidence and testified against Davis.

Davis and Miwo allegedly then distributed flyers naming D.S. as a snitch on windshields, utility poles, and mailboxes in the West Philadelphia neighborhood where he lived. Relying on information posted on Who's A Rat, the pair produced flyers accusing him of informing and showing his photo, along with the following comment: "This guy is a drunk, and heavy weed smoker, and a recognized car thief among his peers. He is the one who needs to be taken off the streets," according to court documents.

Davis, who is already behind bars, faces up to another 10 years in prison, while Miwo faces up to three years.

Law enforcement authorities across the US have complained loudly that the "stop snitching" movement that has spread around the country is preventing them from solving crimes. Who's a Rat isn't helping, they complain.

Such web sites show a "profound lack of respect" for the legal system, complained JP Weis, head of the Philadelphia FBI office. "The warped message" on city streets, he said, "is that it's somehow worse to provide information about a crime than it is to actually commit a crime." And that, Weis said, is "mind-boggling."

Neither Weis nor Meehan addressed why there is a "profound lack of respect" for the legal system or what role the drug war, much of it built around coercing people into becoming informants, has to do with the situation.

Who's a Rat spokesman Chris Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the web site posts public information submitted by others and is protected by the First Amendment. Brown said he "can't believe that someone got indicted for hanging a flyer" and that such publicity only "makes the site that much more popular."

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