Activist and medical marijuana user Doug Keenan and his wife Theresa (both DRCNet members) were arrested this week, just one day after appearing on the PBS Frontline special, "Busted: America's War on Marijuana". Keenan, an electrical engineer, computer programmer, and holder of ten U.S. patents, suffers from testicular cancer, but believes in the right to use marijuana, whether medicinally or recreationally. During the show, Doug appeared on camera, openly admitting that he grows and uses marijuana medicinally, and that to him, the issue is a simple matter of his God-given right to use whatever the earth gives forth in his efforts to treat himself. Video footage showed him tending to several marijuana plants. (DRCNet's web site also appeared on Keenan's computer screen during the show. That computer is now in police custody. Keenan's was one of two homes in which DRCNet's web site popped up during the one-hour show. If you're impressed by that, why not become a member? http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html)

The Keenans' house was raided on Wednesday evening (4/29) by members of the Noblesville City Police, members of the Hamilton County Drug Task Force, and two men in suits who refused to identify themselves. "We're pretty sure they were feds," Theresa told The week Online. "When we asked who they were, they told us 'you don't need to know who we are.' So I just told them, 'well, that's too bad, because we're proud of what we do. I'm Theresa Keenan.' They wouldn't even shake my hand." Police claim to have found less than one ounce of marijuana in the house.

Doug reports that the house and its contents were trashed beyond any reason. He told The Week Online, "Everything was on the floor, scattered around. Pictures were torn off of walls, my papers covered our floor. Among the items they took were my computer, every phone number they could find, and every book on my shelf related to marijuana. The funny thing is that they left all the books on hemp. I guess our educational efforts here in Indiana have had some impact. They apparently know the difference."

The Keenans knew that they were taking a risk when they agreed to appear on Frontline, but were determined to "come out" and to take a stand against what they view as the unjust persecution of marijuana users, be their use medical or recreational. "Doug thought that maybe they wouldn't come, but I knew that they'd be here," Theresa said. "We have two kids, they're nine and fourteen, and we prepared them for this. They were absolute warriors, no tears, they did exactly as we'd discussed. I have to say that whatever message the government is trying to send to America's children, our kids will grow up knowing that it's important to stand up against injustice, even if it involves personal sacrifice."

The Keenans have been charged with maintaining a public nuisance (a felony) as well as misdemeanor possession. Contributions to their defense can be made to:

Excerpts, interviews and other information related to the Frontline special can be found on the PBS web site at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/.

-- END --
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Issue #40, 5/3/98 DRCNet Special Report: Drug War Under Fire from Left, Right -- The Battle Begins | Members of Congressional Black Caucus Call for Drug Czar's Resignation over Syringe Exchange | Kemba's Nightmare, Part II | Marijuana Activist Arrested after Appearing on Frontline | Medical Marijuana in California | Julian Heicklen: Penn State Protest Update | Opiate Maintenance Conferences in New York | Editorial: Prohibition's Final Battle
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