Oklahoma Police Chief Threatens Harassment of Man Who Opposes the Drug War 10/16/98

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Chet Olsen of Oklahoma City doesn't believe that escalating the drug war is an effective or rational policy. Mr. Olsen, in fact, wrote a letter which was printed in the September 3 edition of the Woods County Enterprise, a local newspaper, urging the town of Waynoka to reconsider its planned purchase of a drug dog. His letter sparked some interest, apparently, and the debate raged for some weeks on the letters page of that publication. Until October 8, that is, when John Fuqua, the chief of police in Waynoka, let it be known what could happen to those citizens who are not fully behind the War effort.

Chief Fuqua's letter to the editor included the following statement:

"Also a couple of my friends who work for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics in Oklahoma City were so impressed with (Olsen's) letter that they told me they were going to contact Mr. Olsen and visit with him about his concerns."

Michael Camfield of the Oklahoma ACLU told The Week Online "This reference is an egregious violation of the First Amendment. The idea that Americans have an inalienable right to espouse views which are not held by those in power is the very essence of the freedom of speech. The chilling effect of this type of threat goes beyond the individual and impacts the community at large. How can the people of that town feel free to express their views if they believe, if in fact they've been told that the chief of police will have officers 'visit with them' if he disagrees with their positions?"

The Week Online contacted Chief Fuqua, who said, "(Olsen) called me after the letter ran and he was all bent. The guy obviously can't take a joke."

(Ed. - Fuqua may have been joking, but if so, it is not dissimilar to joking about bombs in an airport.)

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Issue #63, 10/16/98 Why DRCNet? | Federal Judge Orders Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club Shut Down -- City to Consider Providing Marijuana to Patients | Oregon Poll: Reform Positions Hold Lead | Pain Went Up Sharply Among Oregon's Dying in Late 1997 | Swiss Okay Controlled Heroin Distribution | Oklahoma Police Chief Threatens Harassment of Man Who Opposes the Drug War | Marijuana Ranks Fourth Largest Cash Crop in America Despite Prohibition | Social Concern a Sign of Teen Drug Use? Ask Orrin Hatch | Car Seizure Law Upheld in Oakland | "Driving While Black" Lawsuit Grows | Web News | Editorial: Putting People Before Ideology

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