Newsbrief: Bad Week for Marijuana Police -- Two Dead, One Injured in Accidents 7/26/02

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Law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and Wisconsin took self-inflicted casualties last week in their efforts to enforce marijuana prohibition. In Wisconsin, one police officer was shot and wounded, while in North Carolina a sheriff's deputy and two police officers died.

On July 15, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Sgt. Anthony Futrell, Chowan County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Ashley and Boone police Major Robert Kennedy died when their pot-spotter aircraft crashed in Chowan County in the northwest part of the state. Futrell was the plane's pilot, while Kennedy was the flight's trained "spotter" for marijuana. Ashley communicated with law enforcement officials on the ground, directing them to locations where marijuana had been spotted.

The flights were part of a 20-year-old marijuana eradication program conducted in cooperation with the North Carolina Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. The lost Cessna represented half of the CAP's drug eradication fleet, but surveillance flights are also conducted by the North Carolina Highway Patrol's air force, the NC National Guard and the State Bureau of Investigation.

The following day in Wisconsin, Sauk County Sheriff's Deputy William Steinhorst was shot in both legs by a fellow deputy in a SWAT-style "no-knock" raid that resulted in the arrest of a 20-year-old man on marijuana charges. The Sauk County Emergency Response Team split into two groups to search the residence after knocking down the door. When the two groups unexpectedly encountered each other, Deputy Charles Scrieber opened fire, wounding Steinhorst in both upper thighs. Steinhorst is recovering; Scrieber has been placed on administrative duty pending investigation.

The drug war kills and wounds cops, too.

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Issue #247, 7/26/02 Editorial: Silliness on the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board | State Supreme Court Upholds California's Proposition 215, San Francisco Prepares to Grow Own Medical Marijuana Supply | British Decrim Move Inspires US Editorialists | Transnational Radical Party Takes Aim at Russian Drug Laws | Capitol Hill Press Conference Calls for States' Rights to Medical Marijuana | Libertarian Party Plans Offensive Against Drug Warriors | Newsbrief: Dutch Cannabis Café Chains Vow to Invade Britain | Newsbrief: Cancer Pain Inadequately Treated, Says NIH | Newsbrief: Democratic Presidential Candidate Plays Crime Card -- Calls for Parole End, More Drug Testing for Probationers | Newsbrief: Narcocorridos Banned in Baja California | Newsbrief: Kenyan Students Riot Over Deadly Marijuana Bust | Newsbrief: Portland, Maine, Moving to Provide Anti-Overdose Drug to Addicts, EMTs | Newsbrief: Coked-Out Judge Busted | Newsbrief: Budget Crisis Kills Connecticut Drug Courts | Newsbrief: Bad Week for Marijuana Police -- Two Dead, One Injured in Accidents | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | Addictions Discrimination Panel Seeking Testimony | Addendum: Jeff and Tracy | The Reformer's Calendar
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