Organizations Protesting DEA-Sponsored Traveling Exhibit Conflating Drug and Terrorism Issues 9/5/03

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news release from the Drug Policy Forum of Texas

A growing number of Dallas-area organizations are planning to protest at The Science Place in Fair Park when a DEA-sponsored exhibit opens in September. In addition, a former DEA agent who is willing to speak at the protest about DEA abuses has contacted the groups. The exhibit is billed as "Target America: Traffickers, Terrorists and You," and features twisted I-beams, shoes, children's toys, destroyed office products, large chunks of limestone and damaged office equipment from the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The opening was originally scheduled for September 11, but was changed to September 9 after public protests about capitalizing on the horrors of 9/11.

According to Craig Johnson, head of the University of Texas-Dallas chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the demonstrators are a group of concerned citizens who believe that "it is shocking for the DEA to exploit Americans' grief and anger over the tragic events of 9/11."

"I am appalled that The Science Place is lending its prestige and spending its funds on an exhibit by the Drug Enforcement Administration," says Suzanne Wills of Dallas, a member of the Drug Policy Form of Texas, another of the groups represented. "In all its policies the DEA is the antithesis of science. The most glaring, inhumane and disingenuous example is its refusal to allow researchers a supply of cannabis for medical trials approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

Johnson added "while this crude exhibit remains in Dallas, it is our intention to counteract it with a campaign to show the public what little respect the DEA has for actual science, and the unintended but disastrous consequences of drug prohibition. Because of our government and the DEA, huge profits go to the underworld, kids sell drugs to kids, diseases are spread by non-sterile syringes, and burglaries for money to buy drugs are epidemic."

Currently nearly $50 billion per year is spent on the drug war and 500,000 Americans are imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.

Organizations participating in this education campaign include The Drug Policy Forum of Texas (http://www.dpft.org), Students for Sensible Drug Policy (http://www.ssdp.org) and NORML Texas (http://www.normltexas.org).

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Issue #301, 9/5/03 New DRCNet Book Offer and Donations Appeal | Alaska Appeals Court Legalizes Simple Marijuana Possession, Law Enforcement Dazed and Confused, Suffering Denial | Bad Bills: Rave Act II, CLEAN-UP Act, VICTORY Act | Dutch Begin Selling Prescription Marijuana in Pharmacies | Hemp on the High Plains: HIA Goes to the Pine Ridge Reservation | Cheryl Miller Memorial Congressional Phone Slam Day, 9/23/03 | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Organizations Protesting DEA-Sponsored Traveling Exhibit Conflating Drug and Terrorism Issues | Newsbrief: Massachusetts Researcher Seeks Permit to Grow Marijuana for Medical Research | Newsbrief: Federal Judge Rejects Santa Cruz Medical Marijuana Lawsuit | Newsbrief: In Colombia, Social Distortion as Narcos Grab Land | Newsbrief: California Governor Candidates at Debate All Endorse Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: LA NORML's Margolin Joins California Governor Race, Vows to Be "Terminator" of Marijuana Prohibition | Newsbrief: UN Drug Head Calls for US-Led Occupation Forces to Fight Afghan Drug Trade | The Reformer's Calendar
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