Newsbrief: MPP Files New Challenge to Drug Czar's Nevada Campaigning 5/7/04

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The Marijuana Policy Project (, which bumped heads with drug czar John Walters during its unsuccessful marijuana legalization campaign in Nevada two years ago, is trying once again to reign in White House politicking against its initiatives. This year, MPP and is local affiliate, the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana (, are gathering signatures to put a modified version of the 2002 initiative on the ballot, and Walters has already shown up in the state to campaign against it.

accusations of
corruption continue
against US drug
czar John Walters
Now, MPP has filed suit in the Nevada Supreme Court seeking to force Walters to file campaign expense reports when he politics against the Nevada initiative. Under Nevada law, individuals or organizations who campaign for or against ballot questions must report their contributions or expenses to the office of the Secretary of State.

But in the face of a ruling from the White House Office of Special Counsel that Walters was exempt from state law after MPP complained in 2002, Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval ruled that Walters need not file campaign expenses. Walters was exempt because he was acting within the scope of his official duties, Sandoval ruled.

Sandoval's opinion is wrong, asserted MPP in its lawsuit, filed April 22. Walters indeed campaigned against the 2002 initiative, "with security detail in tow," MPP asserted. "[Walters] had a motorcade to shuttle him between television appearances in Las Vegas and Reno" and the federal officials racked up hotel expenses, MPP said.

If Walters was campaigning against the 2002 initiative -- he was -- and if he campaigns against this year's model -- he already has -- he should have to play by the same rules as everyone else, MPP told the Nevada Supreme Court. It is a question of "significant statewide impact in the regulating of [Nevada's] own election," the group told the justices.

MPP seeks to get a ruling from the Supreme Court that will require state officials to require that Walters play by the rules. As importantly, the MPP move puts Walters on notice that his attacks on reform initiatives will not go unchallenged.

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Issue #336, 5/7/04 Editorial: Priorities and Principles | Nation Pays Huge Bill for Criminal Justice System -- $167 Billion a Year, Says Justice Department | Setback for State, Federal Pain Pill Offensive: Florida Prescription Monitoring Bill Dies in House | Million Marijuana Marches: Tranquility in New York, Thousands in Toronto, First Time in Sweden, Troubles in South America | Announcing: "The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" -- New Compendium by Sheriff Masters Features David Borden and Numerous Other Thinkers on Drug Policy | Newsbrief: Australian Greens Call for Uniform Marijuana Laws | Newsbrief: Marijuana Initiative Campaign Underway in Columbia, Missouri | Newsbrief: MPP Files New Challenge to Drug Czar's Nevada Campaigning | Newsbrief: DEA Agent Demonstrates Gun Safety to School Kids -- By Shooting Himself | Newsbrief: Justice Department Investigating National Drug Intelligence Center | Newsbrief: Prison Building Binge Skews Census Figures, Shifts Benefits and Political Power, Study Says | This Week in History | The Reformer's Calendar

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