This Week in History

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August 15, 1988: In his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention, George Herbert Walker Bush states, "I want a drug-free America. Tonight, I challenge the young people of our country to shut down the drug dealers around the world... My Administration will be telling the dealers, 'Whatever we have to do, we'll do, but your day is over. You're history.'"

August 11, 1991: After ten months of extensive research, the Pittsburgh Press begins a six-day series chronicling what it calls "a frightening turn in the war on drugs": seizure and forfeiture doing enormous collateral damage to the innocent.

August 16, 1996: While visiting San Francisco, US drug czar Barry McCaffrey claims to media, "There is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed. This is not science. This is not medicine. This is a cruel hoax and sounds more like something out of a Cheech and Chong show." Advocates later point out that there is in fact scientific evidence supporting medical marijuana.

August 12, 1997: The US Justice Department announces that there will be no indictments issued in the killing of Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., an 18-year-old American citizen killed by US Marines on an anti-drug patrol while he was herding goats near the border town of Redford, Texas. Lt. General Carlton W. Fulford, who conducted an internal military review of the incident, said the killing might not have happened at all had civilian law enforcement agencies been patrolling the border.

August 13, 1998: Reuters reports that the US repeatedly scandalized the Colombian presidency of Ernesto Samper with allegations that he had used drug money from anti-American groups to fund his 1994 presidential campaign, and eventually the US used that as an excuse to decertify Colombia and withdraw foreign aid.

August 17, 1999: CNN reports that federal authorities say they are sweeping up the last few indicted members of a major drug trafficking network that shipped tons of mostly Colombian cocaine and marijuana throughout the United States. Nearly 100 suspects have been indicted in "Operation Southwest Express" and 77 have been arrested in raids in 14 cities.

August 14, 2002: Twelve hundred medical marijuana patients, many suffering from life-threatening illnesses, lose their supply of medicine when Ontario police raid the Toronto Compassion Centre.

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Stephen Harper

I was interested to see that the Ontario bust came in 2002.That was right after the Harper Conservative anti drug government came to power in Canada.They recently won their first majority and they have already begun to go after the medical marijuana industry.The first move was to try to have patients stripped of their right to grow medicine and to hand the job back to the private sector.The same private sector that donates millions to the conservative party and that has staunchly supported their constant assaults on any and every harm reduction measure in the country.It's going to get ugly here folks.

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